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Post  Marvin Shelley on 1/1/2013, 10:03 am

Will chicken litter with leaves and straw mixed in make good compost?
We have 100 or so chickens and the hen house litter stays pretty well mixed up by the chickens. I know it has to be 'aged', but will it need any other type compost?
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Post  dixie on 1/1/2013, 12:27 pm

I don't mix anything else with mine, just put some Vick's salve under my nose Very Happy & wet it down good. I also put some of my compost worms on top & let them do their thing.

This may be a long year - I had to edit this twice!
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Post  camprn on 1/1/2013, 12:50 pm

@dixie wrote:I don't mix anything else with mine, just put some Vick's salve under my nose Very Happy & wet it down good. I also put some of my compost worms on top & let them do their thing.

This may be a long year - I had to edit this twice!
LOL, Dixie. Along with a wetting down of the litter another thing I would recommend is a lightweight face mask when mucking out, in the event some of it becomes airborne.

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Post  plantoid on 1/1/2013, 4:09 pm

Straw based chicken muck is brill . As said wear a face mask till it is wet enough to turn without dust coming off it . Turn a big heap once a week , keep it damp and covered , it will stew in its own juice and give you a fantastic high phosphate manure .
Use it as part of the five elements to make up MM compost or a part of the elements to make up replenishing composts but in the latter let it weather for a few days either with rain or by liberal use of a hose pipe to knock any amonia out of it. It there is any whiff of ammonia after this it is not composted enough .... re wet turn it over and cover for another few days .
Six or so turnings over a couple of months will see most of the straw totally broken down and not recognisable as straw but there might be a few recognisable feathers .
If you let it age to the weather at say four months after composting at 4 inches deep you could use it straight in the beds except for root crops. But it will not be as good as the more balanced version of many differing materials & manures sort of compost Mel and many of us recommend .
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Post  Kelejan on 1/2/2013, 12:19 pm

Hi Marvin:
Lot of things you should/could add to your basic chicken litter.
Any green growing plant life except weed seeds, tea leaves and coffee grounds, cardboard, shredded newspaper but not the glossy kind.
Read Compost 101 and that will give you a very good insight in what one can compost.
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Post  Triciasgarden on 1/3/2013, 4:18 pm

Wow, 100 chickens! I have four, big difference! You must have a good quantity of manure from that many chickens! Welcome to the forum Marvin! I like your Avatar picture!
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Post  walshevak on 1/3/2013, 7:25 pm

If you have some well rotted/aged chicken manure, you can mix it with some of the commercial composts like cow and mushroom to get started on your Mel's Mix. Otherwise, mix your fresh chicken manure in with all the other stuff you are adding to your compost pile, keep it turned and damp and you will have a good base for your 5 blend compost.

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Post  czechens on 1/4/2013, 7:50 am

I'm just getting started on this SFG concept and am planning to start a compost "heap" (my dad's preferred word - Love it because it makes me think of him) this spring. I'm planning to layer together my coop litter with shredded leaves in a wire bin - keep it damp (might be somewhat difficult in Midwest summer) - turn it from time to time (once a month?) - and see what happens. A grand experiment!

I don't plan to compost kitchen scraps. Instead, I give them to my eight sweet little hens and let them do the processing!
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Post  Triciasgarden on 1/4/2013, 1:52 pm

Czechens those two seem like a good blend of carbon and nitrogen. I think that our talents are linked to our parents and grandparents and a compost "heap" is a great way to say it! I feel I got my gardening desires from my grandmother and father! I would suggest you add at least three more ingredients to your compost so you have the five minimum ingredients that are recommended so you get a great blend of compost! Also, welcome to the forum!
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