Every so often it’s time to do some dung shifting here on the smallholding. Despite having a relatively small flock of 19, our woolly lawn mowers produce an impressive amount of manure.
During the winter when the grass isn’t very tasty, the teddy bears spend a lot of time in the paddock where we have a couple of hay feeders set up. Here is where the action happens, our woolly friends get busy converting hay into dung from November through to April.
The amount of dung around the feeders quickly builds up, so every autumn we roll back our sleeves and get to work removing the dung carpet. This is hefty work and often involves getting on our hands and knees and peeling it up from the ground. Embedded in the dung are layers of hay which hold things together to form a sort of cake. It’s very satisfying work peeling back large clods. Sometimes we get a big one that is too heavy to lift. We heft the clods into the trailer and then tow it to the muck heap where we shovel it out. Then back we go to the paddock for more.
After a week or so of peeling, shovelling and dumping, our dung heap is vastly bigger and the ground around the hay feeders looks lovely again; back to its original state, a good deal lower and much less squelchy.
During the winter we’ll use this dung to mulch our veggie patch. I dropped some off at our neighbours for their flowerbeds and Adrian left me a big present for the polytunnel. All in all, a good week’s work!