We decided to move our compost bin from our garden to our chicken area recently.
Before everyone starts giving me all the reasons why it’s not a good idea, let me tell you why we did it.
Our chickens are free range.
That means they have full control of a fenced in area. Sometimes that meant they figured out how to fly over the fence and get into our garden and compost bin. Clipping wings helped some, but it wasn’t always enough. Now, the compost is where they can scratch around at will and the issue of flying over the fence is nearly non existent.
We give our chickens all the kitchen scraps.
As a matter of fact, if someone goes outside carrying the compost bucket or a pot, they all come running for their latest “treat”. We used to dump it into their area, but if they got bored of it before it was gone, we got a LOT more flies. Now, it’s in the compost bin already, and the chickens scratch for what they want, and the rest is where it already belongs.
Compost draws a lot of flies, who lay their eggs, who turn into maggots, which turn into more flies.
During the hot summer, it was a rough cycle we couldn’t seem to break no matter how many times we turned the compost, or added grass or leaves. The chickens now eat all the maggots (fine dining y’all!) and the fly population has greatly decreased. Yes, we still have them, but it’s not nearly as horrible as it used to be.
Chickens eat worms.
Lots of worms. And compost bins draw worms. And I DO understand that worms are necessary for the compost cycle and all, but even with 40 chickens, they are not able to eat all the worms that are in there. There are still tons of worms everywhere. Really.
We used to have to spend about 1 hour each week on the bin,
turning and adding the ratios of brown and green to keep it cycling down and the smell down. Now, the chickens do the work for us. They jump in, scratch it all up, and turn it for us. In turn, they get the yummy bugs and maggots, egg shells, and other treats they so love. Those are the reasons we decided to put the compost bins in our chicken area. It makes our lives a lot easier, to be honest, and we still have great quality compost to add to our garden. What are your thoughts on this? Would you ever put the chickens near the compost on purpose?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.