pine shaving and chicken manure

galcho(z8 Northwest)March 2, 2008

I have some pine shaving (not sawdust) that was used in chicken coop, so it mixed with chicken manure.

Question: What is the better way to compost it? What to add? How big pile should be? How long will it take to compost them?

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Depending on how much of each you have, you may not need to add anything. Chicken manure is high in N and pine shavings are high in C, so they should compost on their own. If it starts to stink, you can add more high C matter (leaves, sawdust, shredded paper, cardboard, etc). If it's not composting, you can add more high N (coffee grounds, manure, blood meal, etc).

I've seen compost get produced in as little as 3 weeks and I've seen it take a year or so, depending on the material used, how much water is there, whether or not it's turned, etc.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Am I to assume I can use the dozens of rotted pine trees on my acreage for compost in my sandy garden? I have been using shredded leaves, kitchen scraps, etc. but that has hardly any affect on this sugar sand. Also I weary of buying topsoil at walmart to mix in with it. So this also means I can use the rotted oak trees, correct?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Stop buying "topsoil" from any source since any "topsoil" you buy will simply be about 95 percent mineral (what you already have a lot of) and about 5 percent organic matter (what youreally need a lot of) so all you do with that "topsoil" is add lots of what you already have and little of what you need.
The ratio of the wood shavings and manure is relatively important but since both of those materials tend to be dry you may well need to add some water. Adding more vegetative waste to the pine shavings would be good since you would be adding sources of lots of other nutrients to the mix and the more nutrients added to compost is better compost in the end. I've found, over many years, that a mixture of 3 parts of vegetative waste to 1 part manure, makes no difference which manure, works best.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 7:45AM
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galcho(z8 Northwest)

I'll try to mix grass cuttings and some weeds with shavings and add water. Will see how it works. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:26PM
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collins design

has anyone actually composted pine shavings from a chicken coop succesfully? I tried once... granted I am in Maine with a pretty short warm season... but I could not get the shavings to break down in the year or so before I moved from that house. The manure got the pile nice and hot, and all of the other material in the pile (garden scraps, leaves, kitchen waste) broke down, but the shavings remained pretty intact. I was living in the city, with only the one compost bin, so I ended up sending my used shavings to the landfill. Felt really bad about that! Now I have more land so I can have a longer-term pile... but I'm heistant after my first go at it was so unsuccessful!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 5:06PM
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I've not composted pine chips, but I use a bag of hardwood and softwood shavings to mix with my fresh grass clippings to make the bulk of my compost. Within about 6 months the sawdust and grass with kitchen scraps and such make a pleasant earthy smelling compost. The wood dust/shavings take longer than leaves, but works well enough. Pine may be a different story though since it has so much lignin.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 5:27PM
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