how to compost chicken poop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by antmummert, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. antmummert

    antmummert New Egg

    Mar 1, 2010
    Hello all,

    What process do I need to follow to make sure my chicken manure is adequately composted to add to my veggie garden?

    Thank you,

  2. banks

    banks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am searching to find that exact answer.
    I am going to clean out my coop and put down fresh pine shaving. I am wondering how what the best way to save the stuff for later use in the flowerbeds. Right now it just looks loke a lot of pine shavings with alot of dried dirt(poo). I dont know what to do with it.
  3. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    Quote:Just toss it out on the compost pile and water it in. If you need or want to use it faster make poop soup and use a miracle grow sprayer to apply with a garden hose.
    ScoopVicki and Laura Galland like this.
  4. Laigaie

    Laigaie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Fayetteville, AR
    Others here have suggested composting for 120+ days in order to "mellow" the harsh chemicals in the chicken litter.
    Laura Galland likes this.
  5. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Chicken manure is some of the very best fertilizer around and will do great things in a garden. The best news is that placed in a pile of brown stuff like branches/twigs/leaves/etc., it will age and break down into useable nutrition for plants. Initially it is very concentrated and too strong to place around plants, especially young ones in a garden. Aged manure is more palatable. Compost will just happen, but you can speed up the process by turning the pile weekly and spraying with water regularly. This allows the microorganisms and larger worm/insect life to work their magic. The Deep Litter Method is used by many members here at BYC, and this involves slowly building up a deeper and deeper pile of pine shavings in the coop over several months to a depth of 8-12". The earliest litter is being composted underneath the newer layers. Awesome!!

    With a little planning and effort you can use the poop of your birds to grow great plants. Remember: 30% green stuff (manure), 70% brown stuff (as above), air, water and sunshine... a few months later you get garden gold.
    Laura Galland and Jose Tropical like this.
  6. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I compost mine.

    Its not hard - but - there is a difference in how you manage it depending on what you have.

    If its just streight poop from under the roost - it will compost fairly quickly. You do want to add grass clippings but not too much wood.

    If you have all the wood chips from the floor of the coop - it takes quite a bit longer for that to break down than the poop itself.

    I usually leave my pile for a winter season. - pile it up all summer & by spring its ready. That's w/o any turning.
    Laura Galland likes this.
  7. mystus808

    mystus808 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2011
    I think i did mine wrong because i have maggots in the poop. I get chicken skin when i see em.
    1 person likes this.
  8. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:pretty sure that's a good sign though. I've read that bugs, larve and worms are a good thing. Even flys in moderation is expected.

    50% brown and 50% green, keep moist and turn occationally and you'll get compost
  9. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    Quote:So can you use wood chips instead of wood shavings in the coop?? I have been buying pine shavings, while I have TONS (meaning tens, if not hundreds, of truck loads of wood chips) available for free right here, no driving (at $4.15/gallon for gas!).

    I also need help with compost:
    + so I need to clean the chicken coop that has pine shavings and lots of chicken poop.
    + Plus I am weeding some sort of grass out of a large area where I want to plant clover (instead of that weed that will eventually grow taller then me if nobody bothers to fight it) - right now I am getting some green stuff and mostly roots.
    + I also have last year's pile of that weed - it was already taller then me at the time of "harvest".
    + I also have an older compost pile that includes pine shavings from chicken brooder last year (cleaned in August, probably)
    + and kitchen composting waste from last year until March this year (these last two need to be moved from where it is right now).
    + We gather just about one 12 qt bucket of kitchen waste per week.
    + in a week or two I hope to clean this year's brooder

    Can I just dump all of these together into a compost pile? Or would it be wiser to break it into maybe two piles, combining things differently (I actually might have to break into two piles if everything don't fit into one place I prepared)? We also have lots of wood chips (pine mostly, probably), lots of fallen branches from trees, some last years leafs, etc - all of these I can gather if needed for whatever reason. I am next to zero in composting, but I don't want to waste the chicken poo and all of the potential nice soil that one could probably get from all the organic stuff we have. I need good soil for garden planting - how should I do the compost pile so I could use the product next spring?

    I build 3 walls for my new compost pile using "boards" like this: - I already filled it to about 1/3 probably - started with some black soil (well, some of the wood chips were not fully decomposed there), then some dried leafs, but on top of it I already have few buckets of kitchen waste, few buckets of shavings from last year's brooder, few buckets of shavings from the coop (cleaned 1 room out of three, but there was just a very thin layer there), some weeds, etc.

    Please, help me do a nice compost pile! [​IMG]

  10. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2010
    Keep up with the layers, water each layer as you add it. You want the pile moist, not soppy wet.

    If you have open an access compost pile, let your chickens at it. The love digging for bugs. All my bins are full of composting bedding. (I have black plastic bins that hold about a cubic yard but have locking covers) I figure in about three more months I will be able to harvest the compost. In the mean time, I have a growing pile of grasses, weeds and more brooder cleanings (pine shavings & poop). Every couple days we rake it back into a pile, then the chickens get on it and spread it out feasting on the bugs, aerating everything nicely. That pile is breaking down twice as fast as the ones in their tidy containers. You won't see any maggots if the chickens get there. Yum. Treat!

    It is hard to ruin a compost pile, perhaps putting grease or meat in it would stink it up. Not watering the pile enough really slows down the composting process. It is hot and dry here, so I have a problem with the edges not breaking down, so I have to turn it. If it gets too wet for too long, it will stink like a nasty sponge. Turn it and cut back on the water. If it starts stinking like ammonia, it was too much nitrogen-normally happens when too much lawn trimmings are added at once. Add more brown stuff (carbon) such as dead plants, paper, even dirt and turn. The only thing that will completely ruin a compost pile is adding plants that have been sprayed with a long lasting herbicide. I use 20% vinegar when I have to have an herbicide, otherwise the chickens take care of it. see below.
    "As the garden season ramps up, we at Mother Earth News want to let you... know that you may want to screen any hay, grass clippings or compost you bring into your gardens, to assure the materials are not contaminated with persistent herbicide residues (most often clopyralid and aminopyralid). As our reports included below indicate, these chemical residues can kill plants or severely stunt their production, costing gardeners money and time."
    1 person likes this.

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