Deep litter/compost question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CARS, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was wondering what would happen if you spread grass clippings in with the deep litter and let the chickens work it all together?

    Would it get too hot like a proper compost pile?

    I was just thinking that the chicken would enjoy picking out the greens and I would enjoy speeding up the compost process.

    Although, I guess it would be only work in summer and fall. Not a lot of extra grass in winter [​IMG] Which is fine because the deep litter method has not worked for me in the frozen tundra of MN [​IMG]
  2. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    I would think it wouldn't get hot because they'd be scratching around in it so much. A compost pile has to be pretty deep to heat up doesn't it? [​IMG]
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    My birds got into my compost piles and spread them out. I was constantly raking them back into piles. Also they were scratching up the newly planted plants. I start everything from seed so it was becoming a pain to keep planting. I decided to either fence in my gardens or the chickens. I decided to fence in the chickens. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    They'd eat most all of the grass clippings, is what would happen [​IMG]

    It is hard to get anything less than a foot deep to heat up meaningfully.

    If you want to speed up composting, the best thing you can do is to have your coop on a dirt floor, let your litter pile up to a foot and a half or more deep, and let it get REALLY pooey and the lower layers a bit damp.

    The basic problem you face is that optimal composting requires a lot higher moisture content and higher poo-to-bedding ratio than is ideal from a chicken standpoint.

    Personally I think it makes more sense to manage your litter in the way that gives you the healthiest conditions in the coop (which can still include letting it get deep!), then compost it outdoors in the spring for a couple months with extra N added. And design/manage your coop so you do not need that little bit of extra heat that composting a very deep very pooey damp bedding pack could give you.


  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    My littler from my coops go into my compost piles. I have several piles. I'm about to clean out my coops. The litter will go into one of the newer piles. I rotate the piles. The litter needs to compost for several months in a compost pile before I use it in my gardens. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
  6. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Maybe make a compost pile for the chickens, and add the grass clippings to that, instead? Whatever they don't eat can compost, and maybe what they do eat will eventually end up in the compost, too...

    cmom: I like the pictures on your page, such a variety! I'm very jealous of the blueberry bushes. I grow everything from seed, too. I just got my tomatoes planted in the garden [​IMG]
  7. cwc362

    cwc362 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    Huntingdon- West Tn
    Quote:YOu did just fine- YOur pictures are great!!

  8. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That is what I do already. I was just thinking about other options to decompose what is there "faster".

    Thanks for the responses everyone!

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