Thursday, September 29, 2011

Uses for Wood Shavings

We get wood shavings from a sawmill near town.  There are several mills around here and they all give away their wood shavings.  It saves them having to pay to haul them away.  We have found one place that has the perfect shavings for us.  At some of the other places, they are too fine and contain too much sawdust so they are hard to use.  All you need is a shovel and garbage bags and you are in business.

We mostly use the shavings for the chicken coop.  I use the deep-litter method to cover the floor and find it works great with little or no smell and little work on a daily and weekly basis. 

How the deep-litter method works is that you cover the floor with shavings and as the girls poo (usually from high on the roosts at night) you add more shavings and it all gets mixed together.  The shavings keep the floors dry and relatively odor free.  Some people rake out the droppings but I don't.  Some people stir them into the shavings but I don't.  What I do is occasionally throw in a handful of scratch (grain) and the girls stir it up with their digging and scratching.  When the shavings are too dirty, usually they are 6 to 8" deep they get hauled out to use in the garden and we start again.  They get spread on the half of the garden we are not using that year and dug in so they break down and provide nutrients for the next season.

I also read that you can use the shavings as ground cover so I decided to try that in the raspberry patch.  First we weeded between the rows.

Then it was rototilled and raked smooth.

Next we overlapped newspapers.  We layered them around half a dozen pages thick or so.  This is supposed to help keep the weeds down.

After the newspaper was down, we dumped on the shavings and spread them around.

The shavings are around three inches thick between the rows.

Now doesn't that look nice?  I think it will work great so we won't have to till between the rows.  If the shavings get too packed, we can just add more.  All it takes is a trip to the mill and we're in business again.

If it works well then we will use paper and shavings as ground cover between all the permanent rows at the back.  Only time will tell.  ;)

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea. I use Pine shaving in my coop but I pay for them. I do have some saw mills close by I am going to have to give them a call.