I'm new to chickening (since May), and have 5 BOs, 2 of which have just started laying and the other 3 we are still waiting for.
I'm not so new to gardening, but this year my garden was just awful. I think it's because the soil needs to be renewed and there aren't enough nutrients for the plants. I've also have some pest problems (namely squash bugs and cucumber beetles), but that's another story. Also, for the past few years I have had CRAZY amounts of bees in my garden every day, and this year I didn't see a single one. I'm sure that was also partly responsible for the sad garden harvest this year, as well as the fact that my compost tumbler broke last year and I haven't been able to successfully repair it, so the garden hasn't gotten compost in 2 seasons.
SO.....I think I came up with a plan, and I wondered if more experienced backyard "farmers" might have some input. I thought perhaps it would save me a little $$ on pine chips AND help renew my garden over the winter by hand-picking (with gloves) the poop from the coop a few times a week, and only changing out the pine chips once every 2 weeks instead of the usual weekly. Then, I'd take the poop and small amount of pine chips I took out and rake it into my garden soil. I thought that would renew the nutrients, as well as prevent weeds from growing (if I rake it weekly over the winter and early spring).
If I just depend on rain/snow to water it, and rake it weekly, do you think this will be enough to renew the soil? Or will it be too much or create an imbalance in nutrients?
Like I said, we have 5 hens, and my current garden space is about 3 feet by 8 feet. I have a 2nd space next to it that still needs to be cleaned out (I removed the 7-year-old raised bed because the wood was rotted, and framed it out with that black vinyl landscape stuff that people use to border mulch around trees and such), but when I do, I will have another area about 3 feet by 6 feet.
Could it work, or do I need to make a new compost bin? :-(