The Compost Heap: Benefit or Harm to Chickens?

By Akrnaf2 · Sep 18, 2015 · Updated Sep 18, 2015 · ·
  1. Akrnaf2
    Compost pile is an excellent ingredient for growing chickens! Except for the ecological sense of organic waste recycling and reuse in the garden. It is full of surprises for the chickens. They scratching and poking greatly in the pile and benefit from the delicious snacks they find, this snacks diverse and balanced their diet. On the other hand the a compost pile is like a " fly in the ointment".
    Sometimes we throw to the pile plant residues such as cabbages, whole or divided, or bases of lettuce etc. These and ,other organic remains, can cause serious problem to chickens!
    In their gut, chickens like other birds, reptiles and rodents sometimes host a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. this bacterium can produces the most potent toxin known to science! (About 700 grams of pure toxin sufficient to kill all the human population!) As long as this bacterium lives in the animal gut, the immune system and the natural bacterial flora in the animal gut (= mutual symbiosis bacteria living in the gut) oversees the bacterium numbers and it not cause damage. Once this bacterium is excreted out, it can multiply in huge numbers and be a danger.
    Since the bacterium is obligatory anaerobic bacteria (= can not survive in an environment containing oxygen) it can only flourish in an environment rich in organic matter decays, and poor in oxygen. Due to this, the compost pile is just the place for him! A place that allows him to thrive without supervision and produce enormous amounts of toxin! All chicken pecking in a contaminated pile may suffer from botulism, which is a phrase that defines the exposure to the toxin, which leads to an involuntary relaxation of skeletal muscles, resulting in the death of suffocation due to paralysis of skeletal muscles responsible for breathing.
    As an aside, Botox is a substance injected into human beings who want to eliminate wrinkles from their faces. The word "Botox" is composed from two words: botulinum toxin. Botox is basically a modified toxin that it toxicity have been tone down. This tone down toxin, could be used in cosmetology to reduce wrinkles. Wrinkles are a continuous contractions of muscles under the face skein, so a subcutaneous injection of this modified toxin, causes relaxation of these muscles cousing the temporary disappearance of the wrinkles!
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  1. daxigait
    Thanks Benny. Great information, though it left me wondering about feeding cabbage ;)
      Akrnaf2, KikisGirls and casportpony like this.
    1. CORick
      I wouldn't worry I regularly hang a cabbage in the coop to keep them entertained and occupied and they are fine.
      casportpony and KikisGirls like this.
  2. casportpony
    You might find this interesting:

    I also found this:
    Clostridium botulinum and bio-compost. A contribution to the analysis of potential health hazards caused by bio-waste recycling.
    Böhnel H1, Lube K.
    Author information

    Bio-waste recycling and the production and use of bio-compost are politically encouraged in Europe. Quality control takes no consideration of pathogenic anaerobic spore formers, e.g. Clostridium botulinum. A protocol for health hazard analysis concerning this pathogen has been developed. Samples of marketed bio-compost were tested and results showed that about 50% of the tested samples contained C. botulinum. For the first time it has been shown that the use of bio-compost represents a health hazard to humans and animals, especially in the future when spores will have accumulated in the environment. The use of household bio-waste collected in 'bio-bins' is apparently one factor involved in the production of contaminated compost end-products. Environmental factors in the propagation of C. botulinum are discussed. The improvement of bio-waste recycling technology and management should be encouraged in order to minimize the health hazard caused by contaminated bio-compost.
  3. Mrs. Light Sussex
    Here's one guy who doesn't think there's a problem with chickens feasting on compost
      eresospam, MaryOos and MrCat like this.

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