My evergreen hedging plant nursery

Do you love the poop?

  • Yes

    Votes: 11 91.7%
  • No

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Gross dude

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    12

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,493
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
The whole reason why I got chickens was because I needed compost. I will sell hatching eggs, chicks and chickens to pay for chicken feed and straw that way my composting project costs me nothing. When growing plants the highest cost overhead is the soil you grow the plants in. I found how to get pots free and the cuttings cost a little bit as I have to buy sand and rooting hormone. The plants I choose to grow are plants chickens that will not eat. So I discovered Chickens will not only produce compost but they will also weed my nursery. They will scratch up leaves so they compost much faster. in 6 months they are broken down and then another 6 months in a compost pile mixed in with manure and leaves are already to go. By themselves leaves take 2 years to break down.
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These are 2 year old Thuja Green Giant arborvitae, next year they will be ready to sell for $9 a piece to a wholesaler. Retail they go for much more but retail isn't my cup of tea.

The chickens are a very important part in the production of those plants in my nursery.
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once a day I move a few pots over and chickens start scratching for bugs and worms under the pots. when they scratch the ground and get everything they start eating the weeds in the pots. just takes 2 minutes to move a few pots each day and after month I have gone through the whole nursery. This beats weeding every pot every day, and I spend less on feed.

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Every day I add a bag of leaves in fall, until they are overwhelmed and can't really scratch them anymore. Then I add a bag from time to time as these break down. The use of scratch grains will get them scratching like crazy to get to the bottom where the scratch grains end up. I add bird seed to my scratch grains because they will germinate during the warm spells we have in winter and they get a bit of fodder feed too. And They eat a few bird seeds too. In a few weeks these leaves will be broken down and covered in manure. Sometimes I clean out the coops and throw it in the run and they scratch that up too making a nice composting mix. In the summer I throw in grass clippings.

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A log from a neighbors tree has rotted just enough to start breaking it apart. A young cockerel is enjoying the beetles termites and even earth worms that inhabit log. I have 2 of these logs, I pick away at one and the chickens come over and get in the way, then I pick away at the other and go back and forth to avoid picking a chicken. I do not have an ax or I would use that, either works because its half rotted. I spray it with water before a freeze and the freezing helps to loosen it up. The small chunks get thrown in the runs because it provides a place for bugs and worms to use for reproductive purposes and keeps the penned up chickens with good nutritional natural food. It adds carbon to a compost that might be a little too high in nitrogen. The Big Chunks end up at the bottom of the giant compost pile.
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This is the giant composting pile, I added a small coop for broody hens after they hatch out their brood. The netting is just a bit of a cover from the free ranging birds so mama bird can have a place of her own. The door to the netting is almost always open so the mama bird can go in and out and other chickens can go in there to scratch for food when mama bird is taking the little ones out on an adventure. Every thanksgiving I start filling pots, and the pile will be gone by christmas. I clean out the coops and runs exactly 6 months before thanksgiving and its usually about halfway up the 6 foot tall netting. As time goes buy it shrinks and this picture was taken the day after I started filling pots so its a bit low. After I finish filing pots I will likely straighten up the netting and start filling it will branches and rotted bamboo from the fencing repliers. Creating air pockets in the bottom center allows me to not have to turn it.

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These are some of the pots I filled on Thanksgiving Day. I get used nursery pots for free from the guy who buys them from me.

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This is where I get the plants to put in the pots. These are cuttings I take between July 15th and Sept 15th. By thanksgiving they are fully rooted. I actually took these 2 years ago but took so many that I did not need to take cuttings for 2 years. my plan was to plant them all the year I took the cuttings but I can't seem to make enough compost. I should be planting all of them this year with a bit of surplus compost which I will use to grow some veggies and then re use the compost for the nursery. You really can't see it because of the leaves but those cuttings are in just regular old sand. I re-use the sand under the coops to keep water from running under them and the chickens get a nice dry area to dust bathe. I mix in some DE when the sand is dry. Every year I just get a new truck load of sand but it can be reused for cuttings if I didn't have other uses for the sand.

I also check craigslist for free horse or cow manure in my area. Horse people particularly are willing to give it away because most horse people do not like to play with poop as much as I do. I throw the manure into the chicken runs too because it attracts so many bugs and usually is full of large grubs or beetles.

And this is why I call myself compost king. Some people love meat birds, some people love eggs, some people love ornamental pets... I love the poop.
 
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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
5,547
19,910
707
Caliente Nevada
Yes I’m a poop lover :love
My composter never took off until I added chick-poop. One on the best fertilizers ever.
I love to garden.
I had planned for chickens as I was building garden boxes.
I live in the High Desert and there’s is such poor dirt here! It doesn’t become soil until I add the secret ingredient.
Thanks for your post @Compost King
 
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