Finding the right bedding to manure ratio for composting

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by areyoueye, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. areyoueye

    areyoueye Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Hello,
    I am looking for tips and tricks on the best way to compost my chicken manure and bedding. When I clean out the coop there seems to be a high bedding to poop ratio (too much bedding), so the mixture doesn't compost. I have 9 chickens in a 4x8 coop and clean the coop out each week.

    Am I cleaning it too often? If so what cleaning schedule do you recommend?

    Any tips/tricks on how to separate the manure from the bedding?

    Which bedding is best if you are going to compost? I've tried both straw and pine shavings. Neither seem to get cooking, and I simply do not have enough kitchen waste to compensate for the high amount of bedding (carbon).

    Also, I have added the bedding-manure mixture directly to the garden before as a nitrogen rich mulch. I've read that this could be bad for the garden, but has anyone's garden actually suffered from this?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If you put the bedding directly ON the soil, and not IN the soil, I think you'll minimize any negative effects. For grins and giggles, do some research on the Back to Eden concept.

    When composting, straw will break down much faster than shavings. If you're trying to compost your bedding, it needs to be as wet as a wrung out sponge, add your kitchen waste, weeds and any other high nitrogen amendments you can get your hands on. It will compost better if the pile is at least 3' x 3' x 3'. Small piles don't heat up enough. Other high nitrogen additives include grass clippings, urine, and/or ammonia.

    You might want to try switching to the deep litter method. Basically, instead of doing a complete clean out every week, add a bit more shavings or mulch as needed. Unless things get smelly, you don't need to add more shavings. Just stir (even better yet, have the chickens do it) things up.
     
  3. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    You could look into hemp as bedding, it should decompose quicker than the shavings. I can't determine your gender from your handle, but it usually doesn't take much to get the uglier sex excited about making nitrogen deposits in the compost bin, so that's an option too.

    Deep litter, or at least something resembling it is a good idea too. And if you want to quicken the composting process, and insulated bin will keep more of the heat in the pile.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Beauty, and Ugly are both according to the beholder!!! Neither beauty or ugly should affect nitrogen deposits!!!! Though the Y chromosome does confer certain benefits regarding ease of such deposits!!! One year, we couldn't get calcium chloride for melting ice, so, at the suggestion of the fellow at the store, we bought a bag of pure urea. 100% Nitrogen! I still have about 50# in a garden shed. That stuff is fantastic for putting with high carbon stuff to get it to break down. A sprinkling of urea, and a couple shovel fulls of soil will do an amazing job on a leaf pile over the winter.
     
  5. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    And my personal opinion is, that I find women more pleasing to the eye. Also, again, this is a generalization, and isn't necessarily true with everyone, but men are usually more easily amused by such things. Imagine a wife telling her husband "Honey, could you pee on this?". Now imagine the roles reversed. Which do you find more likely to come true? (Although I'm sure you squat on your bin all the time [​IMG])

    Yeah, that urea will do it.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    TMI!!!!!
     

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