We Really Need To Cleanup the Hen House

Ruthster55

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Soon, we’ll be tearing down an old decrepit doghouse. We will convert that into a place to compost chicken manure and we will install the two or three panels near or on the regular vegetation compost pile.

The numbers of chickens at the farm have been increasing during the past six months. The manure has increased. We need to compost it. It is called Gallinaza in Spanish.

I have used an “organic” labeled fertilizer during the past couple of years, but I think we will be changing over to composted chicken manure. We are generating enough to fertilize the fruit trees and garden as long as the chicken manure is composted.
 

baymule

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My chicken coops always have a dirt floor. I practice deep litter and dig it out a few times a year, mainly for the garden. Does your coop have a solid floor or a dirt floor?
 

Ruthster55

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It’s a dirt floor. We have used the litter method for a couple of years, but now there are more chickens, and so....it needs cleaning!

Hooe the result will be good for the garden after a few months composting.

P.S. By way of introduction, I’m fairly regular over at BYC and I just wanted to test this site after the kerfuffle about access. Looks good!!
 

baymule

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Glad you stopped by, you are welcomed to stick around, if you like!

I used to pick up bags of leaves on the curbs in the fall to deep litter the coop. The chickens loved it and they made great compost.
 

Ruthster55

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We cleaned the chicken coop and put new litter down!

The chicken litter is now in an old wooden doghouse that has been repurposed for composting the chicken litter. In a few months, we hope to use it for garden fertilizer.
 

Ruthster55

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In other stuff today, we collected some seeds and then cleaned parts of the main garden and the area alongside.

We fed a bunch of tall grass to the cows plus some radishes to the pigs and rabbits. Tomorrow, we will do a bit more garden cleanup and will replant some empty spots.

A pair of chickens plan to attend a small neighbors’ wedding with close villlage guests only. (I inquired to make sure this wasn’t a big COVID-spreading event because the current limit at church services is 20 people).

The hatchery Barred Rock cockerel will show up in barred plumage plus a white spot and black patch on his wings (faults), while the old hen will show up in a yellow mille fleur dress. And then, they will lose their plumage and be eaten. :)

(culled)
 

Ruthster55

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Incidentally, the yellow mille fleur mix hen that we culled is one of two hens that have refused to go broody during an incredible run of broody hens that we have had since March.

I am in a location where access to hatchery chicks isn’t that easy. Therefore, I value broodiness, as long as the hen is actually incubating some eggs.
 

Beekissed

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We cleaned the chicken coop and put new litter down!

The chicken litter is now in an old wooden doghouse that has been repurposed for composting the chicken litter. In a few months, we hope to use it for garden fertilizer.
You could skip that whole step of piling it up to compost if you cultivated a composting deep litter in your coop. I never have to clean out the coop completely or put down fresh materials. In fact, I avoid a total clean out, as I use the older material to inoculate the new with all the good microbes it contains.

Haven't cleaned out a coop in 8 yrs now but each year I remove some already composted litter to put in the garden ad lib. Makes things infinitely easier to just compost it in the coop.
 

Ruthster55

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I think we’re halfway to that point. Last year with fewer chickens, we had a fairly deep litter with shavings in the coop. However, the number of chickens has increased during the past few months. Last year’s shavings have just disappeared.

After cleaning, we put new shavings down, and will add them regularly.

My guess is that the litter moved to the compost is partially ready for garden use. I don’t think it will need the full six months of composting.

We’ll let the chicken litter stay in the compost pile (turned sometimes) for a while because we still have a bag and a half of organic granulated commercial fertilizer purchased back in May.

After we use the purchased granules up, I aim to go with composted chicken litter for our future fertilizer needs.

Along with broody hens, it’s one more step toward garden regeneration and putting more nutrients in the soil than are removed.
 
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baymule

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I never compost chicken litter. Don’t compost sheep barn clean out either. I put it straight on the garden. Sometimes I till it in, sometimes I just top dress with it. We spread the horse manure in the pastures.
 
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