|Grumpy stands watch over the poultry flock. Good boy!|
Well, it is an ecosystem abet a small one, but this tiny parcel of land (5 acres) is a living thing.
This is how it works:
The horses are the primaries. They graze the grass and weeds, leaving manure behind. Their bedding is spread to fertilize the grass. The manure spreader does it's thing, spreading grass seed, lime and wood ashes to feed the grass.
The chickens eat some grass, but mostly they kick the manure piles apart looking for bugs. Their favorite food appears to be fly grubs. The ducks eat a lot of grass, and every bug they can catch.
The geese are grazers who act as an alarm system and as walking fertilizer spreaders.
The alpacas are browsers who will nibble the weeds and now it looks like they will protect the poultry from minor predators. (I think of my dogs as minor predators.) I HOPE they will protect against foxes!
We get to eat the chicken eggs. I usually sell baby ducks and some mature pairs as well as the drakes that go to my Chinese friends. This year I'm hoping to sell duck eggs to the people at Heartland Whole Life Buying Club.
If all goes right I will have several baby geese to sell this summer as well. Last year only 2 out of 5 goslings survived. This year I've already got an incubator full of goose eggs. Any that hatch will be sold off to feed the rest of the flock.
It looks like Grumpy will provide a fleece for me to turn into yarn. I'll either sell the yarn or what I make from it.
This isn't big bucks by any stretch of the imagination. However, there's just enough money coming in to feed the poultry.
That's good enough for me.