Pine shavings and poo, what to do with it??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by annabelle08, May 26, 2016.

  1. annabelle08

    annabelle08 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am using pine shavings for bedding. I live in a small city, which means I have garbage pick-up and so on. Right now, while my chicks are still in the brooder, I am cleaning it every other day and putting in garbage sacks to take out front for pick-up, however, I'm not going to be able to keep that up when they are in their outdoor pen. What do you do when you clean their coop? I tried using it for mulch, but it doesn't break down too fast. How are people using it for fertilizer? Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In a word.........compost.

    Composting takes some understanding of the process, the mixing of carbon, nitrogen, water and air to form over time what is called compost..........what some think of as gardener's gold.

    The manure your birds leave behind is the nitrogen. The pine shavings / litter that absorbs it the carbon.......now all you need is a compost bin or some such place to store it while the little bugs and micro-organisms go to work. That will take time....but not as much as you might think.

    Given a chance, the same birds that supplied the nitrogen will go to work on your compost bin, thrashing and scratching to turn and mix it for you.

    It takes a bit of time to get it setup and going, but once you do, it's a continuous process.

    The two......compost and your birds.....work really well together if you let them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. annabelle08

    annabelle08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Howard. I'll have to think of a way to have them scratch it. Maybe if I build a compost bin as part of their run...hmmm..
    I don't plan on having them free range. I have dogs who are chomping at the bit now to get at them. I have to take them out during the day to their coop and let them scratch and eat the grass now, keeping the dogs in the house, then bringing the chicks back in after a few hours out.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Putting the compost bin inside the run makes for an interesting option. Not sure I've seen that done. Birds would probably kiss you if they could if you did.

    Depending on the size of your run and the number of birds you have.......a simple compost bin could be 3 wood pallets set upright on edge......joined at the corners. The 4th open side.....partially enclosed by 1 inch thick deck boards......or 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 at the top......bottom half left open to pull / pitch fork from out the bottom. Pull from it to use, or now and then, pull from it and toss on top to "seed" or inocculate new litter as it is added. Birds would climb all over it......like playground equipment. Scratching and digging on top......scratching and digging at the opening along the bottom of the front side. As they work it out, fork or shovel it back on top to keep things going.

    Kitchen scraps added to it when you can.........except most likely fist fights.....or the chicken equivalent.......would break out as they fight over those.
     
  5. PineCone67

    PineCone67 Out Of The Brooder

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    Check your city/county website to see if they are offering a 'compost bin sale'. I decided to give composting a try, mostly due to the same issue you're facing. I am super excited to be able to 'recycle' not only the bedding from my coop but also various kitchen scraps, coffee grinds, etc. It has only been six weeks but I can see that the compost is already 'cooking' and cannot wait for the process to complete in order to be able to harvest some finished product in the late summer/early fall.

    [​IMG]


    Give it a try; you won't be disappointed.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Google "Hen Blog". There is a lady in Mass. that has a compost bin in her run. She recently "deactivated" her blog but she said she was going to leave the website up so if you look there it may give you a good idea of how to make it work.

    I t0o use pine shavings. I have 26 birds and my coop is 10 x 12. I only clean three times a year.

    The cleaning in November the shavings and all go right on the garden. By spring the shaving and poo have working there way to dirt.

    The cleaning in the spring I bag and put in the garbage.

    The cleaning in July I actually just spread it out in the run. The hens then scratch it to nothing.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  7. forgefarm

    forgefarm New Egg

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    I've got my compost in the middle of my run! My chickens love it!
     
  8. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    you local city might have a composting program in place. .so check their website

    some city will provide 1 FREE compost bin per household while another will charge you $5 for one (but there's no limit)

    The compost bin provided by the city is pretty much your trash can that was cut in half with 2-3 in holes drilled in around the can.

    for what you can and can't compost and how to do it
    https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home


    if you don't like reading.. watch this video.. it's pretty helpful :)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    I clean out my coop twice a year. All the wood shavings and 6 months of manure go into the garden. Then I put the girls to work.

    [​IMG]


    It takes 4 chickens about 11 days to incorporate all that material into the garden soil. Then a couple weeks later...I plant. I have deep rich soil, and I don't need to rototil.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016

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