composting questions I can't seem to find answers to.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chi town roost, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Chi town roost

    Chi town roost Hatching

    Jun 19, 2014
    with all the info I see about composting, I have two basic question I can't seem to find answer to.
    #1 when composting to small container like a tumbler or such. Do you add all your material at one time and then compost or can you add additional as you go along? If you do add additonal, how long and how much additional can you add and when do you stop.

    #2 If you don't add additional to a started mix what do you do with the poop before. Just keep it in a garbage can or what and can you get a prestart by adding grass clippings to it?
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    First off, let me commend you on your initiation into composting. It will do great things for your soil, as well as keeping a lot of good stuff out of the land fills. When it comes to compost, I could write an exhaustive book. It would have a lot of good useful information, and probably at least 1/2 of it would be wrong, according to conventional wisdom of the compost gurus. I can tell you that compost will happen, eventually, almost, no matter what you do to it. Stuff rots. The plan of a good heap is to get enough mass, with the right combination of nitrogen to carbon, and the right amount of moisture and air. With the right amounts of all of these items, that pile will heat up and put out some serious steam, kill any pathogens and weed seeds in the middle of the pile, and turn into black sweet crumbly sompost that will be a delight to work with.

    The ideal compost pile will be at least 3' x 3' x 3', and will have a method of getting air into the center of the pile. It will be as moist as a wrung out sponge. If it has too much nitrogen, or too much water, it will turn into a slimy putrid mess. If it's too dry or has too much carbon, it will just sit there and not heat up. If it's too small, it won't do much of anything. So, my advice, given your compost tumbler: fill it up, spin it around, as it settles, check on it, and add more stuff if you want to... or don't. You won't kill the stuff! But, don't plan on having finished compost in 2 weeks like all of the literature claims.

    IMO, the perfect blend to get a good compost going is to use grass clippings, dry leaves, and chicken poo. If I had an abundance of these materials, I'd heap them in a corner, and let them percolate for the winter, preferably with a clear plastic cover over the top. But, with my 16 chickens, and a huge lawn, and even bringing in truck loads of leaves from a friend last year, I never have an abundance of any of these materials!! They melt into the ground before I can get any saved up.
  3. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Songster

    Mar 24, 2014
    Rhode Island
    I have a dual-sided compost tumbler and I add materials as I get them...mostly non-chicken friendly food scraps and bits of yard waste with some chicken coop cleanings mixed in. It'll start to get full, then the microbes kick in and it's amazing how much you can add and add and it doesn't really get full.

    The dual set is nice....once it finally does start to get full, I start in on the other side. By the time side B is full, side A is pretty well broken down and ready for use.
  4. Chi town roost

    Chi town roost Hatching

    Jun 19, 2014
    thanks for the info
  5. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    Check out the sister site "The Easy Garden" There are several threads about composting there.
    1 person likes this.
  6. nayeli

    nayeli Songster

    Jan 18, 2014
    I just use a rubbermaide container... 2 actually. I do vermicomposting (composting with worms). I add material as I go. How much I add depends on how many worms I have. In general if the things you added last haven't decomposed and its a bit of material than wait.

    If you don't use worms a tumbler is great because it moves the stuff to help in decomposing it faster by ariating it ( I know I spelled that wrong)... worms will do that for you and eat it.. I also turn it over with a shovel every now and then though.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: