Maurice Pitesky is a faculty member at University of California School of Veterinary Medicine-Cooperative Extension with an appointment in, Recipe: Cinnamon & Sugar Brioche Is A Rich, Tender Treat, “The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm” Is A Comprehensive Guide For No-Till Farmers, Goat Glamping & Miniature Donkeys Star At Honey Blom Farms, Replace Traditional ‘Clean-Up’ Practices for Healthier (and Livelier!) All chicken owners need to learn proper techniques for how to clean a chicken coop. Required fields are marked *. Do not add dog, cat or human feces to your compost pile, as, You shouldn’t smell ammonia associated with manure inside the coop; aside from being bad for our lungs, it can cause ulcers in the chickens’ corneas. Fresh manure will burn the plant’s roots and leaves because it is too strong or “hot” unless it is composted. Thank you for choosing this service. This article appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Chickens. Do not add cat, dog, or pig feces into your compost. In a 2014 survey conducted by UC Davis Animal Science Master’s student Carine Elkhoraibi and her adviser, Dr. Joy Mench, more than 1,400 backyard chicken-keepers responded. The used bedding should be collected together with the manure and put into the compost Compost is a safe and ideal fertilizer for your home garden—if processed correctly. The temperature is key: Submitting compost samples to a lab for detection of pathogens is not practical or effective. Chicken manure compost adds organic matter back into the soil and contributes nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Ask the Expert — December 2014/January 2015, Ask the Expert —December 2015/January 2016. Always wash produce thoroughly before eating. Dr. Pandey’s research focus is on composting and microbial waste management, and Dr. Pitesky’s research focus is on poultry health and food safety epidemiology. Think bedding material, such as rice hulls and wood shavings, and put it in a composting bin. Very low levels of these bacteria will not cause disease if you have a normal immune system. You should have at least 1 cubic foot of material to allow the composting process to heat the pile up to an internal temperature of 140 to 160 degrees F, which will kill pathogenic bacteria. Her book, Chickens From Scratch, is available at http://iamcountryside.com/shop/chickens-from-scratch/. (One cubic yard is recommended for the size of the bin). Straw, though commonly used, isn’t the best choice for bedding, as it’s relatively nonabsorbent compared to wood shavings or rice hulls, and can contribute to that strong ammonia smell. (One cubic yard is recommended for the size of the bin). Compost does not have the unpleasant odor. Remember that after you compost the material can still contain low levels of salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens, which is fine. Individuals with compromised health should not eat raw food from a manure-fed garden. When your last garden is finished for the year, you will take all of the chicken manure you have and spread it over the garden. Multiply that by the six chickens in an average backyard chicken flock and you have a mountain of manure every year! Hot composting is the fastest method to compost chicken manure. Your email address will not be published. Good luck learning how to make compost using chicken manure! Deal to the high temperature in aerobic fermentation process, aerobic decompose is also hot composting. Your email address will not be published. All rights reserved. Backyard chicken keeping has many benefits aside from farm-fresh eggs. If you don’t achieve that temperature, the chances of pathogen survival for an extended period of time will increase. How can you turn your pile of chicken manure into something beneficial like the delicious eggs your hens are producing? When asked the major reasons they kept backyard chickens, 95 percent of the respondents mentioned food for home use followed by 63 percent who listed their chickens as gardening partners: Think pest control and manure as a fertilizer. http://iamcountryside.com/shop/chickens-from-scratch/. On commercial farms, farmers match the nutrient requirements of the crop with the application rate, which helps mitigate any issues related to nitrogen leaching into groundwater. In its raw form, however, poultry manure also has high concentrations of bacteria, including pathogenic salmonella, meaning that you should never apply raw poultry manure to your edible garden. This approach is not practical for backyard gardeners, but it’s important to recognize that more is not always better and the timing of application is important. Aside from providing nutrients to your plants, the manure adds organic matter to the soil and increases the water-holding capacity and the beneficial bacteria present in the soil, but processing it properly is paramount. However, temperatures of 160 degrees F or higher will kill salmonella and common bacterial pathogens found in poultry manure. After approximately one year, you should have some very rich, valuable compost suitable for your garden. You’re aiming for approximately 25 percent manure and 75 percent other materials, which can include the aforementioned bedding material, leaves, plant material or kitchen scraps, and lawn clippings. You’re looking for the pile to match the texture of a wet sponge. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. As chicken keepers who need to scoop the poop daily, the gathering can be an ongoing process. All of the E.Coli and Salmonella should have been destroyed by the heat produced during composting. Put the compost in a covered pile for at least 80 days. Your email address will not be published. Perfect chicken manure compost in just 18 Days While waiting for sunshine and flowers, I brushed up on everything I knew about the Berkeley method of hot composting. If you do, you need more bedding material. The best way to dispose of the manure is to first compost it and then use it correctly and safely. But, when properly composted, chicken manure is an excellent soil amendment. After you’ve filled up your compost bin with your collection of green and brown parts, thoroughly wet down the mixture. Chickens provide us with hours of companionship, fresh eggs, and manure! Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). Chicken farmers use sawdust, shavings, dry leaves, or straw as dry bedding for chicken.
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