Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Coffee Chaff for Chickens

This afternoon I swung by Upcycle Northwest and met David and his giant garage full of coffee chaff and burlap bags. Man, it smelled good in there. And I'm not even a coffee person. 

[The coop, before the chaff addition, looking a little forlorn]

Upcycle Northwest works with local coffee roasters to find uses for roasting byproducts, including chaff (bean husks), burlap storage bags, and rejected beans. 
[Add a bag o' chaff]

A few folks have started using coffee chaff in their chicken coops, including Lyanda over at the Tangled Nest. Read her review here. Adding to coffee chaff's appeal is that it's free. A deal! 

[Much better!]

I also picked a few pounds of rejected ground coffee beans as folks have been touting it as an excellent (and heavenly smelling) fertilizer. I'm going to haul it over to dad's as he appreciates both good coffee and fertilizer. It was $0.25/pound too, not exactly expensive. Unless, of course, you'd like it by the ton. 
[Bailey approves]

David noted that the burlap bags make excellent weed barriers in gardens and compost after a few years, which is more than can be said for plastic sheeting. 
[Greta, trying to work her way past me and out into the yard. Sneaky hen]. 

I can't yet comment on the effectiveness of the chaff in the coop as I just put it down tonight. The girls were more interested in cruising the yard for a last nibble before bedtime but I'll give a full report once they've had time to give it a proper inspection. 

Upcycle Northwest is open about once a week. Check their website for coffee chaff details and be sure to read the instructions for finding the location as it's poorly marked. 
[And now, it's time for bed. Into the coop they go]