Composting Issues

happyhippiechik

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 28, 2012
41
2
34
North Carolina
So I've had my girls for about 11 weeks now. I had started a compost bin recently when we moved out to the country but it was pretty new so it didn't look like much. Since getting the chickens (and now some guinea hens) I have been putting their bedding of pine shavings and newspaper (all poopified) into the compost pile. It is in the sun all day and I water and turn it at least once a week. The problem is that it just doesn't seem to be breaking down. At all. We used a black compost bin but found that difficult to turn, too small for the amount of chicken stuff we were adding and we filled it up before it ever gets to break down. I also add the usual kitchen scraps. Would adding worms to the uncomposted stuff work? Can worms survive in that stuff? Anyone know what I can do to speed up the compost process?
 

happyhippiechik

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 28, 2012
41
2
34
North Carolina
We currently just have it as a pile in the backyard. No container. If I make a composter out of pallets would that make a difference? Will it not work just as a pile out there?
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
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Pine doesn't break down easily. That could be the problem. Turning it once every 2-3 weeks would be better. Worms would help.
Can you get hold of some comfrey? Tear the leaves up, put it in a bucket with water and leave it. Once it starts smelling like a toilet, it's ready to pour over your heap. It works as a compost activator and you can also use it to fertilise your garden. It's very good stuff. But it does smell
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
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Did you check out the medicinal uses of comfrey?
 

jamesbwood

Songster
7 Years
Feb 26, 2012
154
5
111
Palm Beach County, Florida
Where are you (and how dry is it?). I grew up in Fl where it is hot and humid and things compost even when you don't want them to. In California it was much drier and I had to use a large bin to keep the humidity in. A pile should work if it isn't to dry. I'm lazy so i let it sit longer rather than turn it. If you make something out of wood, it may compost too. . .
 

happyhippiechik

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 28, 2012
41
2
34
North Carolina
Thanks. That was my concern with using wood as well. I live in the Raleigh NC area. It gets hot and it certainly is humid. I'm going to try starting an additional pile for just the newspaper from the coops and the vegetable scraps, etc from the kitchen. I'll use the other one for the pine since it seems to take longer to break down. And I'd be happy to ignore it for the rest of the summer too. Hopefully I'll have at least one good compost pile come spring. I have a big first year garden so it would be nice to have my own compost to amend with next spring. Or should I do it in the fall? I'm so confused with the growing seasons here. I'm from central WI originally so I'm used to how things grow there. I've been here seven years and still can't get used to planting ANYTHING in November! I do a lot of research tho so hopefully I'll get it figured out soon! Thanks!
 

happyhippiechik

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 28, 2012
41
2
34
North Carolina
Haven't really gotten deep into the comfrey yet (hehe). I did however look it up to get an idea of what you were talking about. I'm an avid researcher in all things organic and am looking forward to learning about it. Thanks so much!
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
25,578
1,302
My DH introduced me to comfrey and told me about it's medicinal uses. I bumped into a guy at a friend's house one day. He had a horrible sore on his arm which left the doctors baffled. They couldn't get it to heal. I told him to come round our place and gave him some comfrey leaves. He crushed it into a pulp and put in on the sore and bandaged it. A few days later his arm was better and within weeks it healed completely.
It's also recommended for woman who gave birth to put some leaves in their bath water. Helps them recover quicker.
Comfrey's good stuff!
 

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