Mice in compost

sweet.taterMarch 16, 2014

My compost bin is in my backyard, 4 x 4, made of cedar wood slats. I turned it a couple of days ago and saw a mouse run out. As I continued to turn it, I noticed little pink baby mice. I looked on the web and read that it was important to kill them, so I killed the 3 babies that I could find and continued turning. Feeling traumatized by the killing of the baby mice, it did not occur to me to remove them from the bin. I am concerned that this compost is no longer safe to use in my vegetable garden because of the dead babies.

My question for you is: Should I remove all of the compost and dispose of it and start over?

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paleogardener(9)

You just turned the pile so that is the first & most important step for getting rid of unwanted guests in the pile.
Provided there is ample moisture, a good mix of green/brown matl. & the pile is 3x3x3 roughly, those baby mice will disappear in no time. At some point every composter experiments with bones & meat in small quantity. The result is simply compost & some added trace minerals.
Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:11PM
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sweet.tater

Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:39PM
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feijoas(New Zealand)

I empathise with your baby mice killing trauma.
And yes, they make great compost.
I don't turn my piles often and have traps set permanently-
less adults means less babies and less trauma!
I've buried 12 cockerel carcasses in a good hot compost pile, and they'd basically vanished when I turned it the week after.
Just an example, but the compost mantra 'if it has lived, it can live again' definitely applies...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:31AM
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gardenper(8)

Maggots or other insects will take care of the baby mice flesh. As for the bones, they should decay also.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:07PM
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