Where to locate the compost bin, near the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mekidsmom, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. mekidsmom

    mekidsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! Ok, so this isn't technically a coop or run question, but it's related! I've had chickens before. Back then, they lived in an old dog house very close to our actual house. Haven't had any in years, and am interested in being more GREEN now a days.

    So, we've got chicks and are working on building the coop. There's an old cement pad out back, a bit away from the house and is bordered by woods (rural NY). The coop is being built a few feet off the ground (on the pad), and the run will be built around the pad. The pad's not in great shape, but that's besides the point. It'll be closed in by hardware cloth, wire on the ground to prevent diggers, chickens will be closed up in the coop at night. OK - so for the most part, it should be fairy predator proof. My dilemma is the compost!

    I plan to toss all the "chicken waste" into a fairly open air compost pile along with of course yard and kitchen scraps. First thought, I want it CLOSE to the coop for easy disposal. I don't want it too close to the house either. It seems to make sense, but then... ugh... raccoons and skunks and mice. If the compost pile is close to the chicken coop, am I just ASKING for trouble? Or, will they maybe stay away from the chickens because they'll be able to find all the "free rotting food" they want in the compost pile? Will tossing piles of leaves over the actual food be enough to keep them out? Raccoons and mice are mighty smart and have amazing noses. I know there's not much of a chance of leaves masking the scent of food.

    I've had compost piles. I've had chickens. I've never had both at the same time! So, how far from the chicken coop do you keep your compost pile? Do you have suggestions to keep scavengers out of the compost, and NOT alert them to the fact that there's delicious chickens close by? Any and all suggestions welcome! Maybe I need to simply rethink HOW to build my compost bin. I was just going to put up a basic three sided deal, I just don't want it to become a problem by attracting anyone that might want to also eat the chickens. We DO already have enough of them around to worry about. Plus, I don't like them about much when I don't have chickens!

    Hardware cloth "box" for compost? It won't keep mice or rats out, but it might help against skunks and coons. HELP! I need to get this built asap. Even little chicks start to make enough of a mess that I've got waste ready for the pile. :)
     
  2. KaijuVoodoo

    KaijuVoodoo Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll be watching this thread, since I want to move my compost closer to the coop.
    I sprinkle a liberal cayenne pepper border around my current compost, and it really helps deter the opossums and raccoons. My dogs quickly discovered this method is effective!
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give all your kitchen scraps (less the obvious) to the chickens. Your compost pile that just has leaves, coffee grinds, chicken poop, grass clippings... should be left alone by raccoon but if you b place it where the chickens can work it will provide entertainment and nutrition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
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  4. mekidsmom

    mekidsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Well now, that just makes too much sense! LOL!

    You know, at first I was thinking of just putting the compost IN the run... but with the MASS amount of leaves we have here, I could easily go overboard and leave them no room to "run". I thought the scraps were needed as the "green" - but I guess grass clippings and other debris will work just fine too. Actually, without the kitchen scraps in there, it'll smell better too I think.

    OF course, I don't know if they'll be able to eat all our scraps (not too many chicks, lots of people). So I'm still a little concerned, as I think there may very well be extra scraps that end up needing to go in there instead of to the chickens. If they'd hurry and grow, I'd know better! :) Cute stinky little babies haven't realized yet that EVERYTHING is yummy. They only want tomatoes so far. Excellent thought though, assuming they'll be able to keep up with our kitchen waste.
     
  5. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chicken poop is high nitrogen, so it serves as your "green". I plan on composting on the floor of my run (deep litter method). I sort of started in the 10x10 dog kennel that they're in temporarily while I finish the coop. They get two huge shovelfuls of leaves added daily as well as the weeds I've been pulling up. Keeps them occupied looking for bugs. It's no extra work since the chickens will turn it for me. Plus, I can dump the soiled bedding from the coop directly into the run for thrm to mix in. Eventually when I have finished compost in there, I'll have to break out the shovel if I want to move some to the garden, but that's it.
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you have excess kitchen waste just throw it in the freezer and save it for later. Makes a good summertime treat too.
     
  7. mekidsmom

    mekidsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome! Thanks everyone for the ideas. I wasn't sure if their poo was considered green or not, but ... uh yep! That makes sense! :)
     
  8. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reading this, I had another thought to add: have you considered a worm bin? An indoor worm bin is pretty inocuous and could take care of your excess scraps, while excess worms could be fed to the chickens...
     
  9. mekidsmom

    mekidsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    INDOOR worm bin? Hmmmm... I have a feeling this would not work very well for us for multiple reasons. I do like where you're going with this though! I'll be honest, I considered the possibility of doing some composting on a SMALL scale inside a plastic tote using worms (outside though). However... I remember once upon a time when my son wanted to raise worms and how stinky all those dead dried out worms got. Yeah... I best not even attempt it! LOL! At least at the moment, I've got enough on my plate for now. I WILL keep that in mind though for the future!
     
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    And concerning predators....... Any predators that are in your area, will already know chickens are in your coop. The compost pile will not help predators "find" your coop full of chickens any faster.
     
    1 person likes this.

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