Compost bin design and pests

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by mi2bugz, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    Has anyone tried the compost bin design like this (or similar)?

    If so have you had a pest problem? Would you do anything differently?

    I heard planting mint near and around the compost bin will keep mice/rats away. Has anyone tried that and did it work?

    ~ Nicole
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Nicole-- not sure where you live, but I live in a rural area and mice and rats are part of the natural environment. THey find a way into most everything and we try to keep their numbers in balance. THey are opportunistic creatures , are many others too like opposus and racoons. Preventing access as in your disign will discourage them from trying again.

    I keep an open compost where then hens run to looking for the latest addiition, and they turn it over and we turn it over. Getting the new material under old material is helpful-- IMO the smell of fresh garbage draws the creatures in. I usually give all my stuff to the chickens-- in their run.

    Pretyy set up-- good luck-- compost is black gold!!
  3. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    Thank you! We are in a rural area and new to it so the field mice population is new to me. They are ALL over the place. How do you open compost with mice? just dont put leftovers in it? The mice droppings in the compost won't hinder the process or make it unusable? I know mice get in gardens so there are droppings in the garden so I assume if they aren't nesting in the compost it would be fine but new to everything country so not too sure. How do you keep the numbers in balance that won't harm the chickens? I tried the 5 gallon bucket but haven't had any luck :(
  4. Plough

    Plough Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2013
    San Jose, Ca
    I'm in an urban area so take my two cents with a grain of salt. I have a corner heap style open completely. I have had pests in the past (possum, raccoons) but the best way I have found to deter is just like what was said above. When I throw a fresh amount of bio waste on it, I throw a shovel or two of dirt over the top of it. Since I started that it's been a non-issue.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    If the chickens have the opportunity, they will eat the mice. You might invite a cat to live with you! I try to avoid putting smelly stuff from the kitchen in my compost. No meat products, no dairy according to the compost gurus. IMO, critters are a part of life. Mouse poop = more manure. Seriously, I wouldn't invite wildlife into my compost pile, but it's inevitable that the local wildlife will occasionally go shopping in your pile. Just consider that they are turning the pile for you. It's also a way to be aware of what kind of wildlife is wandering through your yard. When I see that my pile has been dug into by a mammal, (and you can tell the difference between the digging done by a dog or a coon, compared to what your chickens might do.) I know that I need to be extra diligent for predation. If I do have smelly stuff to dispose of, and want to be sure the nutrient value goes into my garden instead of to the dump or septic system, I dig a trench in a garden path, bury the stuff, throw on some mulch, and a bit of chicken wire to keep it from getting dug up b/fore the microbes get to work it over. Again, I think people take compost far too seriously. Especially re: the meat and dairy issue. When my cat gets carried away with his hunting, I either bury his left overs in the compost or the garden. I have no concerns about disease pathogens once they get into the ground and the microbes get to work on them.

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