Thursday, November 10, 2011
The Making of SUPER Mulch
Ruminants need grass and/or hay in their diets to provide fiber and roughage. In the summer they forage for their own out in the pastures. During the winter, they are housed in the barn and their hay is delivered to them. While they still go outside, there is not much grass for them to eat, and we restrict their grazing to certain areas in order to enable the summer paddocks a rest during the winter that will promote quick rejuvenation come spring.
When the sheep eat hay, they waste a lot. Occasionally, it would appear that it was not the taste or “mouth feel” that they were looking for and they drop it on the ground. Other times, the lambs use the hayfeeders as playpens and cribs, causing their mothers to look for food elsewhere. There is always at least one ewe that will help herself to the stored hay, pulling tasty tidbits from the hay bales that we thought were out of reach.
By the end of the winter, the waste hay and bedding has reached new heights in the barn.
The Boss refers to the waste hay and bedding as SUPER MULCH as it has little bits of “fertilizer” in it.
Every year, we use lots of the SUPER MULCH in the garden. Not only does it keep down the weeds, it provides some much needed organic matter and fertilizer to the soil. It really doesn’t seem to matter how much we use…the supply seems endless.
That might explain why, in some circles, it is said that barn cleaning “week” runs from January 1 to December 31…