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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:57 pm 
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I live in the middle of a small town. The front yard gets more sun, so that's where the garden is. In the back yard is my chicken coop and run. The coop and run are both dirt floored. I practice the deep litter method, which is basically keep throwing stuff in the coop/run until I feel like digging it out. :lol: The coop is 8'x7' and the run is 8'x12' for a total of 152 square feet. I have 25 hens and often let them out in the fenced backyard to enjoy themselves. My dogs keep them safe.

I toss in grass clippings, leaves, pea hulls, corn shucks, corn cobs, sawdust, wood shavings, garden plants that are done for the season, kitchen trimmings, anything and everything organic. What they don't eat, they poop on and scratch to pieces. I clean it out 2-3 times a year and spread it directly on the garden. What I have extra, I put in wire bins until needed. By constantly adding more organic material, the coop/run almost never has a smell to it. Sometimes right after digging out the run/coop, the bottom layers throw out an odor. I toss in some more leaves or whatever and start over.

Chickens certainly don't have to be a lot of work and they are a valuable asset to my garden. They eat garden leftovers, make compost and give me eggs! I would definitely recommend chickens for garden composters!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:48 pm
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Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
I've heard a lot of good things regarding keeping hens, specifically in areas like these.

Some people have moveable cages (runs), and the birds dig up and eat all the weeds and leave their manure in that place until they move on the next day or so. I've also heard how good chickens are at keeping bug populations down.

We don't have chickens, but we do feed the sparrows just enough that they keep the tomato worms off of our pepper plants. We also dig out Black Soldier Fly larvae from the worm bins, and pile them in a shallow clay pot for the Mockingbirds and Blue Jays to eat. Keeping the birds coming keeps our undesirable populations down.

It's smart to use animals for what they're good at or as Joel Salatin says "The pigness of the pig".

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:45 pm
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Location: UT Zone 6
I do the same thing and my garden loves it, but was wondering if there is any value to placing the waste products on the compost pile for a few months before putting it into the garden or does it not matter? Any threat of contamination from the chickens to garden produce?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:26 am 
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Most animal waste, with the exception of rabbit droppings, should be composted before use in the garden. It's too hot if it is put directly in the garden and any animal pathogens need to be clobbered by the composting process. And YES, you can put dog and cat droppings into the compost. There are old wives' tales about not doing so, but there is no good reason for not composting all of it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:45 pm
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Location: UT Zone 6
northwesterner wrote:
Most animal waste, with the exception of rabbit droppings, should be composted before use in the garden. It's too hot if it is put directly in the garden and any animal pathogens need to be clobbered by the composting process. And YES, you can put dog and cat droppings into the compost. There are old wives' tales about not doing so, but there is no good reason for not composting all of it.


Thanks for the clarification!


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