Bears/ other Wildlife and Compost

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Bears/ other Wildlife and Compost
Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 1:08 pm
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Utopia, I don't think this answers your question, but just an observation, under any species of tree that has been in situ for a long time, the mulch/litter under the tree contains the biological diversity which is able to bio-degrade that mulch. I have noticed with pine needles, just a few cms. below the surface, they are usually moist and dark, resembling soil.
Check to see if this is happening with Cypress.
I feel sure that the decayed material would make an excellent cover for the humanure bucket.
However, the fresh needles, not yet broken down, applied to your composting pile, I doubt would have the insulating properties required, compared with something like hay. I might be wrong. With summer air temperatures it might be ok, but winter??? What do you think?
Please let us know how things work out.

Author: Utopia (Utopia)
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 9:34 pm
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Is Monterey cypress good for composting if I only use the needles and cut thin twigs into small pieces? I was told at a composting workshop that a 4 inch thick layer of dry brown twigs between the other green material and kitchen waste is good for aeration. I know that fir is not that great but how about cypress?

Author: Rman (Rman)
Saturday, September 06, 2014 - 7:29 pm
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I wouldn't bother at first but I am lazy and cheap. Worst case scenario if I am wrong is straightening out the compost pile and adding the mesh. If I am right you have saved the cost of the mesh and the problems associated with it.

Author: Utopia (Utopia)
Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 10:14 pm
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I'm building my bin and have three sides done. Should I err on the side of caution and build a hinged gate for the front side and line the bottom and top with hardware cloth or small mesh wire fencing to keep out rats, mice and raccoons that may be attracted to the kitchen waste and spread the poo everywhere?

Author: Anonymous
Sunday, March 05, 2006 - 7:14 pm
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We live in the mountains of Colorado and there are a lot of wild animals around here. We started composting in the begining of winter and have been burying our food waste into the pile (on warm days). Now that spring is just around the corner, the bears will come out of hibernation. I'm a little worried about wether or not our compost will be a sweat snack for them. Our backard is fairly small and we would like to keep these neighbors out. We have small children around and they would be prime target for wild animal attacks. Any suggestions on dealing should this become a real problem?

Author: Anonymous
Sunday, March 05, 2006 - 7:35 pm
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I haven't seen any other posts that mention bears being interested in the compost piles.
You might make sure to add the food scraps to the compost pile with the humanure bucket contents so that the composting action gets to work right away on the food scraps leaving less for the bears to be interested in. We add our food scraps right into the humanure bucket so it can all go to the pile at the same time.

Author: Rangdrol
Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 1:50 pm
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We have bears.
They remember every meal they ever have.
There was a "problem" bear shot in a yard last fall about 1k yards from where I am sitting.

We have never seen or heard of them eating human feces. They would have to be REALLY hungry I suspect.

A local custom is to whiz around the perimeter of your camp to give them a warning you are about. If they get a meal of melon rind and apples from your pile they will remember and associate your smell with food. THEY WILL RETURN!

That is going to lead to conflict sooner or later. The best stratagie is not to let them get a meal. So you have a choice. Make a bear proof pile or seperate bear food from feces and urine or keep them away from the pile to begin with. In ANY case move your pile as far away from your kids as possible and make sure the bear has at least two CLEAR escape routes from the pile.

Our food pile is picked clean and fiercly defended by big loud dogs and it is a long walk from us. Bears open our buckets from time to time just to let us know they can do whatever they want. They are the number one reason we decided to put our kitchen wastes in the humanure vault in the house.

Author: TCLynx
Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 3:08 am
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Sounds like that might make a good argument for starting the composting process indoors before moving it out to cure.

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