Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mud Monster

It was too much of a good thing.  Folks with my sort of temperament--gung-ho and full-speed-ahead-- may take longer than average to come to that conclusion.  Eventually I get there.

"Chicken Toys" (posted 1-30-12) describes the process for helping my hens get their greens and for providing a good setting for endless, and I do mean endless, hours of scratch-'n'-peck.  Without that a chicken can't really be a chicken.  My intent was right on the beak.  And gathering buckets of weeds from my neighbors' yards was/is a good idea as well.  Carrying five-gallon buckets of mud and weeds several blocks to my house--not so good, except from a chiropractor's view.

Mashed weeds and extra mud:  My own recipe

The Monster was made from the additional mud I created in the hen pen.  There is a saying that if the chicken yard is not mud when the hens move in, it will be!  I've never really bought into that but have let the thought be a not-so-gentle reminder of the possibility.  Nevertheless, for a couple of weeks, I've been dumping mud/weeds into the area where I'm hoping that spring and warmth will cause the grass to grow faster than the girls can stomp it down and/or gobble it up.

The slick and slimy Things I get to do today are corral, clean up and move the Mud Monster in the hen pen. I thought I'd use a utility bucket (small one to save my back), but neither the hens nor I could figure out how that would work.  Too small, too pink.  I may be one of the few hen lovers who routinely rakes the chicken yard just so it will look "pretty", to me, since none of the girls has commented, ever, about clutter or sticky stuff between their toes.

All the brains of the bird committee agree:  NO!
Mud Monster relocated

Regardless, I raked up the remaining weeds and topical mud, found that the pitch fork (a requested-by-me Valentine's gift years ago--put that in your list of most unromantic gifts) was perfect for the job and comfy for my back, and relocated the mess to an area that had no hope of springing up tender shoots of grass.

Tidy hen pen with a fresh pile of grass
clippings--gift from a neighbor's yard


  1. fresh, Oregon mud -- do i miss it mid-winter? not really. yes, it is cold here mid-winter Massachusetts, but the sun is out, the ground isn't entirely frozen, but it's not muddy either, so no cluck-clucks with muddy hen yards. however, i wonder if i can still plant those iris bulbs that i failed to get in the ground in October? what's to lose? better in the ground with a hope of their growing than continuing to sit in my basement, in their box, with not a ghost of a chance of growing.

    hmmm, maybe that's what i'm missing, lacking that fresh, mid-winter Oregon mud.

    1. Shall I ship you a crate. We could dehydrate it (cost less to ship), and you could add the water. If you aren't quite up to hiking out to plant, even a shovel full of soil over the bulbs in their box might be welcome. My rule of thumb parallels advice for pruning: do it when your shears are share. So: plant when you have the energy.

  2. ah, what a good idea! i'll try that today. between dirt and mulch/maple leaves, perhaps they'll survive to bloom beautifully, if not this year, then another year.