Composting questions...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by RookieFarmLady, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. RookieFarmLady

    RookieFarmLady New Egg

    Feb 19, 2016
    Hi all, I'm new here and new to composting. I have chickens and am trying to use the droppings and bedding for composting. Not sure if I'm on the right track or not. Need help please.

    I just used chicken droppings, wood shavings for the bedding and sprayed it down with water in my a 55 gallon drum tumbler. I have added some veggie kitchen scraps, eggshells, and coffe grounds. I turn the barrel twice a week. It has now been about 4 weeks in the barrel. Is this what it is supposed to look like?? Thanks [​IMG]
  2. lindalouly

    lindalouly Grd Ctrl 2 Major Tom

    I cant tell you cause I use a free standing combost but the key is enough green material to make it cook and water. You seem to have enough poop and brown material. Keep us posted.. composting takes a long time.... eventually it will work.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  3. majortaylor

    majortaylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2015
    I've always been told that egg shells should stay out of the compost mix as they take forever to break down. I inherited an old compost heap in my backyard and there are still egg shells in it from 5 years ago. Other then that, keep turning it and maybe get some worms to add to the mix to help break things down faster. I've even heard that urine helps the mixture... but not sure you want to go that far!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I've always heard coffee grounds are good - don't drink coffee so have no experience with it. No meat or fat drippings - will attract rats and smell badly.
  5. N F C

    N F C More coffee please! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    We have several free standing compost piles in various stages of decay. I do put egg shells in them but step on them first to help them break down faster. Since chick pooh can burn plants if used too soon, I let it sit for several months (in with the rest of the stuff) before tilling it into the garden.
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    You should add more browns and toss some dirt in there. I also throw in used potting soils. And when no browns available, shredded paper.

    I think Poop is considered a green - high nitrogen.

    Eggshells do not break down, even after a couple of years in compost they are still there - I just discard in the trash now.

    Coffee grounds are also a green - but a wonderful addition . I no longer place those in compost that is chicken accessible.

    Meat and fats also attract dogs, cats, fox, coyote, possum and raccoons.[​IMG]

    Do be careful and not add too much water, I once soaked mine down and it brings out poop odor [​IMG] .
  7. crystallove

    crystallove New Egg

    Sep 19, 2015
    Phoenix AZ
    I keep my compost pile in the chicken area, the girls like to sift through it, the stir it for me, and eat bugs in it. I do add my shells to it too, just dry them and crack them into small pieces. The soil under the top layer is dark and rich, never had trouble with it not breaking down.
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Chicken droppings are VERY acidic and too much can make your compost too acidic for many plants too, but it's easy to neutralise it if needed, just mix some wood ashes into the pile. Works very well and very quick.

    Have you got any comfrey plants? Pick a few leaves, put it in a container with water and let it sit until it's made "tea". Pour the resulting tea over your compost heap, the comfrey works as a compost activator and will speed up the break down process a bit. (Be warned though, the smell may startle you)

    Your chickens, in addition to helping by supplying droppings to the pile, will also help turn the heap for you, if allowed and they're quite good at it too [​IMG]
  9. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
  10. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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