I have a pooooo question


9 Years
Feb 24, 2010
New Haven, Vermont
How do i get it to heat up faster in the compost pile. I have a bunch of poo mixed with shavings that dont really seem to be doing anything.......jim s
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I'm not an expert, I tend to just throw stuff in and let it rot at its own pace, BUT I think you should try adding some green stuff - lawn clippings, veggie scraps, weeds, etc., keep it moist, and mix occasionally. You could also look for some 'composting enzyme' packets at your local garden store. I also throw in an occasional shovel full of dirt to get some good bugs in.
It is possible that the pile is too dry; but likely the biggest problem is too much shavings and too little poo. It really takes quite horribly filthy shavings to approach the ideal C:N ratio for a pile to heat up well. Most people clean their coops out long before that.

Solutions would include changing your litter management strategy, or adding manure (straight manure, no bedding) from some other livestock, or adding other very high-nitrogen materials, or even adding some high-nitrogen fertilizer or ammonia; or just waiting longer and not expecting much int he way of heating-up.

Also note that a pile has to be reasonable sized to heat up (at least a cubic yard to heat up *well*, at least 18" deep to heat up much at *all*) and if you are somewhere currently experiencing Wintertime then of course that also retards a pile heating up.

(e.t.a. - don't waste money on little packets of 'compost activator' or anything like that - it won't do anything that a shovelful of dirt mixed in with your compost won't do, for free

Good luck, have fun,

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ive heard once you have a good pile going pour a six pack of beer on it, no joke
budweiser is the king of beers, but im sure a cheaper brand would work
Pee on it???

Ok...compost works like this. There are 2 types of matter. Brown and green. Brown is stuff like sawdust, wood chips, dried leaves, dried grass. Green is fresh cut grass, vegetable peelings, fruit, coffee grounds, tea bags and yes.....chicken poop, cow poop, horse poop. (never dog or cat poop, they eat meat!) Too much green matter and you get a slimey smelly compost heap. Too much brown and it doesn't really compost at all. Too much water and you get a sloppy stinky messy (think swamp water smell) too little and nothing happens. It needs oxygen so don't pack it down...fluff it up. It can get up to 160 degrees at the core when composting properly. It shrinks as it 'cooks'. That's why it starts to look like there's less there. (that's a good sign) Most of the organisms you need for your compost heap can be found in a shovel of garden dirt. So, mix that in once in awhile.

Google one of the composting sites for exact directions...but that's the basic idea.
Lots of people mention moisture, and they are correct, but the key is keeping it moist, not wet. Oxygen is also an essential ingredient. You need to turn it over every so often to get some oxygen in there. Get out the pitch fork!

I pick the poo out every morning of 5 breeder pens with a gloved hand and sprinkle it around my ornamentals, fruit trees, and veggies where it won't contaminate, such as at the base of corn, peppers, etc.
I'll add only to prepped beds of lettuce, greens etc. and give it a chance to decompose before I plant. I only do a bit at a time and have had no "burning" problems, it's more of a slow, continuous feeding, and my plants do great. One of the reasons I got chickens was for their fertilizer

It takes me about 20 minutes a day to do this, but my coops are clean each day, my eggs are spotless because the hens don't walk through poo to get to the nest box, and I save on pine shavings. I top off every couple of weeks and do a total clean out every couple of months.

I did the compost pile thing a long time ago, and got aggravated with the maggots and pests it attracted, as well as the chore of turning, keeping moist and trying to keep correct carbon/green levels correct. I find it's much easier to compost "in situ". I mulch with other peoples leaves, tuck veggie scraps underneath, and sprinkle with chicken manure.

Just an idea for another way

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