Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stinky Compost Surprise

There was a really bad smell in the coop. For a couple weeks it just got worse and worse. I would open the coop door and my eyes would begin to water.

At first I blamed Buffy, then I blamed the other hens. I looked underneath the coop for a spoiled egg or a sewage treatment plant. I searched every corner of the coop for a rotten egg.

Finally I gave up and just accepted that I could do nothing about the stench. Then I stepped out of the coop and tripped over a bucket next to the door. For a moment I thought an unwashed genie had just been released from a 1000 year old lamp. As my vision cleared I realized I was sprawled in the chicken pen with something truly stinkerrific next to me.
Compost in all the wrong places
As Doctor Dolittle gagged, I picked myself up and moved the bucket downwind. Inside I found a foul-smelling ecosystem of horse supplement and hay transformed by bacteria and water into a festering nursery for some kind of insect. After snapping a picture for science, I foolishly knocked the recalcitrant unidentifiable gunk out with a couple sharp taps. The pungent stuff caused Doc and I to flee the area.
Might have been horse vitamins once
I forced my way back through the foul fog. As I brought a shovel to bear, I realized I was not alone in my battle against the stinky compost. The flock was digging and scratching and clucking and eating maggots. Oh the chickeny joy!
Maggots are yummy?
As I watched in amazement, De sifted through the maggoty muck, mixing it with clean dirt and eating every one of the baby bugs. Seeing that the situation was under control, I bravely ran away.

While I felt a little strange about the source, the next day's egg was really delicious.