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Food scrap chute from kitchen to outdoor pile

 
Bethany Dutch
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Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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So I have this idea.

My kitchen has a wall that faces the outside. I hate my compost bucket, it always gets so gross, right? And then there's the unsightliness of it all, especially since all I have is folding tables for a kitchen (or, in other words, no cabinets to hide it in!).

I am going to at some point this coming summer, cut a hole in the outside wall and build a chute for my compost. So then when I have compostable things, I will just throw them directly outside and rinse them down with a cup or two of water. I'll have a bin set up outside with a small access hole for the chickens, and will periodically throw sawdust or some kind of browns on the pile.

Has anybody done this? Is it a dumb idea? I think as long as it could be properly insulated and sealed (so no bad things happen when it is closed) I don't see anything bad happening here. And a lot less work and less unsightliness.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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I've never done this, but I have though a lot about doing this. I am in the extensive planning and speculation phase of a kitchen remodel and this is totally one of the functions I want to have stacked into my design. So no. Totally not a dumb Idea. I mean, I'm sure there are a million stupid ways to do it which will rot out walls or attract yellow jackets or otherwise be a pain in the butt but I think most of these are avoidable with some preparation and care in execution.

 
Debra Wimberly
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What about the smell and bugs that the compost pile will have are you sure you want it that close to the kitchen and or house?
 
Danny Smithers
Posts: 43
Location: Florissant, CO
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With the proper amount of browns you won't have any problem with smell or bugs on the outside. I think one of the key elements would be a container of sawdust on the inside that you can throw down the chute to absorb the potential odor of food chunks that stick to the sides. Unless you have enough water pressure/access to spray the chute down regularly.

To increase the production of the pile, you might look into the "Chicken Tractor on Steroids" video by geoff lawton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emgCIB7aL9Q

Depending on the amount of chickens you have and the amount of residual scraps you produce, you could combine this concept with your chute. You could put a layer of straw and manure down and then let the chickens nail the chute scraps that pile on top for a week. After a week you could turn the pile, move it slightly and start a new one under the shoot. Ultimately you would have several piles of compost at different stages, and each pile then has a different interest level for the chickens. You would end up with some happy chickens and great compost.

But of course this all depends on your setup, but if nothing else it hopefully gives you some ideas. I think it's a solid concept and I think the bucket of scraps in the kitchen is one of the big reasons many people don't compost.
 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 164
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Okay that seals it, I'm gonna do this. I don't think bugs, etc will be a problem, since the chickens will be going through it. They are free range and pretty aggressive about foraging, though I suppose if they aren't as good about going through the pile I can always move one of my coops closer, since they are movable. I'll put browns on it on a regular basis, but probably not every time I dump scraps. That is one thing I may end up playing by ear though, it might be necessary. That also, I suppose, depends on how aggressive the chickens are about foraging the pile! Right now I bring the chickeny scraps to them, but I think if they get used to knowing where a new "dump site" is, they will go check it out every day even if it isn't nearby the coop. They are pretty smart in that sense - just takes a couple times of them finding food in a particular spot and they will keep checking back for more on a regular basis.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Please keep photographic records and keep us posted on how it works out! I've thought of doing this, but I thought that too much of the food scraps / onion skins / coffee grounds would just stick to the chute. It might be good to look for a chute with a very slippery inner surface.
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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I have done a similar thing with a simple open window from the kitchen to the chicken yard. Even with only 3 hens I was able to throw all scraps out there without a smell or other effects building up. I don't see why making a chute wouldn't be an improvement. Just need some flaps to keep outside air from coming in.
 
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