winter composting

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aly uovo, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. aly uovo

    aly uovo Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2013
    Hey everyone!
    I live in southern Ontario, Canada - today is a pretty average day of -6degrees celcius. On mild winter days I clean out all the chicken poop off my drop boards (otherwise it is frozen).
    What do you suggest is the best way to store winter poop? Right now I just dump in a back garden but I'm worried its attracting wildlife. ..
    I was thinking an aluminum garbage can?

    Ps: my flock is only 4 chickens!!!
    Thanks so much!
  2. Kirbzilla

    Kirbzilla Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2015
    Ashburnham, MA
    My Coop
    Even when the poop freezes it's still attracting animals? I live in MA - we get cold ( not nearly as cold as you) ! and live very rural - i haven't had anything get into the poop compost. With composting, the more clippings/shavings/leaves/ etc. you use, the better the break down and the less smell.

    If you were going to go the garbage can route, i'd be sure to use lots of shavings for it all to start composting in - so you dont have a mess come warmer weather.

    For our food scraps we have a bin that looks like this. It was $30 if I remember right. The lid locks on, and the sides vent. Again we use a lot for shavings and straw to help keep everything breaking down well.

  3. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2016
    Rocky Mountain Trench
    Good thread topic! Although I guess I don't have a problem since I'm not cleaning the coop every day. [​IMG]
    My coop gets swamped out once in the Spring, and once in the Fall. In the Spring I just hall the manure to my 3-stage composting bins and add it to the stuff I will be turning all summer. In the Fall, the manure goes straight to the garden beds where it sheet composts all winter.
    I use this schedule for 2 reasons. 1) I'm lazy, and 2) the manure does tend to compost on the floor of the coop, which produces heat, with keeps the birds warm(er) on their roost.
    I do the same with my rabbit hutches, skirting the bottoms and letting the decaying manure heat the hutch above. The in the Spring, the nearly composted rabbit manure goes to the main composting station.
  4. aly uovo

    aly uovo Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2013
    Hey everyone!
    As far as attracting wildlife - I try to keep any smells to a minimum as we live by a canal (coyotes, skunks, racoons, etc) - that's why I was wondering about the aluminium bin.
    Has anyone tried this for a very small flock?
    The plastic composter may be worth a try - I know last time (many years ago) we used one we ended up with some mice/moles, but perhaps they are better built now to deter pests.

    my main motivators are: keep pests away and to maximize on compost for the spring!!!!

    Thanks again!
  5. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Well, I have not observed wildlife rummage thru poop compost. They usually rummage for food. I could be wrong, just my observation.
  6. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2016
    Rocky Mountain Trench

    +2 here. In my experience with composting, viable food stuffs are necessary to create a "pest" problem. I'm nor away of any species (other than worms, microbes...and chickens) that eat chicken poop by choice. The biggest problem with composting chicken poop is odor (from those pesky microbes).

    Interesting side note: With composting, given the proper mix of green vegetation, dead (brown) vegetation, and soil, the process of decomposition can be accelerated by the addition of the herb yarrow. Just a handful of the aerial parts of a yarrow plant, in 1 cu yd of compost material will speed up the composting process by 300%. FWIW....
  7. KCAmelia

    KCAmelia Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2015
    I see my dog rummage through my full bucket of chicken poop, but never any wild animals. :) We definitely have a rat problem since we have been putting food scraps in our open compost. We will start worm farming soon to manage them better. But i really think, like others have said, just chicken poop shouldn't draw them.
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    There isn't any composting going on sub zero unless you've an established working pile. Besides rodents or birds my compost pile doesn't attract large wildlife because I don't put meat or bones in it.

    I realize 6C is not sub zero but generally Northern climates don't compost things in winter well. Let's see...6 C is... 43 F. Wow, that's balmy weather! We're having a week long bout of highs in teens...uh... -8C.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  9. aly uovo

    aly uovo Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2013

    Yeah - I figured once it is frozen its not breaking down, so storing it in an aluminium container should be fine until the thaw comes!

    Ps: our temperature is ranging from about -4C to -16C right now, so everything is frozen :)
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    The last thing I want to be doing come springtime is lugging a big barrel of poop someplace. I'd much rather move the poop in smaller amounts, more often and when it's frozen and doesn't stink. The poop from the poop board goes into a small galvanized barrel, the kind often used for hot ashes. When that fills I bring it out to my compost pile at the edge of the woods. My New England temps aren't as cold as yours but the bottom of my pile doesn't freeze. It certainly isn't composting at a fast rate but it isn't frozen so it must be doing something. It's not a huge pile either. Maybe a 3' mound. I don't put kitchen scraps in the pile and I don't have any pest problem.

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