Friday, May 20, 2011

Compost time is happy chicken time

Another project to cross off my to-do list: Digging out the completed compost and flipping the other two bins over. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but have been waiting for Jeremy to build the raised bed in the boulevard. He's too busy with mushrooms, so I finally decided just to dump all the compost onto the beds in the back (which need to be dealt with too!)

After I dug all the compost from the middle box and dumped it in the far left box, I decided to treat two lucky chickens to the bugs and interesting bits left behind.


"What, me? I'm busy here!"

"nom, nom, nom"


Finally I put those chickens back and turned to face the last bin. Now, I have a warning here. If you are any kind of animal rights type person you should stop reading now. Just skip to the pretty all-finished picture at the end.
As I started pitch-forking the piles of old veggies, spent chicken bedding, leaves, and chicken poop out of the last bin, I remembered that I'd seen a mouse in the compost bins. I'd especially seen it in this bin. So I went sort of cautiously. About 6 inches to a foot down, I tossed a big pile into the middle bin and a little mouse went flying. She scrambled to the back of the compost bin and gave me a look. Sort of a, "What do you think you're doing!?" look. Hmm. I kept digging out, and another foot down, way in the back, I found a nest with about five brand new baby mice. I looked at it for about two seconds, then picked the whole thing up and deposited it in the chicken coop.

Oh yes, I did. Now you all know how sadistic I am! I ran for it back to the compost bin. I didn't have many qualms about what I'd done, but that didn't mean I wanted to watch the carnage. I figured I didn't want mice in the compost, or eating the chicken food, or in the house, or anywhere around so they had to go. And the chickens L-O-V-E-D the mice. Seriously, I was a major rockstar to them for the rest of the night. Every time I got near the coop they all came running, even more excited than they usually are.

I did feel bad about it when mother mouse came back and hung around for awhile, while I was still there finishing up, staring at me from a distance with a look as if to say, "What have you done!?" Sorry mama mouse. I think she's starting a new nest in the middle bin. Grr.

Anyway, here is the all cleaned up bin!


Boda said...

We always called those little hairless guys "eraser mice".

Karin McAdams said...

You can get away with a lot when it makes your chickens happy!

You really work hard!

Dr. Momi said...

That's what I would have done :-)

Julie said...

I take it you don't have cats..? I wouldn't want any in my compost bin either.

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog. Compost and Chickens are a great combo!

Aimee said...

@Boda - eraser mice? that's interesting. I suppose because they're little and pink? These were more grey, I guess they were starting to get a little bit of peach fuzz going.

@Karin - too true! Whatever makes those girls happy. =)

@Dr. Momi - that's what makes me know I'm with my people. No one else balks at doing this either!

@Julie - nope, no cats. We're both allergic. =( But someday maybe we'll get a hairless cat, who knows. Somehow I don't think a cat would have enjoyed those mice as much as the chickens - though I'm sure a cat might have kept the mouse from moving in at all! I'm surprised the neighborhood cats allow such a thing.

@Raechill - thanks! The chickens think so too. =)