Composting-how big a pile could seven chickens support?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by missychicky, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. missychicky

    missychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Milwuakie. OR
    I want to start a compost heap but am unsure as to how big of one to make. My gardens is rather small, but I'm planning on expanding it so I don't need a huge pile. And any composting tips for a clueless beginer would be great.
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:A small pile would probably be about a 4x4x4, much smaller than that and they tend to dry out too fast. In addition to chicken litter you can add scraps from your garden, leaves, lawn clipping, etc. Materials that are high in nitrogen such as chicken manure and grass clippins need to balanced with materials with lots of carbon, such pine shavings, pine needles, leaves, etc.
     
  3. jeb251

    jeb251 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use the bedding in the coops, l use the deep litter method and clean the coops out in the fall, l put that on the garden and till it in, anything that isnt composted will do so during the winter, the next spring l have a garden that is ready to go
     
  4. missychicky

    missychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So you could use grass clippings as a starter? It has enough nitrogen?
     
  5. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just start piling stuff up...you can put some wire in a circle or whatever. I just make a pile and keep adding to it. When we clean barns we turn the whole thing a few times with our skid loader (we have a BIG pile) and it is composted up and goes into the gardens whenever I need more dirt!

    I was unsure what you meant by "how big can my chickens support." Are you talking about how big and they are the "turning mechanism" or how big a pile can absorb their manure? Terri O
     
  6. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Grass clippings, manure, used coffee grounds are all greens/nitrogen. I put all yard waste in my compost piles (have to look for carbon/browns to add). I get used coffee grounds from Starbucks, have 2 rabbits that give me manure that is not as hot as the chicken manure, my neighbor gives me all her grass clippings (we did away with all the lawn...just have flower and veggie beds).

    A 4x4x4 pile will shrink down to about 18" tall...we just screened a pile from what I screened in the Spring that had not completely composted...had some really great compost to add to the strawberry beds.

    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  7. missychicky

    missychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you give me an example of some brown/carbons?
    And I meant how much the pile could absorb
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  8. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Browns are manures and dirt. If you look up composting on Google it will give you TONS of info to get you started. What you dont want to use is dog or cat poop as a brown and dont use fat or meats from the kitchen. THe poop can contain bad stuff (especially cat) and the meat and fat can attract vermin.

    The compost I make is horse, sheep, goat, duck, goose, rabbit and chicken manure mixed with the straw, hay, leaves and shavings from the enclosures. The best stuff is probably 5 or 6 years old and it grows the BEST veggies and flowers on the planet! I have people that come and take it by the truckload (did I say I have a BIG pile [​IMG] ) for their gardens and for mulch.
     
  9. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Leaves, straw, hay, paper if you have to...it does not contain nutrients but it will help keep the pile from getting stinky from too many greens. I throw paper (paper towels, napkins, etc.) from kitchen in ours...saves the landfill. Out in my area we don't get a lot of leaves.
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Browns are actually the carbons. Wood shavings, leaves, straw, cardboard and the like.

    Green is the nitrogen. Lawn clippings, manure, old plants and the like from the garden.

    Lawn clippings are very high in nitrogen, as is chicken manure.

    You want much more carbon than nitrogen. Like one part chicken manure to ten parts pine shavings, or one part grass clipping to five parts mulched leaves. (That's just off the top my head, really me just guessing as to the ratios, there's no need to be exact). The nitrogen feeds the bacteria that breaks down the carbon.
     

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