One Person, Garden Compost

canesisters

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Slightly off topic.

We have a lot of clay around here and the rain has turned my garden into a slippery slope.
So I've started throwing the hard wood chips out of the chickens run onto this mud under the outdoor chicken shelter and life's a lot easier for me and my chickens. This is the best thing I've come across. No more slipping and sliding everywhere.
One year my barn got SOO WET I had to put down sheets of plywood just to get in there - and even then I was just as likely to surf several inches o_O
We gotta do what we gotta do
 

digitS'

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cow manure already mixed roughly 1/2 & 1/2 with spoiled hay
Good to See You :frow, Debbie!

When I was living in the sticks, there was a cattle ranch feedlot not far away. All the cow manure and rain spoiled hay that I cared to haul off.

I would break off flakes and layer it. It would cook in the center but not on the outside, aaaalllll winter. The center would collapse and the piles would look like chimneys out there steaming in the cold.

I didn't fret about it because I had my composting-in-place going on in the garden beds. Just put the uncooked hay in the bottom, cover with composted material, move the soil back on top. Problem was, in two years, I'd dig out the bed again and would have alfalfa volunteering! Alfalfa isn't a terrible weed but grass sure could be.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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Hey Guys!! Long time no see :)

I've recently been able to get back to paying a little attention to my yard and am - once again - trying to start gardening. This post is very interesting as I'm trying to maximize my compost out-put from what is available around my place.
I have:
VERY LARGE amounts of cow manure already mixed roughly 1/2 & 1/2 with spoiled hay - can make a 5' high pile every 3 months or so
Small amounts of chicken manure mixed with straw/wood shavings - 2 wheel barrows full a year
Quite a good amount of mowed/mulched mostly oak leaves & pine tags - if I am super careful about emptying the bagger every pass, maybe a pile equal in volume (NOT weight) to the cow manure
Very small amount of kitchen scraps - since starting to eat keto - not a lot of veg scraps - those mostly go to the chickens to supplement their pellets

The cow manure is the heaviest and the largest amount - so the most difficult to move.
I'm trying to figure out how to construct some sort of bins close enough to the hay feeder that I can clean directly into it/them. Moving the leaves and other veg to them wouldn't be a problem.. but keeping Eva from sorting through to see if there's anything she wants to re-recycle first might be...

With that mixture.. and of course with it all being estimates :confused: ... do you think I'd end up with useable compost by next Fall??
@canesisters, here is a primer for composting.
That being READ, if you take your shoveling jobs in little bites, the pile will not be daunting. Can't find the article, but Years ago I read an article that suggested 5 composting piles, one being empty. Every month it suggested that you move 4 to empty, 3 to 4, 2 to 3, and 1 to 2. By shoveling the pile you introduce oxygen and speed up the process.
BUT,
composting is a timely process. I watched a newer interview with Eliot Coleman, (Four Seasons Farm, in ME, where he grows crops 12 months/year, zone 5, withOUT heated greenhouses,) Eliot spoke of how he cleared the pine forest of and through composting and regular movement of his chicken tractor (to clean up debris and fertilize) he has created 12 inches of soil, all over his fields. He recounted meeting with a University Extension officer who critcized him for adding clam shells to the soil, saying that it would take a lifetime for the shells to completely break down. Eliot said that was a good thing, and that meanwhile the shells Would be breaking down and putting calcium into the soil, just slowly.
I got to thinking about not worrying about breaking down eggshells, for the same reason. The egg shells will add calcium gradually.
 
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ducks4you

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MY best garden soil is 2 year old mixture of horse urine soiled pine pellets, which breaks down to a powder, mixed with fine pine shavings, mixed with horse manure, and mixed with oat straw.
Every time I use 1 year old soiled stall bedding in one of my 100 gallon black water tanks, as a growing pot, and grow something like sweet potatoes in this soil, the result is a Very fine garden soil that I can use for any purpose like transplanting, or even starting new plants inside during the winter.
Along the way it becomes mixed several times, and when I harvest I end of hand mixing.
Composting isn't difficult, but it doesn't happen fast.
Also, collect your OWN manure.
Remember the cow manure that somebody bought (here) that had herbicide?
If you go to a stable, bring it back, and separate the manure from the bedding.
Make 2 piles If you have used pine shavings, you can always mulch with that.
I have been piling up used bedding every winter for 21 years. When I had huge piles, I noticed that regular pine shavings weren't broken down after 5 years. No matter. Use a rake and a shovel and don't try to mix it all in one day.
5-15 minutes labor at a time and you will be done in no time! :hugs
 
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flowerbug

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@flowerbug
I'm going to start putting a bit of my chickens poop into my compost bin.
I've already added vegetables and leaves.

What do you think?

i don't keep chickens so i don't know the state of that. to me all chickens are a risk of salmonella or other diseases so i'd want either to isolate their poo/etc. completely for several years (bury it under a garden where it won't be disturbed) or it would have to be hot composted which is unlikely to be accomplished in a small home garden compost bin.

and by burying i also mean that i would layer it with other things like garden soil and whatever carbon materials i had (like leaves). might also add some wood ashes if i had them so that eventually those too would get mixed into the gardens (when i came back through that area in the rotation of my use of that space).
 

canesisters

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Along the way it becomes mixed several times, and when I harvest I end of hand mixing.
Composting isn't difficult, but it doesn't happen fast.
Also, collect your OWN manure.
I don't care HOW much experience & knowledge you've got... I'm going to use Eva's manure.. not mine
That's just going to have to do.
 

Ridgerunner

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i don't keep chickens so i don't know the state of that. to me all chickens are a risk of salmonella or other diseases so i'd want either to isolate their poo/etc. completely for several years (bury it under a garden where it won't be disturbed) or it would have to be hot composted which is unlikely to be accomplished in a small home garden compost bin.
Carrying this to a logical conclusion, since every bird flying overhead and dropping poop is a risk of salmonella and other diseases and every mammal that drops poop is a risk for salmonella or other diseases you'd have to do this for all animal poop, collected from domesticated animals or just a wild animal pooping in your garden. Flowerbug, I don't consider you in the real world with this one.

Marie, many of us consider chicken poop to be a great addition to compost. Compared to a lot of animal manure it is fairly high in nitrogen. It's hot enough that it needs to be composted before it goes in your garden. There are techniques where you can put it in your garden but I've killed tomatoes before by getting it too close. Laying hens are fed a high calcium content for their egg shells but a lot of that calcium is not absorbed by their digestive system. A fair amount of calcium goes straight through them and out the rear end. Calcium is an important nutrient for many plants so this enriched calcium compost if very good for the garden.
 

flowerbug

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Carrying this to a logical conclusion, since every bird flying overhead and dropping poop is a risk of salmonella and other diseases and every mammal that drops poop is a risk for salmonella or other diseases you'd have to do this for all animal poop, collected from domesticated animals or just a wild animal pooping in your garden. Flowerbug, I don't consider you in the real world with this one.

there's a large difference between henhouse or a concentrated form of domesticated chicken poo and random bird poos.

the large pandemic before this current one was caused by disease spread from a domesticated flock of chickens. it killed millions of people.
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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One year my barn got SOO WET I had to put down sheets of plywood just to get in there - and even then I was just as likely to surf several inches o_O
We gotta do what we gotta do
I had to do that when I lived in Kansas when I lived north of town. The dirt was black and we put boards across the ground to walk on to get to the barn. The road once you went down it in the mud would later dry have the tire track ruts solid and I actually drove in the ruts and some like an S or snake tracks. On the west side of town where we bought 5 acres and lived for about 7 years was all sand and it would not take long before the 6 foot fence posts were almost buried and have to keep digging and moving sand.
 

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