Composting Coop 'Bedding'

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by TennesseeChicken, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. TennesseeChicken

    TennesseeChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello-

    We get fresh wood shavings to use on the floor of our 'egg-mobile' to cover the chicken manure, using the 'deep litter' method. I currently have a rather large pile of this mixture that has been sitting for at least a month, most of it much longer. How long does it take these wood shavings to 'season' enough to be able to use on the garden for fertilizer?

    Any input would be appreciated!
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    i havnt read the book but my grandmother used to put the droppings without wood into her garden in the fall tilling it in and it was ready for spring planting. i clean my coop and go straight to the trees and bushes with it. just use lightly. i did kill a peach tree doing this from using way too much. (i didnt) it was spread like mulch. he still owes me a tree come to think of it !! thank you [​IMG]
     
  3. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My smaller coop is sitting on one of my beds now. The girls cultivate the soil.. The extra is already in the soil and gets turned once in a while. The dirt and bugs will break down the shavings for you...
     
  4. Plough

    Plough Out Of The Brooder

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    It depends on how you want to use them. I personally mix them in with my compost and let them decompose a little bit. At least until the point where the shavings are just starting to fade in to the soil. Depending on how much I throw in my pile that can be a week to a month. But your wanting to throw it straight on top as fertilizer and fluffed insulation for the plants it should be "cool" enough after a month to two should be fine.
     
  5. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use both a tumbler and a standard plastic composter. The tumbler for speed and the bin supplies a pretty steady source of (yummy and free) Black Fly Larva for the chickens.

    Pine shavings decompose faster that cedar and are less acidic but it still decompose at a slower rate that food, greens like grass and weeds or even hay. Following the layer of pine shaving with a think layer of green stuff and poop that I sift out of the sand on our coop floor will help since it's the green stuff that makes your compost heat up. but in the end I often dump the load of compost as soon as the other elimens have finished decomposed and have never had any problems, in fact the shavings seem to help the soil maintain moisture and,in some cases, the shavings actually hen with drainage.
     
  6. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been wondering about this, we use pine shavings in the coop and have massive amounts of used shavings at this point just sitting in a pile, waiting to be utilized. I didn't know if I had to somehow sift through the shavings or if they could be composted at the same rate as other things in the compost bin we already have for veggie scraps. Thanks for the information!
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If I were you, I'd layer the shavings into your regular compost. The shavings are high carbon, your household scraps and chicken manure are high nitrogen. Shavings layered with grass clippings would be an other winner. This is my first year (in a very, very long time) having chickens and the bounty they are producing for my garden. I can't wait to see how it all plays out. I hope everyone will report back re: their success and failures as the garden season gets underway.
     
  8. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put that pile back into the run and let the flock break it all down.... then gradually add that into the compost or straight into the garden.. my girls are doing most of the work for me...
     
  9. KentuckyMom

    KentuckyMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use pine shavings too and added them along with some dried leaves to compost in two old tires. I have been turning it over every so often and it seems to be breaking down nicely with all of the snow we've had this season so far helping it along. I planted tomatoes in old tires last year and they did very well. This will be my first year using " chicken compost " though!
     
  10. Cherterr

    Cherterr Out Of The Brooder

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    I'd say about six months.

    I roto tilled into garden dirt and within six months (from summer to fall, or visa versa) it was all nice rich black soil.
     

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