How to Compost with Chickens?

sophiaw00

Songster
Apr 27, 2015
548
45
108
Illinois
I don't know where to put this thread but thought this was the best place. If it's not, moderators feel free to move it!

Today I was sitting out with my pullets, they are 6 weeks old, and as I watched a few of them get up on the roost and take a nap I started thinking about how I would collect the poop from under the roost without taking up space in the coop. I really like the idea of the poop hammock and poop board but I just don't feel I have the room for that in my coop (I have 8 chickens that will all be pretty large when full grown and a 4 by 8 coop). Last year when I had rabbits (they've since passed away) I used plastic storage containers for their little boxes (yes, they were litter trained). It worked so great. To clean their cage, I would simple pull out the storage containers, dump it in the woods, refill it with hay and give it back to the rabbits. I was thinking about putting one of those under my roost (my roost is ladder style). Every morning when I go to let the girls out into their run, I could grab the poop bucket, dump it, and replace it. The thing is...my mom wants to start a garden this year, so I want to start composting.

I know NOTHING about composting.

My coop is inside my run, which is made out of 6 dog kennel pannels (chain link fence, 10 feet wide, 7 feet tall). The run makes a hexagon shape so that it is wider by the doors to make it easier for me to get in the human door and the chickens to get out the chicken door. The run has two doors in it. One, the front door, is obviously in the front of the run. The back door is right behind the people door going into the coop. It would be that simple to just grab the poop bin, go out of the coop, turn around, open the run door, and dump it. I was thinking I could put a large plastic storage box outside the door that I could dump in. I wouldn't really be composting much food because we really don't waste much food at my house, we only buy food for a few days at a time so nothing goes stale, so the compost bin would really only hold chicken manure and hay/pine shavings/straw.

Now here's my questions:

Will the above process work and be as easy as it sounds?
What qaulifications does a compost bin need? Does it need light? A lid? No lid?
Do I need to do anything besides throw the manure in there and let it sit?
How long before it is composted?
Can the materials inside the compost bin get wet with rainfall? Do I need a water tight lid?
Anything else I should know?

Sorry for all the questions!!
 

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