After the most amazingly wet and cold spring ever, the sun is shining. Beautiful weather. I spent Thursday in the Bay Area on business, and got home late Friday afternoon. I put the rotary mower on the back of the tractor after 7 PM and got almost two hours of mowing done before the sun touched the western hills. These long days come in handy.
Things are awfully busy around here, and I was looking for a new PDA (Personaly Desktop Assistant, such as a Palm Pilot) to help me keep my act together. I have an ancient Palm-based Sony Clie, but it’s sort of big and heavy, and anyway I was looking to reduce the number of things I lug around in my shirt pocket — a PDA, an iPod, and a cell phone is too many.
Greg Hayslip at Chemilizer sent me an email about my problems with my chlorine-injector unit. Looks like the issue is that, when they say, “Lube the O-rings with silicone lube,” they don’t mean Vaseline. I figured it was something dopey like that. I’ll find out Sunday. (I need chlorine in the water to get rid of the slime bacteria that clog the filters that remove the smell (and also the chlorine) from my iron- and sulfur-rich well water.)
Man, I thought I’d seen everything. But this one’s weird. The life cycle of coccidiosis is interrupted if you move the chickens to a new patch of ground every day. Coccidiosis is a in intestinal protozoan parasite, and it depends on infecting and reinfecting the victims through feces. Not just any feces, either — feces that has been aged enough but not too much. The coccidia in the poop aren’t ready to reinfect the birds until they go through a life-cycle change, which takes about three days. With daily-move pasture pens, you leave yesterdays poop behind before (to get technical about it) the oocysts can sporulate.
Here’s an old trick that might help you: if you sprinkle hydrated lime on top of your compost heap, pets and wildlife won’t dig it up, flies won’t land there, and there will be no smell.
Not that compost heaps are supposed to smell if you do it right, but our compost heap has broiler-processing waste in it — such as blood, feathers, and offal — which are mighty tempting to your average raccoon. Trowel on some hydrated lime, and voila! Problem solved.