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Deep compost turning

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gammond, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Gammond

    Gammond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when turning the material, do I turn the stuff at the very bottom as well? Or just the top layer? I've been digging down with my rake to the bottom everyone once in a while, especially under their roosts.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    What roots?

    Compost should be turned completely until it is finished.
     
  3. Gammond

    Gammond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roosts. Ok I will turn the entire thing.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry. I read that as roots. My compost bins sometimes have tree root incursion if I fail to turn them often enough.
     
  5. Gammond

    Gammond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How often should I turn mine? I have 26ish birds
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about compost piles, not deep bedding in the coop.
    It depends on your goals whether you have to turn or not.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About how many square feet are housing these 26 birds?

    As an alternative to YOU doing the digging, the birds would be happy to do that for you. Get yourself a 50# bag of whole raw oats and for that many birds, simply toss about a quart or so of those raw oats on top of the litter and let them go at it. They probably won't get half of them, but will spend a long, long time digging and scratching looking for the rest. The oats tend to drift to the bottom and they will scratch and dig all the way down there looking for them. It will look like it has been tilled when they are done with it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Gammond

    Gammond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    8.5x10 with free range outside during the day. Lots of banty mix.. they are happy.

    This is a great idea, as we are getting a 1,600lb bag of barley soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you are maxed out on birds for the space you have. You can use deep litter, but it has to be deep and it needs to be stirred often and won't last as long as some due to your high population of birds. Your first clue will be wet, caked over piles under the roosts and maybe the odor of ammonia or bad smells in general. That area under the roosts may benefit from a swap out now and then. Just dig that part out and replace it with fresh litter. Either compost what you take out, or spread it heavy on a garden area. Good stuff!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016

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