1. chickensonblue

    chickensonblue Just Hatched

    Apr 26, 2017
    How do you compost your chickens' waste? I have my chicken coop in the center of my garden. I plan to compost the waste to use for my garden. Does anyone have any compost setups you recommend. I plan to let the chickens roam the garden to help fertilize in the winter and keep them in the inner part in the summer using the tunnel to exit to roam the yard when we are home.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    The "deep litter method" is a great way to create excellent garden materiel as it essentially composts in place....I would suggest taking gander at the various threads on the topic here on BYC to see if it sounds like something you might want to try.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know how much you know about composting. Basically microbes eat carbon (called browns) and convert that into rich dirt, using nitrogen (called greens) for energy. To do that they need a certain moisture level. If it is too dry the microbes cannot live and reproduce. If it is too wet the microbes cannot get enough oxygen so a less desirable type of microbe takes over and turns everything slimy and really stinks. So moisture level is important. In your chicken wastes, the manure is the greens and the bedding is the browns. There are certain ratios of greens and browns that are optimum, but any mix will eventually break down as long as the moisture is right. Really high proportions of greens often make it harder to control the moisture though. There is some trial and error involved in learning what works for you. You don’t mention where you are located, your climate can play a part too. Are you wet or dry or what are your winters like? What do you use for bedding? We all have to find our own tweaks.

    As OGM mentioned, the deep litter method is one way to do this, either in your coop or in your run. That’s definitely worth considering, in your garden like that you can just toss garden wastes into the mix. Your chickens will eat what they want and the rest will compost. But the key is moisture.

    I don’t use the deep litter method, my coop is too dry. I use wood shavings for bedding and use droppings boards to collect pure poop. I collect the pure poop from the droppings boards and put that in my conventional compost pile. I have two compost piles, one is the working side and the other is the bin I use to collect stuff (poop, garden wastes, kitchen wastes) for the next round of composting. When the working side is done I bag it up in chicken feed bags and start another round.

    I don’t clean my coop out every year, with the droppings boards, relatively low chicken density (I have a large coop and don’t overcrowd it so I don’t have a lot of chickens pooping in there), and by keeping it dry I don’t have to. But when I do it is late fall. I put that in my garden and till it in. By planting time, usually about this time of the year, it has broken down and I can safely plant in it. I do not put it on the side where I’ll put my cool weather stuff, the cole crops, carrots, beets, peas, potatoes, early greens, stuff like that. Those usually are started in February here. I put it where the tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, sweet potatoes, things like that will go so it has time to break down.

    I believe anyone that gardens needs to have some sort of composting going on and chicken poop is a great ingredient for that. Good luck!
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I have a coop and run that I move from year to year. My coop is on a metal trailer frame. My run is made up of wire panels held together with a pair of these at each juncture. Some years I just relocate the run and leave the coop stationary.

    I have a lawn tractor with a grass catcher. I dump some of my grass clippings into the run from time to time. It harbours earthworms and serves as scratching and compost medium while the chickens forage in the run. I plant a vegetable garden in the vacated spot where the run was the previous year. This picture is worth a thousand words. You can see the deer and where my chicken run was previous year; The metal shed (left background) is where the coop is stationed the following year. This method cuts down on ground preparation and weeds. Plants come up so fast that you have to jump back when planting for fear of them striking you under the chin and rendering you unconscious.


    I also use the nylon mesh bag the chicken feed comes in as a tea bag. I partially fill fresh chicken manure in the bag and submerse it in a 45 gallon drum. The water only can absorb so much manure until it becomes saturated. This method insures you do not damage your plants when watering. I use 2 liter pop bottles with the bottoms cut out placed adjacent to my tomato and cucumber plants. I remove the caps and shove the pointed funnel end into the ground next to the plants to serve as waters I then top them up with the manure tea from time to time.

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  5. chickensonblue

    chickensonblue Just Hatched

    Apr 26, 2017
  6. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just pile their used straw with a few mostly composted food scraps in a pile on my property. Since I've only had chicks for just over 12 weeks, and the only moisture it receives is natural rain or snow it hasn't broken down all that well yet. I'm in no big rush.

    If you follow/visit Justin Rhodes on YouTube, he has a video about a gentleman that feeds 600 chicks on compost without any grain. Apparently he's been doing this since the 90s without an ounce of grain and has done it with as many as 1,200 chickens. :eek:

    Edited: typo
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
    RUNuts likes this.

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