Eco Friendly Hacks

How to Compost Chicken Manure? Learn in Just 5 Easy Steps

How to compost chicken manure

Being a pet lover is a challenging task, especially when you rear a chicken in your home. But if you learn how to compost chicken manure, you will wonder to see the incredible outcomes.

Although you feel glad-tidings in your stomach when you get an egg from your chicken just after 24 hours. But when it produces waste as manure, about 1 cubic foot in six months, it will be a headache that needs to cure asap.

So, let’s work for your solace as well as for saving the planet from unwanted waste. Yeah! It’s talking about composting chicken manure. Because this process grants high nutrients to the soil which leads to the utmost benefits on yield. 

So, here in this guide, all the major aspects will be covered about composting chicken feces. But first, just revive your knowledge about composting with respect to chicken manure.

A Brief Note on Composting

On the whole, composting is considered as a biological recycling or waste management process. In this process, organic wastes (leaves, grass clippings, food scraps, and of course chicken manure, etc.) are recycled by means of microorganisms. Microbes, including bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes, basically break down organic substances into a stable and nutrient-rich substance, meaning compost. Thus it’s an ideal option to nourish plants and get more yields.

Get to Know About Chicken Manure

Chicken manure is a valuable organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It’s an excellent source of nutrients for plants and can help increase soil fertility. However, fresh chicken manure is high in ammonia, which can burn plants if it’s not composted properly. Composting chicken manure is essential to reduce the risk of burning your plants and to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Thus, it’s essential to know how to compost chicken manure.

Boon Sides of Composting Chicken Manure

There are several environmental and economic benefits when you compost chicken feces. Some of them are;

Preventing Environmental Pollution

Composting chicken manure reduces waste and prevents environmental pollution, such  as water and air pollution. 

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions by diverting organic waste from landfills, which emit methane gas.

Improving Soil Health & Fertility

It also improves soil health and fertility by providing essential nutrients, improving soil structure, and promoting beneficial soil microorganisms. This, in turn, can lead to increased crop yields, reduced soil erosion, and improved water retention.

Providing Feed to Soil Microbes

Soil microbes feed on organic matter like chicken manure compost which then makes the nutrients more readily available to plants.

Working as a Natural Fertilizer

Chicken manure provides Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to your plants (more than horse, cow, or steer manure).

Key Factors to Consider While Composting Chicken Manure

How to compost chicken manure

Before getting to know how to compost chicken manure, it’s essential to figure out the factors affecting the process.

To properly compost chicken manure, it is important to maintain the ideal conditions for the microorganisms responsible for the process. Generally, the composting process of chicken manure is influenced by various factors, including temperature, moisture, oxygen, and the carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio. Let’s talk briefly about the major ones.

Carbon-to-Nitrogen (C:N) Ratio

The C:N ratio is a critical factor that determines the rate and efficiency of composting. Chicken manure typically has a high nitrogen content, which can cause the compost pile to become too hot and release ammonia gas. 

Therefore, adding a source of carbon, such as dried leaves or straw, can balance the C:N ratio and prevent excess heat and ammonia release.


Temperature is another critical factor in composting chicken manure. The ideal temperature range for composting is between 50-65°C (122-149°F), which is necessary to kill harmful pathogens and weed seeds. At this temperature range, the thermophilic microorganisms can effectively break down the organic matter and produce a stable and mature compost. 

However, if the temperature gets too high, above 70°C (158°F), the microorganisms can die, and the composting process can slow down. Therefore, it is important to monitor the temperature regularly and turn the compost pile to ensure proper aeration.


Moisture is also a crucial factor in composting chicken manure. Microorganisms need moisture to survive and decompose organic matter. However, if the pile becomes too wet, it can lead to anaerobic conditions and the production of harmful odors. 

Therefore, it is essential to maintain a moisture level between 40-60% and turn the compost pile regularly to ensure proper aeration and moisture distribution.

How to Compost Chicken Manure

How to compost chicken manure

Composting chicken manure is easy, but it requires a little bit of knowledge and patience. For clarifying the process, here are the steps that will determine how to compost chicken manure.

Step 1. Collecting Chicken Manure

The first step in composting chicken manure is to collect it. If you have chickens in your backyard, you probably already have a steady supply of manure. You can collect it from the coop floor, roosts, and nesting boxes.

It’s essential to collect the manure regularly, as it can build up quickly, leading to odor problems and attracting flies. Aim to collect the manure daily or every other day.

If you don’t have chickens but still want to compost chicken manure, you can often find it for free or cheap from local farms or poultry breeders. Be sure to ask if the manure is fresh or aged, as aged manure is better for composting.

Step 2. Preparing the Composting Site

Before you start composting, you need to choose a suitable site for your compost pile or bin. The ideal location should be in a sunny area with good drainage and where it won’t bother your neighbors with any odor.

If you have a lot of chicken manure to compost, you might want to consider building a compost bin. You can construct a compost bin from wooden pallets, chicken wire, or even an old trash can. Whatever the structure, it should allow for air circulation, drainage, and easy access for turning.

Step 3. Creating the Composting Pile

Once you have your composting site ready, it’s time to start building your compost pile. The key to a successful compost pile is to have a balance of nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich materials. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen, so you need to balance it with carbon-rich materials such as straw, sawdust, or dried leaves.

  • Start by creating a layer of carbon-rich material at the bottom of the compost bin or pile. This will help with drainage and prevent the pile from becoming too wet. 
  • Add a layer of chicken manure on top of the carbon-rich material, and then cover it with another layer of carbon-rich material.
  • Repeat this process, alternating between layers of chicken manure and carbon-rich material until you reach the desired height for your compost pile or bin. 
  • Aim for a ratio of two parts carbon to one part nitrogen.

Step 4. Watering & Turning the Composting Pile

Once you’ve built your compost pile, it’s essential to keep it moist. The ideal moisture level is similar to a wrung-out sponge – not too wet, but not too dry. Water your compost pile regularly, but be careful not to overwater it, as this can lead to the pile becoming waterlogged and anaerobic.

To help your compost pile decompose quickly and evenly, it’s crucial to turn it on regularly. Turning your compost pile every week or two will help to aerate it and mix the materials, ensuring that they break down evenly.

Step 5. Allowing the Compost to Mature

After several weeks of regular turning and watering, your compost pile will start to break down. At this point, the pile might be hot to the touch, indicating that the composting process is working correctly. It’s essential to allow your compost pile to mature for at least three months before using it in your garden.

                            So now, hopefully, you have learned how to compost chicken manure in just 5 steps. 

Some Mandatory Safety Measures!

Fresh chicken manure may contain disease organisms that could contaminate root crops (carrots, radishes, beets) and leaves (lettuce, spinach). DO NOT spread uncomposted manure on the soil in your vegetable garden. 

The following “safety tips” are summarized from the Stewardship Gardening Program provided by Washington State University:

  • Apply only aged or composted manure to your soil.
  • Always wear gloves when handling livestock manure.
  • Thoroughly wash raw vegetables before eating.
  • Do not use cat, dog or pig manure in compost piles.
  • People who are susceptible to food-borne illnesses should avoid eating uncooked vegetables from manured gardens. Those who face risks from food-borne illness include pregnant women, very young children, and persons with cancer, kidney failure, liver disease, diabetes, or AIDS.

The End Note

If you don’t know how to compost chicken manure, then this guide would surely assist you a lot. Because composting is a valuable and sustainable practice that can benefit both the environment and agriculture. Proper composting techniques, based on scientific principles, can produce a safe and nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. Being a natural and cost-effective way, it lets to manage organic waste and improves soil health, which can contribute to a more sustainable and resilient agricultural system.

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