I'm looking at starting a compost pile. I've always fed my birds the leftover/scraps, and just tossed the coop cleanings into the garden, but I think I want to start a compost pile to supplement feeding the chickens. Plus I can imagine they do a really good job of keeping it turned. So, from what I've read on BYC, all I need to do is start piling it up. I do have a few questions though. We have rabbits too. Their poop piles are close to 2' tall under their cages. Can all of this go into the compost? Are grass clippings and fall leaves good for it? What else does my country residence lay waste to that I can put in there? Sawdust? Do I need to limit anything I put in it? And where should I put it? Downwind from the house I assume...lol. Does it need to get a lot of sun? Please advise!!!
Hi there and welcome! You should probably post this in Homesteaders thread - you will get many replies..
Composting can be as complex as you wish it to be. Some people say you have to 'turn it' every x days, the temp. should be x degrees. Too much for me.
I have built 3 bins each about 4 ft square. I used pallets secured by stakes. The rabbit poop can go directly into the garden at this time of year, btw. Basically, the compost consists of green stuff - grass clippings etc. & brown stuff - small twigs, dead foliage etc. they are supposed to be equal parts, but that doesn't always work out.
I pile it all in until the first heap is about 4 ft tall, then I start the second pile. I turn pile #1 as frequently as I remember - it will settle down quickly in summer, slower in winter. It does need sun and watering down occasionally in summer if you live in a dry area. The heap should not smell nasty unless you have thrown in something that shouldn't be there.
You can throw just about anything in except meat, fats, grease, dog/cat poop and any bodies larger than a mouse/vole. Those are the things that will attract predators to your compost which you don't want.
Hope that helps, I'm sure others with give you their 5cents worth too - enjoy!
Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.
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Sawdust will break down but does so slowly and will eat up a lot of the nitrogen from your compost while it does. I keep saw dust and wood chips in a separate pile and just plan on waiting longer for it.