Of Farm Animals, Compost, and the Results of it All

Composting makes all the difference in my garden. This year, we used well rotted goat/sheep/chicken/rabbit manure and bedding as well as green wastes from the kitchen for the majority of our homemade compost. Other items we tossed in from time to time included paper, coffee grounds and untreated coffee filters, wood chips, weeds pulled from the garden, etc. The compost then sat for almost a year before we decided we really should use it.

In the photo above, you can clearly see where the compost is already thrown down and where it has not. Since putting this down, we did brush the compost off of the leaves of the cabbages and broccoli that you see in the picture. A good watering came next. We are in no way done with laying down the massive amount of compost we accumulated over the year (it’s actually been very hot here so it’s been slow going), but we will get there. We collected the waste material used in making the compost by a large round area fenced in with chicken wire. We would just fork it all in there and let it be. No, we did not turn over the compost regularly – or even at all.

Dorper Sheep

Animals, such as sheep and goats, provide manure that is great for composting and then for use in the garden. Chickens and rabbits do too. However, the only manure you want to use straight off without allowing to break down well would be rabbit. Chicken manure is very hot and will scorch your plants if not allowed time to really compost well. We do not have horses so we have no experience with their manure, but we have used well-composted cow manure in our raised beds (mostly in the greenhouse). Cow manure can be too high in nitrogen for some plants. If using composted cow manure, you should probably add a little wood ash to balance it out.

Animals on a homestead are essential to the entire ecosystem. Without them, the land would have to rely on chemicals created in labs to fertilize and put nutrients back in the ground. Erosion would occur and people would suffer with poor nutrition as well as famine. I recommend watching the documentary “Biggest Little Farm”. It’s entertaining but oh so informing and inspiring.

This year, our summer has been busy. We have hatched out more pheasants, ducks, chickens, and quail than in the past few years. The Lady Amherst pheasants did not lay for the second year in a row, but the Golden pheasants and the Silver pheasants did well. We hope to see some of you at the swap meets in Shipshewana, Indiana and those across Michigan this season.


Published by Jeff and Rita

Rita is a wife, mother, homesteader, library branch manager, and freelance writer. She enjoys spending time in the garden and later preserving the harvest. Gardening, knitting, tending to chickens and other critters, and taking long summer walks are among her favorite activities. Jeff has had a long time love of waterfowl and gamebirds. He spends his time working full-time as a medical courier when he is not enjoying his collection of wild ducks and pheasants from around the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Farming & Homesteading + Faith & Family + Good Old Fashioned Country Living


Publicity and journalism. Журналистика и публицистика.



Food Substitutions

Upgrade your meals with simple swaps

Organic Gardening Advise

Love to Garden? Learn Some Helpful Tips And Tricks To Help You Get That Green Thumb

Lyd Eats Food

UK based food blogger. Always hungry, always eating, sometimes cooking.

Learning to write

Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV

Cook with Rekha

Complete Guide to Soulful Cooking and Baking

According to Brittany

Raising kids, homesteading and blogging

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

Life-Springs-Farm and Aviary

Species Conservation and Homesteading in the North

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: