Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Deep $#!%

Happiness is having a nice neighbor with a John Deere tractor—especially around shed-cleaning time!

Deep litter bedding. For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to the animal bedding system wherein you throw clean straw on top of the old (after removing the most obviously soiled material). All's well and good until the floor—and under it the composted layers that were the floor before that, and the floor before that—rises uncomfortably high. My goat shed roof is about 14 inches closer to the straw bed now than it was last autumn, and that means it's time for the very big job of digging back down to the gravel.

This job had me quaking in my boots until Mr. S. from down the road stopped in. A simple, quick job, he said. Good tractor access, he said. Maybe he'll tackle it, weather permitting, on Thursday.

Next question—anyone want a half a ton of well-composted straw and manure? I haven't the foggiest idea where to have him put it, as our compost pile is inaccessible and full up. Out of the shed, though—that's the key. As for how to proceed, I'm not sure I'll do deep litter again. A little, thorough job twice a week? Might be a better approach for us, the tractorless.



  1. What a job! Did you find a spot to pile up your compost? You will be surprised at how much smaller that pile will be in a very short time. Last May I cleaned up about 4 winters worth of accumulated manure and hay from my winter paddock.

    Two winters ago I got a load of crappy hay, and they spent most of that winter wasting about half of it and then pooping on top of it. I ended up removing at least 18 inches of the mess in May, and by August the pile was about half its initial size. I've since put about half of that into the garden, and the other half will go on this spring. I wish I could attach a photo here (it's on Facebook), because the pile was much taller than my bobcat.

    You could always bag it up once it's cooked down a bit and sell it - at farmer's market, or post a flyer at the local feed store/garden store.

  2. Glad that you got it taken care of. Great Work!

  3. Piling the materials can be done with a tractor. You just have to make sure the driver is skilled enough.


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