Stuffed a turkey in compost pile

dennyavApril 15, 2014

The left over turkey from Thanksgiving of 2013 was stuffed into my 4x4x4 compost pile. Rolled one bin into the next bin 2 weeks ago and the smell wasn't too bad. Sprinkled a little bit of dolomite lime on it and put more compost on it. Anybody else 'stuff their left over turkey' into the compost bin?

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Most people avoid stuff like that for rodent attraction + fat/skin breakdown issues...but adding lime to it was a smart move.

If your pile is "hot" enough and your rodent/pest pressure is small enough for the period of time you're breaking it down you can get away with it.

I wouldn't advise it to anyone, but you did it in one of the best ways to do it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:23AM
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toxcrusadr(Zone 6a - MO)

I've put turkey remains into a hot pile in the fall. We remove every scrap of meat and then boil everything with celery and onions to make turkey stock, so by the time it's ready to compost it doesn't have much fat and protein left. Anyway I always have a hot pile in fall, leaves and grass. I put it in the center. It's fun to see the steam wafting up on a crisp fall morning. Pile gets turned in early spring, again a couple months later, by late summer it's done. All I ever find is the breast bone and maybe a leg bone. :-]

You do need a hot pile and a good varmint environment. The hot pile helps I think, no varmints in their right mind would dig into the steaming stuff.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Why would adding lime help this process? I thought adding lime would increase pH and slow down the decomposition process.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:27PM
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I put our evil rooster into our compost pile this year. It was 10 degrees that day so he didn't make it to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:39PM
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toxcrusadr(Zone 6a - MO)

I agree there is really no need to add lime to the composting process. It's used in barns to control odors, but with a compost pile, if it smells, more browns and more air will clear it up rapidly.

My granny used to use rubbing alcohol for everything from a headache to stretching shoes. Sometimes I think lime is the same kind of panacea, only for the garden.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Agricultural lime is a bit corrosive when moist.

As well as breaking down something like a piece of meat faster, it kills a bit of the rot smell which keeps it less noticeable to animals.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:06PM
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I've heard of commercial composting operations getting rid of entire bovine carcasses within a few weeks! But yeah, meat isn't recommended for home composters because of pest issues.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:29PM
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I redesigned the compost container to eliminate the rodent problem because the 2012 'turkey stuffing' into compost pile resulted in ventilation holes in the pile. Caught a couple of them ventilators! New container is on a concrete pad (21 bags of concrete), wood framed with 1/2" hardware cloth and a cover. I used lime mostly to cut the odor and hopefully keep the smell away.

I really appreciate the thoughtfull and humorous comments from everyone, garden web has great people here!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

We host a community dinner at Thanksgiving, I put a LOT of turkey bones in my pile, but like the other poster, I boil the bones quite a while to make turkey broth first. I strain everything out and dump bones, meat and boiled veggies into my pile. I never see them by spring.

I randomly put other bones in my compost pile in the winter. I live in the middle of the city and I don't seem to have any problem with critters getting into the pile..

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:42PM
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Yep. Can't see letting those bones go to waste.
And I like to share with the rodents, plus when the compost bin smells like rodents have been there, it entertains my dog for hours :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:02AM
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