Buckets of Chicken Poop covered in Sweet PDZ - how to compost?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Shaylynne, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Shaylynne

    Shaylynne Just Hatched

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    This is my first year with chickens and I have a few buckets full of chicken poop scrapped off the poop board that are covered in sweet PDZ. I am unsure how to compost this effectively. I would like to add it to my garden, but I don't want to burn all the roots with high nitrates.

    What's the best way to go about this? Should I just toss it out with the garbage?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Oh heavens NO! You have some buckets full of valuable poop! My understanding is that PDZ binds the nitrogen and releases it slowly. Do you have a place to make a compost pile? It can be something as simple as just dumping it in an out of the way spot, or you can make an enclosure for it out of fencing, or hay bales, or pallets. I'd try to have it as close to the garden as possible to make your gardening easier. Simply layer that valuable poop with kitchen scraps (non meat. give the good stuff to your flock, and save the yuck for your compost.) You can also add any chicken bedding, but go light on shavings as they take forever to break down. Also add: grass clippings and dry leaves in season, and what ever compostable materials you can get your hands on. You want the compost to be about as damp as a wrung out sponge. I particularly like the idea of building the compost bin with hay bales b/c they can eventually become part of the compost. An effective compost pile will be about 3' W x 3' L x 3' H. If it's larger, you will need to incorporate air into the middle, and if it's much smaller, it doesn't heat up and hold the heat as well. I've not used PDZ, but all of my reading says it's fine to go in compost, as well as the garden. As far as any bedding you remove from your coop... If you have a run, and the birds have stripped the grass, you can put all of the bedding in the run, and add your compostables to it. they will create a wonderful compost for you, they'll have a blast doing so, and it will make your run soil healthier, help to eliminate parasites and disease organisms, as well as giving the flock beneficial bacteria and fungi for their guts.
     
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  3. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was a great reply--you should join The Easy Garden and follow composting with us, too!

    Since you have property enough to keep chickens, please understand that we gardeners compost everything except meat and fats. It took me awhile to understand how plant materials break down, but the most important ingredient is TIME. There are methods to speed up composting but ALL OF THEM are very time consuming and labor intensive.

    I also keep horses and I know that horse manure, left piled for but turned, breaks down for use in 4 months. Chicken manure, I think, takes a little bit longer bc it's more acidic.

    ALL vegetable leftovers (except maybe hot peppers) from your kitchen should be "composted" as chicken treats. Bad and even gooey lettuce, sweet peppers, celery and stale bread make great treats for them. I even made too much oatmeal the other day, poured it out for my 9 birds and it was gone in 5 minutes.

    Definitely you want to study up on composting. The NUMBER ONE product that people throw in the garbage and should never go to a landfill is paper, made from the same materials as chicken bedding, wood. Paper is the "brown" that you mix with vegetable matter, the "green" to create good compost.

    Btw, in the 17 years I have kept horses in the backyard I have dug into piles of composted stall leavings and found pine shavings 5yo that weren't broken down yet. NOTHING WRONG with that, since you could still garden with it, but they DO take forever to break down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Just about the only thing that makes it into our trash is shiny (plastic coated) paper, and plastic... Well, yeah, cans also. but, I even try to recycle glass jars. They make great vases for those boquets that land on my table often, and if I buy any processed spaghetti sauce, I try to buy a brand that comes in an Atlas canning jar. What we don't burn, we compost or feed to the chickens. A lot of stuff goes to the local recycle center. I never have enough compostable material for my yard. during the summer, when we go to the dump, I often take 4 - 5 trash cans and fill them up at the compost center. We are blessed to have a huge parking lot where folks dump their compostables: leaves, grass clippings, stable litter, wood chips. Mountains of it. The manager of the transfer station uses power equipment to turn those mountains. I can back the truck up, step onto the mountain, and just start shoveling. The steam will come rolling out of those piles when they are opened up.
     
  5. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Yes, you're right. The Sweet PDZ (Zeolite, actually. "Sweet PDZ" is a trade name, like band-aids) Binds with the nitrogen. This is how it keeps the smell down in your coop. Over time the ammonia itself breaks down as the nitrogen is released. From what I'VE heard, the addition of the zeolite can actually improve the quality of the compost because of this as it allows the nitrogen to be absorbed into it better. It's Diatomaceous Earth ("DE") that you don't want in your compost pile, as it would kill off any beneficial 'composting bugs'.

    That's what I do. It's also why I pay a little extra for CoopKlean bedding. Not only because it already has the PDZ in it, but it is also made of short cut grass, not straw. I also have poop trays under the roosts which are filled with granulated zeolite. They keep the poop out of the bedding so I don't have to change it as often. The zeolite makes cleaning easy, just scoop it out like a kitty litter box. You would be amazed at how much poop 11 chickens can produce in just one night, enough to almost fill a 1 pound coffee can!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  6. Shaylynne

    Shaylynne Just Hatched

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    Thank you so much for the replies! Sorry for my delay in getting back, I have 3 little kids and 2 of them got sick, ugh!

    I love the information about putting the deep litter into the run to let it finish composting! I'm definitely going to do that! You're right, I can see the chickens having a heyday. I live in a neighborhood, will the smell be minimal like in the coop with deep litter?

    I think I will build compost pile along side my garden. Is there a way to tell when the nitrogen has broken down enough to be able to use in a garden and not burn it? I have about 15 gallons of chicken poop covered in pdz, probably 25+ once I get to my garden this year.

    I never would have thought to compost paper. My kids bring home so much paper from school that mostly ends up in the trash can, any tips about composting this correctly?

    I like that info about CoopKlean for the future, I'll have to look into that.

    You guys are great! Thumbs up! :)
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Using DL in the run will eliminate all odor there. Your compost will be broken down enough to use when the ingredients in it are indistinguishable. it should be like black crumbly soil and have a nice clean soil smell. Paper: simply tear it into strips and put it into the compost. You will need a lot more high carbon material than you do manure. Do a simple google search on how to make compost.
     

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