Some time ago Tom spend a considerable amount of time concreting the floors in our chook pens, where our chooks sleep at night. We cover the concreted floors with sawdust, which is emptied out regularly and replaced with fresh sawdust for our little egg producers.
Tom had a happy accident the other day. After removing the chook manure soaked sawdust mix from the concreted chook sheds he decided that, instead of leaving it to decompose slowly in a pile for maybe 6 months, he would add some more sawdust to it and wet it to see if it would hot compost.
The chook manure compost pile, watered and covered with some old carpet.
He was very happy to see the temperature went up, topping 60 degrees C and that it had distinct fungal activity!
Temperature rising over 60 degrees C
Fungal Activity in the Chook Manure compost
There was great colour change and he used an 18 day time acceleration, turning the compost every couple of days. We had beautiful, usable compost in just 18 days!
Turning the Chook Manure Compost every couple of days
However, when Tom tried to do it again some weeks later with another batch, it didnt heat up. The temperature went only to 38 degrees C and he thinks that there was maybe too much sawdust this time (too much carbon). Visual fungi was really low. But we won’t give up, we will try to judge how many days or weeks is ideal to have the sawdust in the chook pen, so that it is still good for the chooks but will also make beautiful compost! Looking forward to the next sawdust changeover!
Look at this beautiful compost, ready to use after 18 days, made from just sawdust and chook (chicken) manure….
Zaia is a musician, homesteader, permaculturist, holistic health and wellness coach and sustainability advocate. She and husband Tom run permaculture designed farm "Maungaraeeda" on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the not for profit organisation the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast Inc. and teach permaculture and self reliance. Zaia loves cooking and always comes up with new and different recipes to prepare the food she grows. She is a percussionist and is involved in various musical projects, including community music projects. She writes about life on the farm and tries to post regular photos.
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