How do I compost the poo

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by s6bee, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I wanted to start a compost with the poo I clean out of the coop. Can anyone tell me the best way to do this so it breaks down correctly, the type of container I need to store it in etc. Can I take shavings too or try to keep most of that out?

  2. Josie

    Josie Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    I have been using a lazy way of composting, just pile it up and wait. A problem I have noticed with the chicken poop is that I get a lot more weeds! So i am going to try to do a more hands on composting, wetting it down and turning it, hoping to keep it hot enough to kill the weed seeds. I throw in the shavings and haven't had any problems, but make sure that you balance it out with green waste.
  3. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    Another good idea is to add some worms to the pile, they help speed up the process. Also keep it watered and turned every so often. You can add coffee grounds and tea bags, potato peels, banana peels, apple peel, etc. What I am going to do if fix me a square floor, not very big, but I am going to attach some old fencing to the outside at the bottom and keep the two ends where I can open it and then i will fill it until the fall and when the garden is all harvested we will empty the pile into the garden and till it in and plant some blackeye peas.
  4. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    You can pile it up, or you can build a container. Yes, use the shavings, they break down too.

    If you take some wire mesh you can make a circle with it to hold the pile, the holes in the mesh should be small enough to not just let it all fall out. Some people will take a large trash can, and cut the bottom off, and use that to hold their compost. That way, when you want to get at your compost you can pull the can off and the compost will fall out into a pile.

    Ideally, after you pile it up and it sits a while, (month or so) you should turn it by digging it around with a shovel. This helps the pile break down evenly. When you turn it, you can see how well it is breaking down. Bigger piles break down faster, because they generate more heat inside.

    If the weather is hot and dry, hit it with the hose. Stuff composts best when it is damp.

    You can also add kitchen scraps to the pile as well. My hens get most of my scraps, but things like onion skins and tea bags and such I put in the pile.

    Compost will happen whenever you pile up organic matter. How fast it happens depends on the size of the pile, how often you turn it, what is in the pile, and how moist it is. But you can always just pile it up and forget about it for a while, that works too.
  5. Jillylam

    Jillylam Songster

    Mar 16, 2007
    Kingwood, NJ
    I do the large compost piles too. I found that I can't make it fast enough for the amount I need. Everything that can break down goes in. I have huge gardens. I have a few different piles going on at once. When one is big enough I stop adding to it and just wet and turn it now and then. Then I start the next pile and so on. By the time I heap up the last pile I'm ready to use the first. I also have a convenience store nearby that saves me all of their coffee grinds.
  6. Suisan

    Suisan In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2008
    I like having worms in the compost and other beetley things. But I am planning on sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth on the floor of the chicken coop to keep down mites.

    Am I correct in assuming that this will then kill off the worms?

    I'd rather have lice free chickens than wormy compost, all things being equal, but I've gotten used to seeing the bugs around the edges of the compost too.
  7. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Thanks guys, one last question, so if I keep a pile what about winter? Cover it and add the stuff from the coop througout winter? Will it do anything over the winter months being so cold up here in NY?
  8. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    My pile tends to freeze once it gets very, very cold. If I have stuff to compost, I just toss it on top. .

    When the pile thaws in the spring, it just kicks back into composting.
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    here is an article describing different systems (I live in the city and do all in my backyard so with my limited space and number of birds I use the "one bin" system described in the article and it works great though takes a wee bit longer as I just layer and do not mix it)

    I layer kitchen refuse (incl coffe grinds etc. but NO meat) with the shavings (and poo) and every now and then layer it with plain ole dirt (which immediately cuts the odor)
    Works a charm! (and I have never had a problem with it smelling awful)
  10. Dace

    Dace In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2008
    Since a compost pile heats up to about 140-160 degrees wouldn't that kill off the worms?
    I have a worm bucket that I keep in the garage... I feed them and they make me lovely compost.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008

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