Location: Northern New Zealand - warm temperate climate
posted 4 years ago
Our composting coop - its a few months old now and is working really well for us and the chooks seems pretty happy too. There are no solid surfaces to clean out, the only surfaces in there are either mesh, or narrow bits of wood. No need to clean, all the birds poo goes onto the heap along with ALL of our household food scraps. We used to have a chook bin and then a worm bin for the things the chooks didn't eat and a 3rd bin for the stuff that the worms didn't eat .... that was way way too much faffing about for my liking.
This design works well on our slope, but I am sure that you could work something out on the flat. Have others tried this sort of thing? Its just an exagerated deep litter system really, but rather than having a seperate deep litter area with a festering coop attached, this just puts them together. I went to some effort to rodent proof it by burying the corrogated iron 20cm or so around the edge.
We have an attached electranet fence which we move around too.
James, that's a nice looking system you have there! My 3 chickens are doing a great job converting garden waste into eggs at the moment. My nefarious scheme is as follows: over the summer, dump all the grass clippings and leaves in one place. Throw the leaves there in autumn too. Over winter, I'm keeping the chicken run in one place (in summer I move it around and they eat the grass etc), and throwing in a trug full of leaves and clippings. A week later I rake all that out and replace with more leaves and clippings. The raked-out stuff has turned into that fantastic fluffy mix that Geoff shows off in his Chicken Tractor on Steroids video. That goes into a big bin for additional composting and then application to the garden come spring time. It's a nice cycle, and even with a very small setup with just 3 chooks, it provides loads of really nice compost. It's also nice seeing the looks on their little chicken faces (!) when they have a new batch of pre-compost to scratch in. We do feed them pellets also, as well as scraps from the kitchen.