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Author Topic: Anyone compost?  (Read 688 times)

loneelk

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2016, 05:44:11 am »

The containment system OnO described is PRECISELY what I'd LOVE to have here! 
And yes, properly used fly predators and fly traps (jars or bags) can have an amazing result.  First few years we lived here (before we started using fly predators) we were CONSTANTLY spraying for flies, both on our horses and everywhere else--had flies in the house/front yard.  Now we occasionally get a fly or two in the house, so keep fly swatters handy.  Spray our boys about once a day (which does NOT seem to harm the fly preds enuf to render them useless).  Only thing I'd love is if the fly preds would reproduce throughout the fly season so that we wouldn't have to have them delivered/wait for them to start hatching/sprinkle them on manure locations every 4 weeks.  For the results we get, it's a minor inconvenience.
ETA:  my only complaint about fly predators is that they don't have any effect on gnats :(  I contacted the nice folks at Spalding, and they say they don't know of any biologicals that would be effective against gnats and don't have anything in the works.  So we do have to use fly masks with ears on our boys, and we spray their bellies/use Corona on their midlines to keep the gnats from chomping there.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 05:46:53 am by loneelk »
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meely3

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2016, 07:21:06 am »

That is a very nice set up, and I might have to do something similar even if it involves buying a tractor. One problem is we aren't allowed to put in on the ground. They want a cement base which adds to the cost and needs additional permits. I talked to someone that uses something called geo bins, which are bigger than the plastic manure bins they sell, but once again the base would be an issue. I have used the spot on fly protection for years now. It doesn't help at all with flys. But it does work excellent on ticks, and pretty good for gnats if you put a little drop on their chest also.
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NoBite

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2016, 10:34:25 am »

meely3, how many horses are you planning to keep on your 1+ acre? I don't think your math was off at all! IMO, composting would be a nice hobby, but not a solution for dealing with all your manure.
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meely3

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2016, 11:06:53 am »

Just 2 I think. I believe I am allowed 4 but I don't want to try to have 4. Then again I know exactly how that works. You get enough space to have one horse and 6 months later you have 43 and some of them are living in your guest bedroom.   There has to be a good, easy, inexpensive way to deal with the manure. It's a shame they won't let you store it on the ground any more. The area has these awesome, huge earthworms that will turn it into compost for you very quickly if you just pile it on the ground.
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OldnOrnery

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2016, 01:27:21 pm »

There has to be a good, easy, inexpensive way to deal with the manure. It's a shame they won't let you store it on the ground any more. The area has these awesome, huge earthworms that will turn it into compost for you very quickly if you just pile it on the ground.
I get why they won't let you store manure on the ground, but I don't see the wisdom of forbidding the composting on anything but earth. They are two separate things: storage and decomposition. There's minimal decomposition in  bins compared to a pile located on and turned on earth. Of course all of this depends on your location and proximity to water ways. I'm located in a water shed, and I take my responsibility seriously. My neighbor, OTOH, dumps his manure along the stream bed. You can imagine the temptation to turn him in, but I can't do that.

Local recommendations are to keep manure piles and compost piles 200 ft from any well or riparian area. I can't comply because the only semi-flat areas on my property are about 100 ft from the seasonal stream. Turning compost on a slope is NOT SAFE unless you work exclusively from the downhill side. Our storage bins are supposed to have an impermeable base. Mine are road base, not even close to impermeable, but approved.

You can compost on a concrete pad. Just make it a huge one at grade, surround it with bales of spoiled hay as a wall, count on adding a bunch more stuff to your compost pile than just manure and stable bedding to get the carbon/nitrogen ratio ramped up (beware rats), and count on spending a lot more time on it. As a practical matter, you'll need two or three pads: one for a presently composting pile that will take 4 months to break down (8 wks is a pipe dream or a full time composter dinking with it every other day) and a second one to store the manure and bedding while you accumulate enough to make another pile. Make sure they are 30 ft apart so you can maneuver around the pad without running into a second pad. I don't have flat land, so a pad is pie in the sky. Worst, we have no rain for 6 months at a time. There is no water for a manure pile in a drought, so the compost won't break down. I build up my compost piles all year long but only get them to actually decompose for as long as the moisture levels are sufficient.
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abbypeaches

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2016, 08:08:47 pm »

I compost...and raise chickens. I clean out my two horses' stalls and move it over to the chicken pen. They scratch thru it & poop on it. The rain wets it. I do this all winter. Then I pitchfork all that out in the Spring into a pile,wetting it down,throw in some dirt on the layers,tarp it and let the sun heat it up for a few weeks. I turn it, add more water if it is too dry,retarp it & let it cook a while more. After a few more turnings, it cooks down to black gold.
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meely3

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2016, 04:56:46 am »

That's an interesting idea to have the chickens help you. I would still need a concrete pad under it. How big of a chicken pen do you have? This place is very flat, so at least I have that going for me. OldnOrnery I guess the issue is that they can't tell the difference between storing and composting. I will say that in our area right now, turning someone in results in them getting a visit and help with making a better plan for the manure. Every area is different but it might be worth looking into. I don't feel bad about getting someone help they don't really want as long as they aren't getting into trouble.
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abbypeaches

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Re: Anyone compost?
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2016, 05:20:37 pm »

My chicken pen is about 20 ft x 5 ft. Only because I have a couple dozen chickens in there. Yours can be smaller.  If I could have a cement pad under it, that would make it easier to scoop out. My"compost helpers" do a great job. Plus I get eggs!
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Marilyn and
 Bud, 31yo reg. MFT gelding & Midnight Rendezvous (Kate) 2 yo MFT  mare.
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