Help with Composting chick droppings

valentehomestead

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2017
7
14
31
OK, so my township requires that all chicken droppings be composted. I have never composted before so this is going to be a new venture, right along with the chicks. Not to sound stupid, but how do you start..I can buy a composter, and the stuff you put into it, but do you add dirt? How much? Do I have to remove the pine shavings from the droppings, or can I throw them all in..Sorry if I sound like an idiot, I kinda feel like one, but I need to get this started before I am inspected (If that ever does happen)..

Thank you for any help or direction!
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
11,971
31,230
1,127
Melrose Park Illinois
If you have a yard/garden area find a spot far away from house and start there. Reason for the distance is the possibility of compost odors not being very favorable. Dump all into a pile and add grass clippings on top. Decomposition will start on its own. Just add all your chicken clean-out as often as needed. Include pine shaving as well, as ALL will decompose and turn to good garden fertilizer.
WISHING YOU BEST..... :welcome
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
11,971
31,230
1,127
Melrose Park Illinois
Don't forget egg shells, table scraps, etc (no meat or dairy though).
Agree with everything except the EGG SHELLS.. Those need to be crushed and fed back to chickens. Its like secondarily processed calcium supplement. :yesss: Some peeps dry and bake their egg shells. Then they crush them. I just crush them on the ground with my foot and chickens wolf them down. Remember that chickens pick up grit, and crushed oyster shells, and do not encounter a choking hazard.
 

TalkALittle

Songster
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
704
191
Massachusetts
I would suggest more than just a casual pile in the corner of your property. It's likely that your township has the requirement in order to prevent poop from piling up and creating odor and attracting vermin. If you have a chance of being inspected you may want to create a designated bin system. They can be expensive tumblers, simple wood and wire fencing bins, or even simpler rings of welded wire or chicken wire held in place with stakes.

Designate two areas. You'll add new material (poop and dried yard waste) to one. That's your active pile. When it gets full stop adding to it. It will need to sit for a bit (with occasional turning with a pitchfork) in order to compost. While it's composting, you'll add material to the second area. It's now your new active pile. By the time that one is full the first one will be done composting and you can spread, sell or give away your compost.

You may also want to pick up two sections of drainage pipe. (The pvc pipe with holes all along it.) lay it across the pile when it is about half full and keep piling material on top. It allows air to reach the middle of the pile and promotes composting action.

If you want to, you can pick up a composting thermometer/hygrometer combo to monitor the conditions in your pile. That will tell you if your getting temps that indicate decomposition or if you need to stir or add water to the pile to encourage microbe activity.

You may choose to buy a commercially available compost additive to "jump start" your pile. It's not necessary if you are composting directly on the ground but can be handy if you are using a tumbler or things aren't composting at a rate that suits you. Once you get a good pile going though, you can just use a bit of old compost to jump start the new pile if you think you need it.

If you are inspected but have these things:
Designated "old" and "new" pile
Pitchfork and aeration tubes
A bucket/hose and thermometer

there will be no doubt that you are actively monitoring and maintaining compost piles and not just letting all the poop pile up.
 

Mahlzeit

Songster
Jul 16, 2007
1,420
68
216
Long Island NY
If you have a yard/garden area find a spot far away from house and start there. Reason for the distance is the possibility of compost odors not being very favorable. Dump all into a pile and add grass clippings on top. Decomposition will start on its own. Just add all your chicken clean-out as often as needed. Include pine shaving as well, as ALL will decompose and turn to good garden fertilizer.
WISHING YOU BEST..... :welcome
If your compost pile has unfavorable odors your carbon to nitrogen ratio is off. A correct compost pile should not have a foul odor at all.
 

Mahlzeit

Songster
Jul 16, 2007
1,420
68
216
Long Island NY
OK, so my township requires that all chicken droppings be composted. I have never composted before so this is going to be a new venture, right along with the chicks. Not to sound stupid, but how do you start..I can buy a composter, and the stuff you put into it, but do you add dirt? How much? Do I have to remove the pine shavings from the droppings, or can I throw them all in..Sorry if I sound like an idiot, I kinda feel like one, but I need to get this started before I am inspected (If that ever does happen)..

Thank you for any help or direction!
Does your property have a lot of trees? Using your dried leaves as your bedding in your coop is cheaper and much better than pine shavings. They also break down faster in your compost pile and your chickens will have a blast scratching them into a million pieces.
 
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