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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 10:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 4:52 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
How finely "shaved" are your wood shavings? I have found that adding chopped up oak leaves to a high-nitrogen compost pile will "cool off" a high-smelling pile of grass clippings when they make the pile stinky. I have never used chicken droppings (they won't let me keep chickens in the city, darnit!), but I would think that something with a relatively high carbon content like oak leaves - but that have other "stuff" in them unlike pure wood shavings - will reduce the smell.
How long does it take to compost bird droppings?
drchelo


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 10:19 am 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
I buy, and love, Black Hen composted chicken manure, and it still smells like ammonia after it's been composted. Is the smell of your compost pile strong enough that it's offensive? Are the neighbors complaining?

Funny story about composting bird manure: Happened to me about two years ago when I was trying the lasagne method in several of my garden beds. I am always looking for bagged leaves and grass clippings, and one day I drove by a house that had about 8 bags out by the curb, so I stopped to pick them up. I noticed all this crusty looking white stuff on the outside of the bags, but didn't think anything about it. I took the bags home, spread them out over a 4x20 ft bed, and started watering it down. After a few hours, I noticed this really strong aroma and couldn't figure out where it was coming from until I walked over by the garden. The leaves were apparently just filled with bird manure and when I got them wet, it really started stinking up the place. What I ended up doing to was going to an appliance store, getting several of their large cardboard boxes, spread them out all over the garden bed, covering up the bird poop leaves, and used 8 inch nails to secure all the edges down. I then covered it all up with thick plastic, sealing all those edges too. I left the brew alone for several weeks until it stopped stinking, then uncovered it. It made a great made-in-place compost for that garden area.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
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Location: Odenville,Alabama
Add more browns, or high carbon materials, to the chicken poop.

Try leaves, pine needles, shredded paper, or even old 100% cotton rags, will work.

The closer you balance the C:N ratio in your compost pile, the more aerobic, pleasant smelling, and safer, your mature compost will be.

_________________
The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
If the compost doesn't smell sweet and fresh, then it isn't finished composting. I haven't done any bird poop composting, but I would think that the ammonia smell would amount to a massive loss of nitrogen from the pile. I would do anything it takes to prevent the ammonia loss.

Dry leaves tend to keep their shape and allow more air into the pile. It could be the pile is primarily anerobic due to the density of the bird poop not allowing air to circulate. The only way to achieve this, I'm thinking, is to mix the leaves at the proper ratio (whatever that is) at the beginning of making the pile. You may have to collect a year's worth of leaves all at once in the fall or spring - whenever the neighbors put out the bagged leaves.


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