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  1. #1
    Bronze Member 1969grandpa's Avatar
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    Kubota L3540

    Default waste hay compost

    We feed round bales to the horses during the winter months and we get a lot of waste hay. Although we started using a hay cradle this year, we still have waste. I use the landscape rake to gather and pile and end up with 3-4 good buckets of waste, nasty, rotting, pee, poop, hay mix. I've been dumping it over the fence into the woods with the intentions of making compost for the wifes garden that she is supposedly going to plant in the spring.

    Problem is, I really don't know if I need to do anything else to it and when to turn it. Should I dig a hole and put it in the hole, set it flat on the ground, cover it with a tarp or dirt, leave it uncovered. I add to it about once per week or so. Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Chris
    2012 Kubota L 3540 w/ paddle shifter
    3rd function valve for the CA 72" root grapple
    PTO generator
    hay Speer, forks, yada yada yada
    Toro Z Master commercial mower

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Central Ohio
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    JD 5055, Mahindra 315, JD 2040

    Default Re: waste hay compost

    All good. Turn it over now and again. Turn the pile about once every couple of months.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: waste hay compost

    the main thing is have your pile somewhere there is some drainage. you dont want to be in a low spot where there would be standing water say after a rain for example. turn it occasionally and add to it regularly, old hay, grass from mowing, kitchen garbage all work well.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: waste hay compost

    Since you have horses, mix it with the manure, that's what I do. Hay by itself won't compost nearly as fast as it will with the manure. There's a science to composting, you can go nuts getting all the ingredients right, but basically the pile needs to be exposed to the air so turn it a few times a week if you can, the more often you turn the quicker the process goes. It should be wet enough to be like a damp kitchen sponge but not dripping. The carbon to nitrogen ratio will be about right if you mix some hay with manure, but if you put too much hay or if it's too fouled with urine, it will start to smell like ammonia. That means you need more manure and less hay. You can cover pile with black tarp to increase heat, temps will get to about 140 which is pretty warm to the touch.
    Kubota B2710, New Holland CM274 front mower, Toro Zmaster ZTR, Ford 908 bush hog, New Idea manure spreader, Swisher trail mower

  5. #5
    Bronze Member 1969grandpa's Avatar
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    Default Re: waste hay compost

    There is a good bit of manure in the hay from where they stand around the bale eating but i guess i could add more if need be.

    ...so do I turn it once in a couple of months our a couple of times per week. We typically don't have table scraps to put in it, just the hay waste.
    Chris
    2012 Kubota L 3540 w/ paddle shifter
    3rd function valve for the CA 72" root grapple
    PTO generator
    hay Speer, forks, yada yada yada
    Toro Z Master commercial mower

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: waste hay compost

    Quote Originally Posted by 1969grandpa View Post
    There is a good bit of manure in the hay from where they stand around the bale eating but i guess i could add more if need be.
    Make it easy on yourself, just start with whatever you're cleaning up and see how it goes.

    ...so do I turn it once in a couple of months our a couple of times per week. We typically don't have table scraps to put in it, just the hay waste.
    You can do either, the difference will be the speed with which the entire pile turns to compost. If you turn it every couple of months, it will take a lot longer for the inside of the pile to breakdown. If you turn it more often, the entire pile will uniformly turn to compost and it will occur more quickly. Not sure what your area is like, but we don't add table scraps to the pile out in the field because it attracts all kinds of critters including skunks. You might reserve that for a compost container up close to the house that you can restrict access to. Table scraps don't add anything to the chemistry of the composting, you have the two required ingredients with hay/grass/straw and manure.
    Kubota B2710, New Holland CM274 front mower, Toro Zmaster ZTR, Ford 908 bush hog, New Idea manure spreader, Swisher trail mower

  7. #7
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: waste hay compost

    Cover the pile with black tarp or plastic to help raise temperature of the pile. Gets you better and faster compost and may even neuter the unwanted seeds in the compost.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Central Ohio
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    Default

    Don't turn over more than once every couple of weeks on a big unmanaged pile. More often will not give it long enough to cook.

    Sent from my MB525 using TractorByNet

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: waste hay compost

    We have a ~300T pile of manure/woodchips/leaves/hay/grass/household vegetable scraps, etc. It cooks all year. I stir it about once a week and turn it pretty thoroughly 1/mo. I park the 7520 in it in the dead of winter to keep the water ballast from freezing. Each yr we spread about 200T on the hay fields.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
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