Monday, December 18, 2006

Big honking chicken tractor

Last year I did an experiment where I grew some OP corn and some cowpeas.

This year I plan to scale the whole thing up quite a bit.

Last week we move our laying hens to the spot where the row crop patch will be.

Into this space we dumped most of the hay that got rained on last summer.

The idea is that between a six inch deep layer of mulch hay and thirty some chickens scratching around and fertilizing the place, the ground will be plowed and far better for growing things in than the beach sand that we have in place of topsoil in this part of the country.

I plan to plant corn in rows thirty inches apart with cowpeas between each row.

Both these photos show the same spot of ground.

I’m hoping that with the mulch and the chickens I can get away with just sticking the seeds into the ground. I don’t own a plow and don’t really want to.

I’m hoping for two crops, one about the forth of July, one in the late fall.

I’ll harvest the summer crop by turning newly weaned lambs into it, a little at a time. They can eat everything down to the ground. This should keep them from loosing condition at weaning time, and even put some weight on them.

The fall crop should help finish them.

4 comments:

The Food Lady said...

Well, if the chickens don't work on the garden, you can always get a hog. ; )

Alan said...

Long ago that used to be the commercial model for chicken raising. I've been wanting to do something similar myself using perennial peanuts, but I've got to get my predator problem squared away first.

.....Alan.

Walter Jeffries said...

Merry Christmas, Jim!

-Walter
in Vermont

BurroJoe said...

Saw a comment on your other blog about a peep sight on your rifle. Did you get one? I am thinking about getting one. Any thoughts? Thanks!