how to compost da poop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jforsness, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. jforsness

    jforsness Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Hi fellow chickeneers. I'm hoping to compost the B's 'droppings'. The coop is cleaned every other day and I put the litter (straw) and poop into a 45 gallon plastic trash can. The can has drainage in the bottom and I keep the waste moist. It's not seeming to "cook", is there something I should add? Thanks! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  2. Big Red

    Big Red Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2009
    I have actually tried that method as you are doing and have come to realize that the trash can gives it too much moisture for it to be able to cook!!

    I've laid my mine out in the back yard on a few zinc in a pile and wet it a bit then let it cook away in the Sun. It work like a charm.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I bury mine and water it.
  4. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    time, why keep in garbage can why not keep in a pile outside
  5. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    i also keep mine in one pile outside.
  6. mythkat

    mythkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    It also probably needs more air circulation. Also layer it with plant waste like grass clippings. Keep it moist not wet and stir it once in a while. There are a lot of composting sites online.[​IMG]
  7. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    I collect droppings from under the roost and add them to a pile of leaves and kitchen scraps. I also cover them so they don't stink. I keep the pile damp and let the chickens climb on it. They do a lovely job of stirring it up.

    I'm impressed by how well the piles are heating up. I have a tree branch, about one inch thick, that I leave in the center of the pile. If it feels warm when I pull it out, I know I'm on the right track. So far, the compost looks really good; my spring garden will be the test of how effective this method is.
  8. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    I also use an old garbage can, mine is turned upside down, with the bottom (now the top) cut out. I added several 1 inch holes with a spade bit all over the sides. If I am reading your post and understanding it, with cleaning it every day or so, there would be quite a bit of bedding and straw in there and not a lot of "poo". Keeping it moist is helpful, but it takes a while for the straw and woodchips to heat up and break down. there needs to be a mix of stuff for the microbial action to get going, make sure there are some "greens" and kitchen waste in there with it all. I also have a big compost bin that I pile stuff in, and 2 of those fancy black ones with the adjustable lids for ventilation, and the trap door on the side to scoop out the compost at the bottom of the pile, but the garbage can works better than the others for me. Every week I pull the gabage can off of the pile of stuff inside, and reload so that it all gets turned and mixed, and I try to add some new stuff in as I go. Depending on the temp in your area, it may be difficult to get the temp in you bin up right now. Oh, if this is a new pile, get some finished compost or close to finished compost from a friend, or dig up some leaf litter and the black soil under it from the woods, it takes a while for the bugs and microrganisms to get started with out it. Once you get the pile going it is pretty easy to keep it composting with the rotation, mixing and so forth.
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    You may be cleaning the coop too often to have material that will compost easily. The carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio of the material can give you a better idea about composting your ingredients. An ideal C/N ratio for composting is about 30:1, or 30 parts carbon for 1 part nitrogen, by weight.

    That straw may be 100:1. There's lots of nitrogen in the chicken poop. It is probably 4:1 but if there's little poo and lots of straw - you aren't there yet. Or, you'll get there but it will take months and months and months [​IMG].

    If you want to clean the coop often - you may need to add something to the mix that is high nitrogen like bagged chicken manure (did I say that? [​IMG]). Or, you may want to use some ammonium sulfate. People with horse manure to compost (a low-nitrogen manure) and lots of wood shavings (a very low-nitrogen material) often use ammonium sulfate to raise the nitrogen level and speed up composting.

    Like Mahonri, I like to involve soil in the process [​IMG]. This part of the country is quite arid. Soil helps hold the moisture in the pile and it makes a suitable component in the finished compost.

    edited to add: compost chemistry
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  10. jforsness

    jforsness Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you all for the tips, ideas, advice and education. I think that I will incorporate another 'pile' to my compost area now. I have one for finished compost and one for yard/table waste. I will now add a 'fertilizer' pile and follow such wonderful advice. Thanks again fellow chickeneers!

    James and The 3 B's [​IMG]

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