"Let The Animals Do the Work"
This is really more of a note than a blog post, but I think it's worth sharing. One of Joel Salatin's favorite concepts is to "let the animals do the work." In practice, at Polyface and at Early Bird Ranch this typically means things like hens following cows and reducing fly load by scratching through cow patties to eat the larva. Instead of having to apply some kind of fly deterent to the cows, we let the hens do that service, saving Joel or the folks at LeftCoast GrassFed a little work.
Today I saw a great example here at the house, though. Kevin, Brooks, and I have been working hard clearing compost out of the brooders and dumping it in wheelbarrow piles in the garden. I just looked out the window to discover that some rogue hens (who refuse to sleep in the Eggmobile and are generally a pain in the butt) are trying to redeem themselves by scratching the compost evenly through the garden soil. In the picture, you can see the piles we left, and how they're spreading it in an even layer, saving us the time and energy of raking it out ourselves. So, although I grumble to say it... Thank you rogue chickens!