composting question

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by eneville, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. eneville

    eneville Hatching

    Jul 14, 2012
    Maidenhead, UK
    Hi All,

    I'm both new to gardening and chicken keeping. As we raised our three chicks from 10day old hatchlings, we've accumulated a great deal of their bedding and waste. We over filled a compost container and had to move to a pallet constructed box at the other end of the garden.

    Whilst trying to do some research to find out what I'm doing wrong (as it doesn't appear to be breaking down much) I stumbled upon this:

    Has anyone else done this to generate a feed for their garden?


  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have found that the shavings take too long to break down for my taste, so I either throw it in the forest or bury it. Burying it works well, as it doesn't attract flies.

    I have not done grub composting. I have read that you need to layer in some dirt and things like grass clippings, leaves, etc. to make fast compost, keep it moistened, and turn it.

    For me it is a lot less work to bury it.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  3. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I have not tried using worms but do compost. The bedding does take longer to break down than other things.

    One thing to consider is how often you are turning your compost. If it gets overfilled and is not turned then no oxygen is reaching the packed material and it will not break down. Getting enough oxygen is an important part of the process.

    Also, give your compost a good smell. It should smell earthy. If it smells acidic there may not be enough in there to balance out the acid in the chicken poop and you can try adding in things like cardboard or many other basic materials that break down easily to help balance your PH. The bedding will still be a slow process but it could help.
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    You need brown + green to = compost. At least if you want it fast as the brown or green alone will eventually break down if you leave it long enough. If you've got mostly straw, pine shavings, chicken poop, leaves [aka "brown"] then you need to add some green matter to get things cooking. Cut grass, weeds, kitchen waste. Although usually the chicken poop will get most anything cooking.

    Compost needs some moisture but you don't want it too wet. And the more you turn it, the faster it will break down. Grubs and bugs will come naturally. Check the very bottom layer, bet there are already some critters there.

    We've been composting for years but began a new pile in June when we got the chickens. Recently, when my son went to turn it, the heat coming off it was so hot that it fogged his glasses.

  6. eneville

    eneville Hatching

    Jul 14, 2012
    Maidenhead, UK
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Hopefully I'll get this composting lark sorted :)

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