The weather has been wonderful so far this fall, cool and sunny, perfect for producing great drifts of sun dried leaves. The drier the better. Each year I gather as many as I can store and put them under cover; less moisture extends their shelf life. Leaves are so useful and the chickens enjoy them so much.
A thick layer gets spread across the entire silkie pen, it does a fine job of keeping the mud at bay even after the rains start. In the main coops, I’ll dump a tote full over the fresh wood shavings after I clean each week for as long as they last, for feathered tidbit-hunters to avidly scratch and peck through. Woe betide any little bugs who have made their homes in those leaves.
Momma Barred Rock vacated her room at the hen hotel yesterday, taking her seven children, now ten or so weeks old, back to live with the flock. Good timing Momma! That gives me a good sized leaf storage room for this year. It can hold many wheelbarrow loads, there are four in there now and still a ton of space.
Of all the things we grow here in our muddy valley, the autumn leaf crop is one of my favourites. Looks gorgeous through spring and summer, and more so when it “ripens”. Zero effort to tend all year long, no seeding or weeding or slug war or watering or deer fencing required. Heck, leaves are even easier to grow than garlic!