Help with Composting chick droppings

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by valentehomestead, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. valentehomestead

    valentehomestead Out Of The Brooder

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    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!
     
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  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    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
     
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  3. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Student of Chicken Math Premium Member

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    Don't forget egg shells, table scraps, etc (no meat or dairy though).
     
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  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    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.
     
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  5. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Student of Chicken Math Premium Member

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    @cavemanrich we crush them up and mix them into their fermented feed...... only, we go through a LOT of eggs here... so lots of egg-stra shells... (see what I did there?!:lau).

    @valentehomestead read up on what you can and can't compost, and go from there. :D Good luck!
     
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  6. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    BTW chickens will not overdose on calcium when they eat crushed oyster shells, limestone grit, or egg shells. Only danger comes when chickens are fed processed calcium. EXAMPLE..... Feeding layer feed at 4% calcium to non laying hens and roosters. That is why I use Alflock at 2% and provide oyster shells free choice.
     
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  7. valentehomestead

    valentehomestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you guys!! I appreciate the input and great ideas.
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
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