composting and chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by meredithfp, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. meredithfp

    meredithfp Out Of The Brooder

    46
    2
    34
    May 22, 2011
    I posted a more specific question about my particular space but I wonder if anyone has anything more general to share about composting with chickens. What do you do? What is the best set-up? Is your compost heap right next to your chicken run or do you make use of the chicken droppings without throwing them in the compost pile first? Do your chickens get first pass at your compost or is it better to keep compost and chickens separate?

    I'd love advice!

    Meredith
    http://www.lifelessmessy.com
     
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,079
    18
    218
    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    Mine do turn it for me...I have heard it's ok...and not ok...but mine have been pecking and turning compost for a long time now.I have my compost on one side of the yard...I had it all in a corner but the girls have done an awesome job of turning/mulching for me [​IMG] They also eat the fly larvae from it....
    ETA The chickens are free-range....
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A compost pile is wonderful to have near the chickens. Just make sure you have sides on it outwise the hens will kick the contents everywhere! The chickens love the bugs and some folks, like us, even stop at the produce dept of the gorcery store and pick up trimmings to add, for the chickens to eat and for additional material. Throw the poo in too as it's too hot to apply direct to growing soil and needs some tme to breakdown.
     
  4. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    8
    101
    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    I started a compost pile in one corner of my vegetable garden. When I clean out the coop and run, I just throw it in a bucket, and take it to the garden. I'll also put all my not so good vegetables from the garden, in this pile too.
    Next early spring, I'll get it all tilled into the dirt and prepare for the garden.
     
  5. FiveAcres

    FiveAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    0
    79
    Jun 13, 2011
    White, GA
    My grandfather and I tested the power here of direct, aged a bit, closeby, and none at all....

    We had a compost pile that was in the back of the orchard..... what was there was aged quite a bit as you when down the line with the newest being on the right side.... It was about 8 feet long so we, and the chickens, could flip it and turn it.... We had some thornless blackberries that were in rows and we decided to test them for production... We put some newly gathered poo on one row in rows about 6 inches from the stalks and then watered to smooth it and work it in....

    Then we used some of the aged and did the same thing.....

    Then we put more of the new and used combined in a flat row about 10-12 inches (shovel width) and then did not water that right away but let the chickens have at it....plus I was out into the grass a bit at that point and knew that the mower would take out whatever did not take to the ground in the next week or so....

    Then one row we did nothing ....

    The row that did the best by far was the mixed and indirect.... it loaded up the soil with nutrients but did not burn it as it was far enough away from the stalks to overpower the plants. The newly applied did second best with the aged mighty close behind....

    The nothing row produced considerably less....we measured the success by number of gallons produced.... going forward, I will always mix new and old together for the best combination as what worked for us there..... At the end of the season we tilled everything under and started all over again... [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by