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  • Composting Chicken Bedding

    Hey folks,

    Looking for a bit of advice on composting chicken manure and soiled bedding from the coop.

    we’re new to chickens but we have them in a coop with sawdust as bedding and hardwood wood chips in their covered run. At present we go out daily to clean poo out of their coop and pick some of the poo off the chips, the. Have a proper clean out of the coop with all the soiled bedding weekly. We have been adding the manure, bedding and handfuls of soiled chips into our cold compost piles where we also add scraps from the kitchen and plant debris from the garden.

    will this compost down ok in our cold compost pile, or does this need to go in a hot composter/Dalek?

    thanks!

  • #2
    The hardwood chips might take a long time to compost down, they might breakdown faster in a hotter bin.
    If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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    • #3
      it will but sawdust and wood chips will take a long time to break down I'd be tempted to do them seperately and treat them with a dose of Hi nitrogen fertiliser to help break the wood down ( it will take about 12-18 months ) and will get very hot - you'll burn your hand if you put it in it once its away. I always think they do better on sokmething like Bliss than sawdust as its not so dusty and is more like their natural leaf litter floor. DOn't use the perfumed Bliss though. this will compost down OK and quicker but it only needs cleaning out once a month really and scatter some feed on the floor to get them to scratch around for it
      ntg
      Never be afraid to try something new.
      Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
      A large group of professionals built the Titanic
      ==================================================

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      • #4
        Sawdust actually composts pretty quickly as long as it's adequately moistened and mixed with other, more nitrogen-rich materials (which chicken poo is ideal for). I've put hydrated sawdust on my compost bin in some quantity on several occasions, and it's always done withing a few months, just the same as everything else I put on there.
        Wood chips, on the other hand, take years.

        I would continue to add the soiled sawdust bedding to the compost bin, but leave the wood chips out. Maybe make a separate pile for those.

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        • #5
          Sawdust for bedding? I always thought that it causes respiratory problems ?
          I may be wrong but thought I should ask!

          Most people seem to use shavings.
          "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

          Location....Normandy France

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          • #6
            Thanks all.

            Sorry. Yes, wood shavings, not sawdust. That is what we use.

            However, sounds like wood shavings and chicken poo might be alright (I have plenty of space and don’t have any huge rush for compost). May be best to compost the wood chips elsewhere. I have a hot bin for compost too so maybe best to use the wood chips in there.

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            • #7
              We use wood shavings too

              "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

              Location....Normandy France

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gman View Post
                Thanks all.

                Sorry. Yes, wood shavings, not sawdust. That is what we use.

                However, sounds like wood shavings and chicken poo might be alright (I have plenty of space and don’t have any huge rush for compost). May be best to compost the wood chips elsewhere. I have a hot bin for compost too so maybe best to use the wood chips in there.
                Wood shavings rot pretty quickly, too, as long as they are adequately moistened, so I'd say go ahead and put them on the compost heap, yeah.

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                • #9
                  I use a mix of wood shavings and chopped straw for their bedding, depending on what I can source at the time of purchase.
                  I've got 7 daleks that I put it in along with kitchen scraps, hedge and lawn trimmings etc. Not the best I guess for hot composting but within a year it's rotted down enough that I can spread it out on the veg beds. Really heavy clay, so even if not fully composted yet it helps lighten the soil, and the growing results are good. By the second year any leftover wood chips in the soil are rotted down fully
                  Last edited by Grafitti; 03-02-2021, 06:45 PM.

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