Thursday, June 15, 2017

Willow Witt Ranch goat barn cleaning day

Today was the day for cleaning out the goat barn at Willow Witt Ranch. The farmers had been adding small amounts of biochar to the bedding for odor control during the winter, but there was not enough biochar (about a half a cubic yard of biochar made last year) to make a big difference, although the workers reported it did help with ammonia smells. Due to the extreme wet winter, we were not able to make much biochar this year. Luckily, our friend Grant Scheve of Oregon Biochar Solutions decided to donate a 2 cubic yard tote of biochar to this project. Not only did he deliver the biochar, Grant even helped out with the barn cleaning!

Some of the biochar available from Oregon Biochar Solutions
Grant Scheve helped us shovel out the old manure pack. When you walk into the barn, the ammonia smell is not so bad, but when you start digging up the pack, a lot of ammonia is released and the smell can be overwhelming.

As we dug up the manure pack, we sprinkled biochar on top and the effect was immediate. Farm workers told us that in the past, they would wear respirators while doing this job, but the biochar really made a difference and we could do the job without respirators. 

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