Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Horse Feathers!

We have a euphemism in our family for horse sh*t.  We say horse feathers.

Papa Pea brought home a lovely trailer load of horse feathers Sunday afternoon.  Wahoo, is it nice stuff!

Since we don't have any large animals, we never really have enough manure to use as fertilizer or in making as much compost as we want.  We'd been planning on getting some horse manure from a nearby source for a while, and last Sunday turned out to be the day to do it.

We've got plans to expand our garden/planting area and ideally we wanted to have the new areas plowed up and ready to receive the manure.  But dang and drat, getting that done just hasn't happened yet.

So.  Where to put the horse feathers manure?


We decided to unload it in a corner of the poultry pasture near the planned, new, to-be-plowed up areas.

Well, the chickens took one look at the lovely pile of interesting stuff to explore and sort through, and we soon saw we had a problem.  I'm sure it would have taken them less than a day to scatter the whole pile all over their yard.


Hubby made a quick trip to the Fence Storage Area (ha, like we really are that organized) and brought back and put up some portable net fencing.  It made the chickens mad to have this great looking heap beyond their reach, but it had to be done.

Strange thing to feel good about, I suppose, but we both are more than happy to have that big pile of horse sh*t feathers in the yard.

26 comments:

Carolyn said...

I had a GREAT looking pile of mule feathers & wasted hay in a corner of the new garden. Which is not fenced in. The chickens did me the "favor" of broadcasting the entire pile....which only got to compost for like twenty minutes before they tore into it.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I got some horse manure from a guy a few years ago and it killed every thing in the patch that I used it on. Potato plants looked like alien plants before they died. I since learned that some people feed hay that has been treated with weed killer at some point and it stays in the grass, kind of systemic maybe. At any rate the poison passed through the horse and was in the manure. You may want to mix some manure up with dirt and plant some seeds to give it a test if the people don't know if they sprayed the hay field or where the hay came from.

Tombstone Livestock said...

I have sheep feathers lots, and lots and lots of sheep feathers ........... want some?

I have been wondering about lenght of time to let it compost before planting, farm bureau news letter last week recommends 9 months before planting in it. I need to go back and bookmark that article.

DFW said...

I have a good neighbor that has his own plus other horse feathers delivered to his house that he has offered me to come get for my small garden beds. Love neighbors!

Michelle said...

I am so glad you posted this. We are getting ready to compost our side garden with chicken poop for next year. It never crossed my mind to use horse feathers.( cute name lol ) We have a horse boarding stable a couple blocks away. Think I will be paying them a visit.

Freedom Acres Farm said...

I have cow feathers?!!? Wish you lived closer so I could share :-)

Sue said...

And you know how we love our Donkey Feathers!
Ha-love all those that get excited about "feathers"!
Our propane guy freaked and actually said "ewwwwwww" when he found out what was all over my beds.
City boy.
LOL!!!!!

Stephanie said...

LOL see, you are not the only ones to covet those horse feathers! I would be excited too, since I don't have a readily available supply. Need to find one locally, so I can do the same thing you do, until I get my own critters.

Lisa said...

What I also took from reading this post, is that ya gotta feel terrific to have outwitted those chickens too! :) Love the photo of the chickens on the "other" side of the fence. Am envious of your horse feathers... that will give your new garden a great start.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Are they the cutest, little creatures the way they can tear apart something you want to stay as it is in a matter of minutes? Gotta love the little bird brains.

Mama Pea said...

Sunnybrook Farm - You are so right. Great info to pass along. When we're trying so hard to keep all of our homesteads free of poisons and toxins, we have to be sure to look at the "whole picture" 'cause there are still a lot of folks out there that feel using weed killers and such is okay.

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - This manure has been "composting" for a while already. And the new plots we plan to use it on won't be ready for planting for at least two years. (No instant gratification when it comes to preparing soil, is there?)

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Good neighbors are worth their weight in horse feathers .. . oops, I mean gold! ;o) We're bartering for the manure we get from these folks. They are getting a pie and cookies for their freezer. Love to do it that way.

Anonymous said...

Horse feathers is a phrase used for saying that someone is giving you a line of foolishness - not for manure. Can't we just be grownups and say manure and not giggle and pretend that we are saying something silly - like a 7th grader.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - We have all the chicken poop we need but an infusion of horse/goat/cow manure never hurts!

Most folks with large animals are more than happy to have you come and haul away some "feathers!"

Mama Pea said...

Freedom Acres Farm - There's always UPS! ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Wonder what your propane guy's reaction would have been if he had spied some foul looking/smelling chemical toxic stuff spread over your beds? (Oh, I'm bad. And so against using poisons on our good earth.)

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - The more you get into gardening now, the more you'll learn of good sources near you, I'm sure of that. Then before you know it, you'll have animals of your own and produce your own "feathers!"

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - It was rather amazing to see the "damage" they were doing to the pile in short order. But how can you blame them? They were just doing what comes naturally to them.

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - Do you not allow any silliness or fun in your life? Too bad. :o(

Susan said...

When we were kids, my dad used to get a pile of horse feathers delivered and dumped in the driveway in front of the garage. We lived in one of those cookie cutter developments - you know, two styles of houses set out ABABAB ad nauseum. It used to drive the neighbors crazy. But our garden was the BEST!

(And, AMEN, Mama Pea. Life without silliness is too grim to consider.)

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Now I know where you got your love of the earth from! My grandfather would have been one to do something like that . . . if he hadn't been so afraid my grandmother would have killed him for it. They lived in a typical residential area but Grandpa yearned for the country life. When we first married and got into the "homestead-y" thing, my mom said that if Grandpa were still alive, he would have moved in with us, worked himself to death and died a supremely happy man!

I say hooray for horse feathers dumped on a driveway!

Lisa said...

Hey, have you thought about putting them to 'work' when you have your garden plowed.... just move the pile en masse and let the chickens do the 'spreading' and 'tilling'. :)

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Ya know, that is a darn good idea!!

The Weekend Homesteader said...

My chickens would laugh at that fence! They would be rolling on the ground holding their wing feathers to their bellies laughing at that fence, and then they would promptly fly over it and get to work. I would love a mound of horse feathers like that!

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - Please don't let your chicken send my chickens instructions on how to get over that fence! This morning I did notice one of our month old chickies inside the fence on top of the mound. I'm assuming he/she walked right through the fence!