Saturday, September 21, 2013

Home Composting - with Eggshells and Kitty Urine

We compost at home, but invariably end up supplementing our annual haul with bags of steer manure and mixed compost from Home Depot.  We have a plain plastic compost bin (like this but it stacks and unstacks instead of having a door) and fill it with whatever is in the chicken coop, which is half composted, plus all of our eggshells and coffee grinds, and the kitty litter.  The kitty litter is pine, and we scoop the solids away.  It makes a nice nitrogen addition.  The eggshells make a nice addition of calcium.

We give all of our table scraps to the chickens, except eggshells and avocado.  The floor under their roost bars is wide hardware cloth, so their poop drops through onto where we put the scraps.  Sometimes I add hay or leaves to this mixture, especially if it seems way too wet.  Since we are continually adding to the mess, it never fully composts.  So we take it out and put it into the compost bin a few times per year.

This yields finished compost which we harvest in the spring, just before cleaning the coop and filling it up again.

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