Grinding bones to add to compost, or grinding feedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Hi folks again!
I have read in some articles about grinding grains in quantities for feed. I have also read about grinding bones to use in the garden in third-world countries. I have a Corona mill, but no way would I last long enough on that to grind feed, and I don't have anything that will handle real bones. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks.
-- Laura Jensen (email@example.com), July 13, 2000
I know very little about this topic. I recall seeing a TV program which indicated people would go around about a year after an old-time major military battle and pick up the bones to crush for fertilizer (calcium). I also saw a This Old House espisode in which Bobby V. found a 'bone crusher or grinder' in the old barn. It was the series of the very yuppie couple restoring an old farmhouse and adding on a long kitchen extension to it. I don't even want to guess on how much it eventually cost them. I think slaughterhouses bake bones and convert them into bonemeal. Can anyone enlighten me?
-- Ken Scharabok (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 2000.
I was just looking at grain mills in the Lehman's catalog (online, as one of our daughters has the paper copy) and they commented that one of their mills would grind bones as well as a lot of other stuff. It's a pretty expensive item, several hundred dollars. But for a farm would probably be worth it.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), July 13, 2000.
I buy steamed bonemeal on occasion from a feed mill for use as an organic fertilizer. The key word is steamed. This removes meat particles and any grease from the bones. On occasion I get a bag that has not been steamed properly, and the paper bag is soaked through from the grease, and there is a rancid odor about it. Well boiled bones from ones kitchen could be used, and the water could be used for making stock. A garden chipper/shredder, which is a form of hammermill--well at least mine is, will handle the bones and break them up. The size will be partially determined by the size of screen you are using in the c/s. When I can chicken and remove the meat from the bones, they get dried, then go through the c/s for use in my garden.
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), July 13, 2000.
Laura, around here, old feed grinders still occassionally turn up at auctions. Unfortunately you're up against the antiquers (what do they DO with them?) who always seem to have unlimited money to spend. Might start asking around, someone might have one they'd sell to you.
Indigent people in the poor houses used to have to crack and grind bones to earn their keep. The idea was that it was an awful job and the poor wouldn't want to work that hard, especially at breaking bones, so they'd move out and get jobs.
You might try boiling the bones and adding some vinegar to the water. That will help soften the bones and make them easier to work with (don't discard the water, the calcium has leached into it). It wouldn't help you grind your feed, but you could install a trash pit and put the bones in there. It would take years to compost, but eventually, you'd have a nice calcium-rich additive for your plants. Gerbil
-- Gerbil (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 2000.
I can lay my hands on well cooked out bones.[free].Should i use it in my garden patch as part compost along with kraal manure [plenty]and hay.Please reply as i am eager to start organic gardening. Take note that i have no previous experience and knowledge but the space,water and some waste products.
-- henri goosen (email@example.com), August 30, 2001.