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Help for newbie chicken poop composter  RSS feed

 
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I am still new to composting - I live in the city so I have a compost bin in my back yard and have been filling it with yard clippings, some chicken coop litter/poop and kitchen scraps that the chickens don't eat. Recently i decided to put sand in my chicken run instead of wood chips because I have read that its easier to clean - like a kitty litter box, you just rake the droppings out. So I did a chicken coop cleaning day and took all the dried leaves and pine shavings out of the coop and then shoveled the old wood chips and dirt from the run. I tossed everything into a garbage can because there was too much for my compost bin.

That happened the day before yesterday. Today I went to plant some blueberries so I was going to throw some of the chicken bedding/wood chips towards the bottom of the blueberry pots. When I stuck my shovel in there I was shocked by how HOT and really smelly that stuff was. But mostly i was impressed by the heat - I'd guess 90' and it's sitting in the shade. I did not expect for it to get that hot that quick! So now I'm not sure what to do with it. It's in an old garbage can that I use to store yard clippings when I'm figuring out what to do with them - so I don't NEED this can. What should I do with it now? Should I just mix it up (it hasn't been mixed at all) and let it do its thing? The garbage can does not have an drainage holes because I never intended to use it as a compost bin. I guess I just mix it up and drill some wholes. Right?

 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Molly
Chicken manure is a very 'hot' compost ingredient (ie, high in nitrogen) and can burn plants if not composted until all heat is gone.
I think you're seeing why I like the nitrogen/carbon combo as compost ingredients: instant heat!
If the wood chips and manure's relatively combined, I wouldn't mix it more.
I'd drill some largish holes around the bottom. Not the base; I'd just go around the upright can with a drill.
Interesting about the sand. A major concern I'd have: chickens don't urinate, it all comes out together in their poo. I've seen some pretty runny chicken poos, and I imagine without chip's absorbancy, things could get nasty...
 
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