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can chicken turn woody piles into compost?  RSS feed

 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I have a huge chicken run. and I have huge piles of wood. The branches which can't be cut up into firewood are the problem. I have no mulcher and don't see myself turning them into charcoal (seems too difficult). So I thought of throwing them into the chicken run and hope for the best and adding some wheelbarrows of weeds too. If I cut them up to a reasonable size - would the chicken help turning all these sticks into compost? Do I have to add somethign to make them scratch more? Ever done something like that?
 
Andreas Schäfer
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Hi Angelika,

I have seen my chickens eating half decomposed wood. I am pretty sure I feed them enough, but I am not sure if there are any nutricients for them in the wood. But I can't imagine dropping lots of (fresh) twigs and branches into the chickencoop would make the composting much faster.

Making good quality charcoal is maybe too much effort, but if you burn a pile and drop water on it before it burned completely, you will have charcoal and ashes, good enough to put on the garden soil. The coal will help to keep moisture.

Or you could just make a wall of branches like a fence? I did this, and like this the branches are at a spot where they don't bother me, and in a couple of years I will have some compost from it!
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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It hasn't worked for me.

The easiest way to make charcoal, although I don't like it as well because there seems to be more waste, is to just dig a hole a couple feet deep, try to make the sides of the hole about 45 degrees, fill it with wood and burn it.  Once you have almost no flames, you will have mostly charcoal.  Quench it at that point.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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during winter I might get away with it. But I will try the chicken system.
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I think its a time thing , wood takes longer to rot down but the chickens will help with there very acidic waste plus they will break stuff up looking for food thus speeding up decomposition as well ;
Seems a good idea
 
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