Let’s face it; if you own chickens, you must deal with chicken manure. On average, birds will produce a full cubic foot of chicken manure every six months. But there are benefits, as you can use the waste on your farm as chicken poop fertilizer. We will go more in-depth with this process in this article.
If you want valuable chicken poop fertilizer, you need to start with healthy chickens. Take the right step by giving your chickens a natural and locally sourced product. New Heritage Feed Co. offers animal food options for your birds, formulated with a proven balance of protein, fat, fiber, and minerals.
Read on to learn about how fresh chicken manure can benefit your hobby farm!
What are the Benefits of Chicken Manure
Chicken manure cannot be used without composting and would be too strong to be used on vegetation. It consists of fecal matter, urine, feathers, and coop material. Before composting, chicken poop has a strong odor, attracts flies, and releases ammonia that is unhealthy for your chickens.
Through composting, you can break down substances in chicken poop to be absorbed by plants and soil. Chicken poop fertilizer is more beneficial than if you composted the fertilizer from other farm animals’ waste.
Why is composted chicken manure more beneficial? Chicken poop fertilizer slowly releases macro and micronutrients. If you compare the waste of chickens with other farm animals, you will find high levels of minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The minerals nourish soil and plant life.
Composted chicken poop will reduce the need for additional fertilizers. If you are a home gardener, you will appreciate how organic fertilizer benefits your soil. It adds organic matter to dirt and can increase its water holding capacity.
Consider the economic and environmental advantages of using recycled chicken poop fertilizer. Not only may you spend less money on fertilizer, but you are recycling, which is environmentally wise. Composting on your hobby farm is a beautiful way to contribute to sustainability.
How Do You Compost Chicken Poop
Composting is composed of carbon (bedding), nitrogen (chicken manure), volume, air, moisture, and the right temperature.
Composting “cools” chicken manure reducing the ammonia, so it is no longer harmful to plants. Because chicken manure is high in nitrogen, it takes about six weeks to compost.
Composting chicken poop reduces the volume of the matter and stabilizes the waste so the nutrients can be released slowly in the soil over several years. It also brings the chicken poop fertilizer to a temperature that effectively kills weeds and other pathogens.
The quickest way to compost chicken manure is through hot composting. The waste heats to at least 130 degrees for 15 days through the process. The material breaks down, and pathogens die at high temperatures.
As an alternative, farmers use cold composting, which takes longer. Compost is placed into a pile or bin where it is allowed to naturally breakdown. It can take up to a year before the compost pile is okay to use on plants and soil.
Usually, the chicken waste goes in a bin with other materials (bedding). More bedding, rich in nitrogen and carbon, is added as it decomposes. Bedding can consist of shavings, dry leaves, or straw.
Eventually, the combination of bedding and manure evolves into nourishing compost. The aging process reduces the risk for pathogens such as salmonella and E-coli due to the unfavorable conditions (reduced moisture and dried material). Cold composting does not kill these pathogens but inhibits them from reproducing.
It is important only to apply composted chicken poop to your soil. Also, follow recommended agricultural guidelines on how close to harvest you can use new fertilizer. Until it is ready to be applied, ensure you take proper storage precautions.
How To Store Chicken Poop Fertilizer
The size of the area you store the fertilizer depends on the amount of waste. Always keep it in a place away from children, animals, and weather vulnerabilities. If water from rain or melted snow accumulates around the fertilizer, there is a risk for odor and pathogens.
Remember when considering storage, that the amount of waste reduces as it composts. Volume is usually reduced by half over time. When you are handling the manure at any time during the process, wear gloves and take other safety precautions.
You know the compost pile is ready when the material is dark, crumbly, and has a sweet like smell. It can be spread on soil or mixed into existing soil. When it is ready to be used, take proper safety measures when handling chicken poop fertilizer.
What Are Important Safety Tips for Chicken Manure
Because chicken poop can contain pathogens, it is important to only place composted material on your soil and plants. Handle it properly and allow the time so it properly breaks down.
If used as fertilizer, always make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. If there is the possibility that you are prone to foodborne illnesses, then make sure to avoid uncooked vegetables from manured soil. People who may be inclined to foodborne illnesses include:
- Those who are pregnant
- The elderly
- Small Children
- Individuals with auto-immune conditions
- Those in treatment for chronic conditions (Cancer, kidney disease, liver failure, diabetes)
Remember that if handled safely, chicken poop fertilizer is worth the effort.
How Nutrition Impacts Fertilizer
If you want nutrient-rich chicken poop fertilizer, then provide them nutritional animal food. Chickens have shorter intestines than other animals, so they only absorb certain nutrients. The rest of the nutrients are eliminated by the chicken during digestion and excreted.
By feeding your chickens a balanced nutritional formula, you can ensure you will have a nutrient-rich chicken poop fertilizer. New Balance Heritage Feed Co. combines protein, fat, fiber, and minerals to give chickens the right balance.
We create our animal food with the community, farmers, and animals in mind. It is a collaborative cycle that can start with animal nutrition!