Composting Chicken Manure


Have you recently started composting or are planning to start soon?

Do you have access to chicken manure that goes to waste?

Do you want to know if you can use chicken manure to create useful compost?

If you have never tried it out yet, this article can help you take your very first steps towards creating some really good and healthy compost using chicken manure. In fact, you can use this as a beginner’s guide to composting chicken manure, as you will find all the detailed steps here.

We will give you an idea of why chicken manure can be such a good ingredient for creating compost and how you can use this compost once you have made it. Read on to find detailed instructions on everything you will need and the complete how-to to create compost using chicken leaves.

Is chicken manure a good ingredient to add to compost?

If you do have access to chicken manure, you can now use it to make some really good compost that you can then use for your plants. In fact, adding chicken manure to your composting pile can be a great way to add some great ingredients for the mix.

How chicken manure can be beneficial to compost

Here are a few ways in which adding chicken manure to your compost can be so good:

Option #1

Improves the quality of the soil:

  • There is a lot of organic matter that chicken manure will add to your compost mix.
  • This will improve the overall quality of the soil when the compost is used.

Option #2

Increases the water holding capacity of the soil:

  • Chicken manure improves the porousness of the soil.
  • As a result, it improves the ability of soil to retain water and keeps it moist.

Option #3

Acts as a great natural fertilizer mix:

  • Adding chicken manure brings in a mix of various important nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the soil.
  • In fact, chicken manure provides more of these nutrients than even cow or horse manure.

Option #4

Speeds up the composting process:

  • Chicken manure is a mix of all the ingredients that create a healthy balance in the compost pile.
  • As a result, it helps all the ingredients to break down faster and speeds up the composting process.

How do you compost chicken manure?

Chicken manure is essentially the faeces of chicken and in fact, converting this into compost is quite an easy process. You can easily do it at home, in the convenience of your chicken farm or your garden.

Are there steps to follow to ensure the compost is safe to use?

While chicken manure can get you some really good compost that will be very beneficial for your soil overall, there are a few things that you need to take care of.

  • Chicken manure contains very high amounts of nitrogen.
  • While this is a good thing, this can be potentially very harmful for the plants if the composting process has not taken place properly.
  • If the chicken manure compost is still raw, it can end up burning and killing your plants.
  • Make sure you follow the steps shared below and take proper care to ensure that the compost is ready, before using it.

How To Compost Chicken Manure (QUICK & EASY)

Complete list of materials and equipment needed

  • Separate containers to collect composting ingredients
  • Composting bin
  • Brown material for composting
  • Green material for composting
  • Water
  • Composting thermometer

Step by Step Instructions

1. Start collecting all the materials that you will eventually put in the compost mix.

2. You can collect the chicken manure through the day so that you don’t have to scoop it up each time and add it in the bin.

3. Collect other bedding material such as wood shavings, rice hull and so on which will act as the first layer of the compost mix.

4. In another container, keep adding ingredients such as the waste from your kitchen, food and vegetable peels, fresh grass clippings, plant waste, leaves and so on.

5. Your ideal mix of the manure and the other materials that you will add has to be about 25 percent of chicken manure and 75 percent of the other materials.

6. Once you have enough material to start composting with, it will be time to layer the piles.

7. A good amount to start with is to have about 1 cubic foot of ingredients. This will help the compost to heat up properly and reach an ideal temperature of 140 degrees F to 160 degrees F.

8. This will also help to kill any traces of the pathogenic bacteria which can otherwise be damaging for your plants.  

9. For the layering process, first add a layer of brown matter, followed by green matter.

10. Once your layers are enough, it is time to add water. Remember that you don’t have to make the compost mix wet. You have to add water in such a way that the pile looks like a wet sponge, not too wet, and definitely not dry.

11. It is important to keep a note of the temperature in the compost mix. Do this daily using a thermometer and keep a log for at least three days.

12. Remember that it is important to maintain the right temperature in the compost that you are making with the chicken manure. This will help to kill any bacteria or salmonella. Keep checking to see that you get the ideal temperature.

13. Keep turning the pile regularly and check the temperature, so that all parts of the compost pile get mixed up evenly and get the desired temperature.

14. It is important that you cover the compost mix and keep it at least for about 80 days. This will help the composting process to work the right way and will ensure that all the pathogens are killed.

Safety tips while using

Chicken manure can contain some germs and organisms that can be harmful when you come in contact.

  • Make sure you always wear gloves before collecting or handling the chicken manure.
  • Use the compost only when it is completely ready and has been through the ideal temperatures.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits properly before eating.

Best uses of compost made from chicken manure

Here are a few ways in which you can use the compost once it is ready:

  1. Add it to your vegetable gardens: This will be a great natural fertilizer that will improve the yield of vegetables.
  2. Dig it into the soil: When you are getting your soil ready for planting season, you can dig in the compost into the soil to make it more ready for your crops.
  3. Spread it on top: You can easily use it after planting your crops by adding it as a top layer. Just spread it evenly over the soil.

The final compost will depend on various factors such as the quality of the ingredients that you are using, the way you are doing the composting process and also the kind of weather you are in.

So, even if the compost from the chicken manure does not turn out absolutely great the first few times, don’t give up. Keep trying and using the chicken manure that you have around you, and soon, you will be rewarded with some amazing nutrient-rich compost for your plants.   

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