When Gene said to me last week, ‘Maybe I’d better rake those leaves out of the chicken run too?’
I replied, ‘No way, leave them, please.’
The chicken coop (brown with white corrugated roof) sits between the raspberry bed and the pole barn under the White Oak shade tree.
We started out with weedy moved grass in the pen this spring before we adopted our small chicken family. There is nothing wrong with grass in the pen of course, but I knew at some point that after a few months of scratching that grass would soon become mud. I also knew that because our pen is located under a giant oak tree for shade to try to keep the pen emptied of leaves would be fruitless. So then we decided to use leaves for the chicken pen “flooring.”
This view gives you an idea of our large White Oak trees and you can imagine the amount of leaves we have each fall!
With 47 large White Oak trees on our property, using our plentiful leaves is so much more economical than buying shavings and so much less work than keeping the leaves raked up and out of the pen. The chickens also love to jump in and scratch around in these leaves too.
We pick up the leaves from our property using our lawn tractor and leaf pick up attachment.
Not only does the leaves cover up the chicken poop mess and it keeps their little feet nice and clean too.
Momma Clover and the chicklets scratching in the oak leaves.
With the chickens continual scratching eventually those leaves and that poo will turn into composed soil and when that day arrives we will scoop that compost out and use it on the garden to grow some great vegetables. The rest of our many leaves go on the woods paths, under the White Pines as mulch, in the vegetable garden pathway and they are also used to create a weed free, border around our property.
Every leaf here is put to good use!
Small House Homesteader, Donna