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Composted Sheep Manure

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Composted Sheep Manure

Post  rabbithutch on 3/19/2014, 2:50 pm

I'm inching ever closer to the time when I must do my MM.  Peat and vermiculite were very easy to find, but I'm having a much tougher time with the compost components.

I have about a yard of well composted leaf and grass mulch.  I have another yard plus of well rotted sheep manure and can get more.  I will get rabbit manure and worm castings next week.  I have been unable to find any other compost, but might find some this weekend from the Master Gardeners.

I need advice.  Because I cannot find 5 different composts and because the growing season in starting (Last average frost date is this week here), I want to go ahead with what I have for at least a couple of beds. 

What problems am I likely to encounter if I use the well composted sheep manure, the rabbit manure, the worm castings and what little compost I've made mixed together to form the third component of MM?

What other composts should I look for?  There are no lobsters or shrimp or seaweed in central Texas, and I thought getting horse manure would be too much manure.  Anyone else in Texas have suggestions for making their third of compost for MM?

TIA
 

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2014, 3:45 pm

Ecoscraps? It just showed up at our Home Depot. Can you start a Berkeley compost pile? If you kill your back, you can have compost in as short as 14 days, but considering the "icing down" days, 21 days is more realistic!  Very Happy  There is a composting business someplace in TX that was showcased in one of the "growingYourGreens" YouTube videos. I think it was TX. Anyone else remember where it is posted?

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/19/2014, 4:51 pm

Rabbit,

Is mushroom compost available?  Also, Whole Foods has a great compost it should  be carrying about now.  You might also try a GOOD blended compost from a local nursery (NOT big-box store).  Try to find one that doesn't contain forest hu[size=12.727272033691406]mus, rice hulls, peat moss, etc., which would throw off your 1:3 ratio.  [/size]

You might even find a plant-based compost at a hydroponics store.  I found one here, and it is OMRI-certified.  

If you start with fewer than five composts, you WILL have  nutrient deficiencies that will require many amendments over time.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  walshevak on 3/19/2014, 8:42 pm

I was heavy on manures my first season, commercial cow, chicken, pig and forest fines from Lowes and mushroom.   Had a great season.  If I couldn't find anything else, I would go with some cow or chicken manure until you can build up your own homemade.  I still add several manures to my vegges based homemade.  

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/19/2014, 10:49 pm

You might want to get some horse manure for later. It's a good thing to compost because it already has a very good ratio of carbon to nitrogen.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/19/2014, 10:54 pm

I'm into my second year amending bad MM and would really encourage you not to dive in without the right mix. It really isn't worth it in the long run.

Mine was a combination of two things. First was I didn't know that the peat moss would double in volume when opened and used the compressed size for rations. Second was the commercial composts I bought had peat moss and too much wood products in it. Some things grew but I wasted a lot of growing time ripping out plants, amending the soil and replanting only to do it again and again until it's now pretty good.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  Turan on 3/19/2014, 11:41 pm

My compost is basically chicken and sheep manure and their bedding. I add a sprinkle of bonemeal and kelp while composting it. Sheep manure tends to be like llama manure, it is not very hot and breaks down quite fine. f I were you I would just look for some chicken manure and go for it.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  at2wooden on 3/20/2014, 5:56 pm

My local supplier has 50lb bags of chicken manure for $25 each.
Is that good?
How much compost vs manure for the desired mix?

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  southern gardener on 3/20/2014, 6:16 pm

@at2wooden wrote:My local supplier has 50lb bags of chicken manure for $25 each.
Is that good?
How much compost vs manure for the desired mix?

wooden: I can't answer your question, but from what I understand a little chicken manure goes a long way. I don't know if I would add a whole bunch. You don't want to burn your plants. I'm sure someone will help here soon. Good luck!!

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2014, 10:12 pm

This is just a comment on bagged manure.  The bagged chicken and cow manures at Lowes are $3.18 and $1.43, respectively, for 1 cubic foot bags, which are about 20# each. They do have woody products in them, even rocks in the cow stuff, which I screen out. I hope this gives you something to work with.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/20/2014, 10:42 pm

I've burned stuff with chicken manure before. It's strong!

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  Turan on 3/20/2014, 11:31 pm

@at2wooden wrote:My local supplier has 50lb bags of chicken manure for $25 each.
Is that good?
How much compost vs manure for the desired mix?
I fill my wheel barrow with sheep pen cleanings (manure, urine, straw, hay) and add to that a 5 gallon pail of chicken manure from under the roost (so pretty much straight droppings). I think that is a volume ratio of 10:1. To that I add a a couple handfuls of bone meal and kelp. If I have a compost pile that is not heating up I will add another bucket of chicken manure mixed through it.

If you mix chicken manure with already finished composts give it some time to heat up and cool down again before using for vegys. Chicken manure is pretty powerful fertilizer.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  at2wooden on 3/21/2014, 1:28 am

Good info thanks.... I am making my compost up for the September planting.
I assume bagged chicken poo is aged??  Smile

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  Turan on 3/21/2014, 11:39 am

@at2wooden wrote:Good info thanks.... I am making my compost up for the September planting.
I assume bagged chicken poo is aged??  Smile

Maybe the bag will tell you? Also is 'aged' mean composted or does that mean just dehydrated and bagged? But as you are mixing for September planting that is plenty of time for the chicken manure to mellow out. You will need to mix it with the other stuff and get it sponge wet. You know, compost it  Very Happy 

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  at2wooden on 3/21/2014, 12:39 pm

Thanks for the confirmation.
That's the plan Smile

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  kamigh on 3/21/2014, 1:38 pm

Calloways has Cotton Burr compost as well as a compost mix of their own.  I'm using both of them along with mushroom (available at all the big box stores) and cow manure (ditto big box stores).  You should be able to get them fairly cheap. 
Ladybug brand products (based out of Austin, I think) has a bunch of bagged products that may work as well.  There is at least one nursery in my area (Flower Mound, in DFW) that is carrying their line of products so I bought a couple bags of their compost as well.
There are a lot of horse farms in my area that will give horse manure away for free or a nominal cost (haul it yourself).  I had an 'a-ha' moment about this after I had my beds put together but I'm thinking I may go snag a couple bags of this anyway to mix in over the summer.
My disclaimer is that this is my first year SFG so I have no results to share to say if any of this stuff works or not, but there are other compost varieties out there if you search enough.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  at2wooden on 3/22/2014, 1:57 pm

I found another place selling "black chicken" 20lb bags for $10.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

Post  rabbithutch on 3/22/2014, 4:50 pm

@kamigh wrote:Calloways has Cotton Burr compost as well as a compost mix of their own.  I'm using both of them along with mushroom (available at all the big box stores) and cow manure (ditto big box stores).  You should be able to get them fairly cheap. 
Ladybug brand products (based out of Austin, I think) has a bunch of bagged products that may work as well.  There is at least one nursery in my area (Flower Mound, in DFW) that is carrying their line of products so I bought a couple bags of their compost as well.
There are a lot of horse farms in my area that will give horse manure away for free or a nominal cost (haul it yourself).  I had an 'a-ha' moment about this after I had my beds put together but I'm thinking I may go snag a couple bags of this anyway to mix in over the summer.
My disclaimer is that this is my first year SFG so I have no results to share to say if any of this stuff works or not, but there are other compost varieties out there if you search enough.

I haven't really looked and Austin.  Shame on me!

I suspect that I can get cotton bur compost and mushroom mulch there - either at LadyBugs or Calloways.  I might have to drive down one day next week.  First I have to go to Alvarado to get rabbit manure and worm castings.  Medical appointments and appliance repair took up just about my whole week last week.  Next week promises to be better.

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Re: Composted Sheep Manure

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