Friday, June 30, 2017

Compost bins

One nice thing about having chickens? The ability to create compost. I've been cleaning out the coop into a fenced pen (you can just see it to the right in the picture below). The area was full to the top of the fence and has composted down into something that's ready to be put in the garden. I realized that I needed another pile so I could easily keep ready compost from in-process compost and decided to put together a few compost bins. Easiest way to do that is with pallets so that's what we did.

Banging in supports
The double bin went together quickly with a few screws and rebar posts. Newly soiled bedding will go in the left bin and I'll move it to the right bin as it ages and gets ready to be used.

The bins are very close to the coop to make it easy to use as I clean and they're also very close to the garden to make it easy to use the compost when it's ready. These bins are kept out of the general chicken area as it's not a good idea to let your chickens work their own feces.

Looks a bit blasted, doesn't it?
So that the chickens could get in on the compost action in a safer manner, I added another single bin to the chicken pasture. This one gets only kitchen and yard waste; they can work the grass clipping and veggie leavings to their hearts' content.
Inside the pasture which also looks blasted
I built these in the early spring so the ground looks horribly brown and dead. Fortunately these areas are now bright green with grass, rye cover crop, and all kinds of weeds and things that chickens like to eat. The whole pasture thing has worked great - the chickens get to semi-free range and I haven't yet had any issues with the fox getting in there. I'm down to two chickens due to his predation but since we've adjusted our grazing behavior we haven't lost any more. 

We have plans to build a junk wood fence around this area so that's more secure, but so far the welded-wire fencing is working well enough.

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