Hard ice is done for the year, and now is the time to clean out all the composting bedding from the coops and barns. The stuff makes incredible compost for the garden. I sure have quite a pile now!
Last summer Louie grew one row of artichokes in my composted sheep and chicken manure and bedding, and one row in compost he bought. And that was the best compost in the Valley. Poop won, no contest. The way we deep-bed through the winter by adding fresh bedding on top of the soiled layer keeps the animals warm (the old bedding composts underneath, and gives off heat). It also grows food for us.
I have to say, it took a while to get over my sense of "yuckk!" over this method, and I have yet to embrace shit with all my heart and soul. But... if it is a choice between sheep shit and bullshit, I'll take the girls' little black pellets.
Louie's friend Tim came to help with the sheep barn. It is not easy to get the stuff off the floor. While he was doing that, I was scrubbing out the chicken coop.
There I encountered one of the mysteries of life: How do chickens poop on the walls? I mean, I was scrubbing the stuff off the walls at my eye level! I thought the frozen chicken poop cairns they made when the temperatures were at zero degrees were creative, but this? This is one of the mysteries of life.
Last night I fantasized that all the animals were happy to be in their freshly cleaned houses. This morning it felt so great to walk into their homes.
No lambs yet but we are getting close. Lina is developing the "back drop" that signals that the uterus is dropping lower. There was that little bit of dip in her lower back under my hand this morning.