houseofclucks

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 15, 2007
52
0
39
Massachusetts
Hi all! I have a quick question regarding composting of chicken manure. My chickens, nine in total, have pine wood shavings in the coop for bedding. I have started a composting pile with the hopes of using the broken down matter in my garden. Can you compost the pine shavings? I have ALOT of pine shavings in the compost pile because I shovel everything out at the same time. I don't seperate the chicken poop from the shavings. I have herd that pine shavings are to acidic and I also herd that they are fine. Which is true? Thanks for any replies
 

Brian

Songster
12 Years
Sep 30, 2007
387
13
141
Jacksonville, ORegon
There is no doubt that the shavings are acidic. However, some plants like acidic soil. Also, you can buy agricultural "lime" at the garden center to bring up the pH to neutral. They will have pH strips for sale there too.
Compost piles need more than just dry (browns) material. The pile needs to be layered with wet (greens). So, make yourself a little extra pile of greens (table scraps, lawn clippings, weeds, etc). When you put the shavings in the compost, put in a layer around 4 inches thick, then a layer of greens (which doesn't have to be that thick). Keep the compost pile moist at all times and turn it every week or two.
The chicken poop will make your compost very valuable!
 

stilwellchick

Songster
12 Years
Jun 16, 2007
290
7
141
Stilwell, KS
I have found that the shavings really take forever to break down. I compost the droppings that I collect under the roost, some people use a dropping pit for this. Remember that the manure has to cure for a while to take the "heat" (ammonia) out of it before you use it in your garden. I have friends that I save it for also, they say they say it is the best fertilizer for their vegie gardens.
 

d.k

red-headed stepchild
11 Years
Feb 6, 2008
3,085
13
221
Southeast Coast of Florida
*I'm a little envious. Pine shavings would really help with our alkaline 'soil' (so-called, though the only soil in it is what I've paid for and spread myself!!) I recommend a soil test. You may find that you can go a long way before the pine shaving compost starts to cause a problem. . .I recently read a gardening site in the UK where folks were complaining over the volume of earthworm castings on their ultra green lush lawns and gorgeous flower beds!! Not too many places here could complain of an overabundance of earthworms, I don't think. Their lawn ph's were running 5.5-6!!
 
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