Naturhuf und Ponies

Fütterung, Haltung und Pflege

DIY Compost for Stallbedding

actively aerated compost system for obtaining horse bedding from horse manure

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(-> deutschsprachige Version)

In this video, we present our actively aerated compost system, which we built ourselves according to the Micro-Bin construction plan from the company O2-Compost. We use it to obtain bedding compost from the manure our ponies by means of active interval aeration through an electric blower. This is controlled by a timer (e.g. every 15 or 30 minutes 1-2 minutes on). After 30 days, the composting process is completed and the compost can then be used as bedding.

Our experience:
On the whole, the system works as expected and is easy to operate and adjust (interval/duration) with a little practice and routine. At outdoor temperatures around freezing point (in our area approx. 3 months/year), the finished compost is rather too moist as sole bedding. However, it can still be used by mixing it with dry bedding, e.g. linen straw. We have tried insulating a compost box (2nd wall inside made of 3-layer board with coconut mat insulation in between). However, in our experience, the difference in composting is marginal. To ensure that all the compost in the box is well supplied with air, it is important to place the tubes inside with the 1cm air holes facing downwards and then cover them well with dry bedding (we use linen straw for this). Interestingly, the linen straw is still light and dry after the composting process is complete.

UPDATE 27.1.23:
Last year during the winter months, the compost pipe system was populated by a family of mice. I wonder, what it must have been like for the little ones when it blew through the tubes like a hurricane ... Maybe this was the reason why the mice clogged the tubes with the surrounding linenstraw. When we emptied a box, the family would move through the pipe system into one of the other actively ventilated boxes. The mice bit open the ventilation holes in the pieces of pipe lying in the box in order to build tunnels in the warm edge area of the compost. In spring, we emptied all the compost boxes and cleaned the tubes. Then we covered the tubes with the air holes with wire mesh (10mm) which we fixed all around with wire. So far, no new colonisation has occurred ;).

Material we used to build the compost bins:

  • Acacia wood corner posts
  • Larch wood, raw, alternately rebated (32mm thickness)
  • Roof battens (25mmx60mm) and double battens (60mmx60mm) of spruce wood for the sub-roof construction
  • Bitumen sheet corrugated for roof covering (e.g. from Onduline)
  • Electric blower (included with the O2Compost-Package)
  • Compost thermometer to check the temperature in the center and outside areas of the compost box. This provides information on whether the interval and/or duration of the air supply by the blower is optimally set or needs to be adjusted.
  • Interval timer (e.g. every 30 minutes 2 minutes switch-on time)
  • Fixing material (e.g. screws, washers, hinges, ...)
  • Sewage pipes DN110, sleeves, sleeve plugs, bends, cleaning pipe inserts with screw cap (to stop the air supply for the individual boxes, see video).

The internal dimensions of the three boxes are: width 1150mm, height 1180mm, depth 1120mm. Capacity per box approx. 1.5 m³.

Mettendorf, 27 January 2023

Tell us about your own experiences. We look forward to your comments!

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Gestaltung und Realisation:
Christoph Elsaesser