chicken keeping · gardens · Homesteading

This is a Poopy Post

It really is..

But what I really want to tell you about is compost. And how we turn poop into compost.

They system we have now I have to credit to Horse Daughter/Daughter #2. She found and built the setup and, I have to say, it is the best thing I have used in quite some time! The dirt we get at the end is beautiful and black is chock full of worms.

Which by the way, I just learned in my Master Gardener class, are NOT native to our area! I was shocked by that. I guess they are an invasive species. There is another species of worms that are invading now called “Jumping” worms. I don’t really want to find those.

Back to compost…

What we have is 2 large wooden bins that are 6ft deep by 8ft wide. They have a few inches of space in between each slat on which are on 3 sides of the bin. We have fence posts at each of 6 corners. The front then is open, though we put boards across the front to keep some nosy horses out.

As you can see, the chickens love it!! And Storm was quite interested in what I was doing in his pen.

One one side we put the fresh manure. I will go in a turn it or “stir” it up with the bucket of my tractor periodically. No, I do not go in once a week, which is recommended. My schedule is more like, when I think of it. Or as in todays case, the coldest, windiest day I could possible pick out of this generally not this cold and windy month..

I love getting manure/dirt blown in my face……

I took a shower as soon as I came back in again. Ick….

I will take the more composted stuff and put it into the second bin and let it finish out there. I stir that one periodically as well. Today I took some of the finished dirt out into a garden bed I am trying to improve so that I can grow corn and pumpkins this summer. I will continue to do that now until I plant it. I need to let it sit a bit now since I added some of the not quite finished manure to this side.

This has helped also with keeping the flies down. In the past, before this system was in place, we had a lot of flies. Like A LOT.. It was crazy. But now, we can clean up after the horses and put that into our compost bins and it seems to help keep the fly populations down. We put the bedding from the coop in there and sometimes the rabbit manure. Though that generally goes right into the garden. Rabbit manure is so good for the gardens and does not need time to break down.

The compost pile is also the chickens’ favorite spot to dig and scratch because they find so many good and yummy treats to eat. This digging and scratching is actually helping to break down the compost so I am happy to let them find what they like.

If you would like to build your own, its a simple design that you could easily adapt to your situation. If you want 5×5, go for it! I am shocked at how well it works to break down the manure and yard wastes. We do not put in any meats, dog or cat manure, or any of the larger branches and such. There are lots of composting ideas out there when you do a google search with many tips and tricks. This is one that we found there as well and adapted for our use.

Do you compost your yard waste or manures? What works well for you??




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