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Waste Disposal

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by yuppychickens, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. yuppychickens

    yuppychickens Hatching

    Nov 17, 2013
    I live in an urban setting with very close neighbors and really want to have some chickens for eggs. My municipality has zero regulations in place that govern chickens so I am going to move forward the only concern that I have is how to dispose of waste from the coop. I was considering composting the waste to use as fertilizer but eventually I won't need the compost for my yard as I have a very very small yard. I'm also concerned about the possibility of the compost bin that I have been using for kitchen scraps to start to smell really bad especially in the summer months. Any suggestions or guidance would be grateful...
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you use a deep litter bedding of pine shavings, the ratio of manure will be small and won't smell at all. The only time my compost smells is if we get days of rain and the anaerobic bacteria take over. Turning it often helps.
    You aren't likely to have enough chickens to worry about having too much compost. I do a three stage composting. By the time it hits the third bin, it really isn't sufficient for my garden. By the way, I always have from 30 to 80 birds and sometimes more. Each building gets a thorough cleaning about 3 or 4 times a year.

    Quote: happy that [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  3. Maven

    Maven Chirping

    Aug 30, 2012
    IS your chicken poop mixed with straw/sawdust/etc from the run? We put our straw from under the roosts (that is full of the chicken poop [​IMG]) on the garden all winter long and pile it in the compost area in the other months. Over winter, like right now, it goes directly onto the garden and the rain/snow/weather - along with the chickens who love to go to the garden area and dig/scratch in it - will have it perfectly ready by spring to till into the ground for spring planting. You can also use it as a mulch to overwinter things like asparagus, berries, etc. I found the trick is to just not let the roost straw get TOO saturated if you want to use it as mulch - just change it a little more often. I've never had it burn anything up, and BOY do the veggies grow in this stuff! Plus, incorporating the straw and manure into the ground helps keep the soil loose and friable - much better planting and root systems.

    I know that you can actually make a bit of money on the stuff if you live in an area where lots of people have vegetable gardens. [​IMG] Put an ad on craigslist to sell it or even just give it away and the folks will usually come running for it. They sure do in our area. Since our garden is an acre in size I never have any to give away but ALWAYS have people asking me if I do!

    Good luck!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Research the deep liter method--lots of threads here on it. I use it and clean out the coop usually once a year, just adding more shavings if there's ever an odor. When you clean out the coop you can either compost that or bag it and sell it.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    A compost bin/pile is the way to go to dispose of chicken waste. Even with a small yard the compost can be used around flower beds or just spread out over an area. Properly managed, your compost bin/pile will not smell bad. You can add lime, food grade DE, or sweet PDZ to the compost to help with any ammonia smell.
  6. yuppychickens

    yuppychickens Hatching

    Nov 17, 2013
    Very good I shall move forward with my initial plan of utilizing a compost bin for the waste, I will take a look at the "deep litter method."

    Wish me luck! Thanks for the insight!
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    What kind of compost bin do you have, one of those barrels that you turn or a bin on the ground? One of the keys to keep it from smelling is moisture control. If you have one of those barrels you have control. With an open bin on the ground, maybe not so much when it rains. It sounds like you are already composting your kitchen scraps. It’s pretty much the same issues, but likely more volume.

    What kinds of waste are you getting from the coop, pretty much pure manure like from a droppings board or is there a lot of bedding like shavings or straw mixed with it. Moisture is the biggest key, but having a good mix of browns and greens (carbon and nitrogen) makes a big difference too. Some people clean out their coops on a real regular basis and wind up with large quantities of browns (bedding) compared to greens (poop). These are not as likely to smell but they wind up with a lot of volume plus with a large balance of browns versus greens it takes a long time for them to compost.

    With too high a percent greens or if it is too wet, you can get anaerobic action. That’s where the bacteria breaking it down can’t get enough oxygen to breathe so bacteria that do not require oxygen take over. Those tend to smell really bad.

    Some of us use systems where we hardly ever clean out the coop. Last time I cleaned mine out it had gone 4 years without being emptied out. These coops are normally large coops built on the ground and often use a version of the deep litter method.

    A lot of us also use droppings boards. That’s where you put something under the roosts to catch the poop. They poop a lot while roosting. That way you keep the amount of poop down pretty good in the coop bedding and you get pure manure for your compost bin. Some people spread bedding on the droppings board to make it easier to clean so they don’t get pure poop, but I don’t. You’ll find there are a whole lot of different ways to do about anything.

    Another trick to keep the coop from smelling without emptying it out is to turn the bedding and mix up the manure with the bedding. That sounds like work and it can be, but some people just toss some corn or other treat on there and let the chickens do the mixing while they are scratching for the treat.

    There are lots of different ways to do these things. It’s not that one way is right and others are wrong, just which way suits our unique situation best. In an urban setting smell control is almost certainly more important than in a rural setting but it’s not pleasant for any of us if we get it wrong. There are a lot of people in an urban setting that do manage it. You can too. Good luck!
    FarAwayBoy likes this.

  8. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    As for a compost bin, just get a garbage can and drill a bunch of holes on the side. Get one with handles so you can bungee cord the lid down. When you need to turn it, just kick it over and roll it on the ground.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Nice idea 3 ChickChicks.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    So are you collecting 'pure poop' off your boards? How are you composting it?

    I'm using a board with 1/2 sand 1/2 PDZ, sifting every other day into covered kitty litter buckets and giving it away to someone with outdoor open concrete block bins...not sure how that's going to work for them or how they are managing their bins. I would like to compost it but want a tight system that can be well managed...and I bet you've got one. Can you tell me about it in detail? TIA

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