Chicken Manure Composting Process, Benefits

Introduction: Hello chicken farmers today we have a great information of chicken manure composting process, benefits and it’s disadvanatges. Chicken manure is the feces of chickens used as an organic fertilizer, particularly for soil low in nitrogen. Of all animal manures, and it has the highest amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Chicken manure is sometimes pelletized for use as a fertilizer, and this product could have additional phosphorus, potassium or nitrogen added.

A step by step guide to chicken manure composting

Chicken manure could be a great addition to garden soil. Chicken waste is not waste at all, it’s actually garden gold that can be used as an organic fertilizer for lawn and garden. To make the magic happen, it all comes down to composting a natural method to transform chicken manure and other non-toxic materials into natural fertilizer. Because chicken manure is naturally high in nitrogen, it should be broken down through composting before being used as fertilizer in larger amounts.

A Guide to Chicken Manure Composting Process.
A Guide to Chicken Manure Composting Process.

Availability of nutrients in chicken manure

Chicken manure consists of both organic and inorganic forms of the plant nutrients. Nitrogen nutrient occurs as ammonia and uric acid. The uric acid converts to urea, the urea rapidly decomposes to ammonia gas, which causes the strong offensive odor often noticeable with chicken manure. Use preservatives to prevent the loss of ammonia gas. Conversion of the uric acid and urea to ammonia is rapid during the first two weeks after the addition of manure to warm moist soil, but the conversion of the organic forms of nitrogen to an obtainable form is slow during the first 4 weeks after its addition. About 60% of the nitrogen becomes obtainable during the first 6 weeks in the soil; the remaining nitrogen is converted slowly and may not be available until the next crop or season.

Phosphorus is primarily organic and becomes available as the manure decomposes, but all could not be available until the next crop or season. Potassium is present in the inorganic form and readily obtainable to plants. Proper handling is necessary to prevent the loss of potassium and other soluble nutrients by leaching. Other plant nutrients become available during decomposition of chicken manure and, like phosphorus, may not all be obtainable until the next crop or season.

Natural aging

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to manipulate composting times, the easiest process is simply to leave the chicken manure in a safe place and wait. Without a host, disease-causing organisms cannot survive a year of exposure. And enough nutrients will have broken down the manure to prevent damage to plant roots. If in doubt, wait 120 days between compost application and harvest of any product where the edible element touches the soil or 90 days for other crops. The utilization of chicken manure as an organic fertilizer is important in improving soil productivity and crop production.

Fresh chicken manure

Fresh chicken manure consists of 0.8% potassium, 0.4% to 0.5% phosphorus and 0.9% to 1.5% nitrogen. One chicken produces approximately 8 to 11 pounds of manure monthly. Chicken manure can be used to make homemade plant fertilizer.

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Potential risks fresh chicken manure

Though it is rich in nutrients, fresh chicken manure can pose problems in the garden. Because it is so rich, it will make enough heat during decomposition to scorch tender plant roots. More importantly, fresh chicken manure can have a number of human pathogens and parasites, including Salmonella spp. and E. coli. High-temperature composting to the elements over time will kill these harmful organisms and leaving the chicken manure safer for use on food crops.

Composting chicken manure

The composition of chicken manure varies according to the age of the chicken, moisture content and age of the manure, amount of litter, and storage and handling practices. In addition to the main plant food nutrients and organic matter content, manure contains many secondary plant foods. The value of chicken manure will decrease with age. Those manures that are several years old have little nutritive value, they serve as excellent organic soil amendments.

Chicken manure composting gives the manure time to break down some of the powerful nutrients so that they are more usable by the plants. Composting chicken manure is simple and if you have chickens, you can use the bedding from your own chickens. If you do not have own chickens, then you can locate a farmer who owns chickens and they will most likely be happy to provide you the used chicken bedding. The next step in chicken manure composting is to get the used bedding and put it into a compost bin. Water it thoroughly and turn the pile every few weeks to get air into the pile. It takes about 6 to 9 months, on average, for chicken manure compost to be done properly. The exact amount of time it takes for composting chicken manure mainly depends on the conditions under which it is composted. If you are uncertain how well your chicken manure has been composted, you can wait up to 12 months to use chicken manure compost. Once you have finished chicken manure composting, and it is ready to use. Simply spread the chicken manure compost consistently over the garden. Work the compost into the soil with either a shovel or tiller.

Manufacture process of fertilizer from chicken waste

Fertilizing is one of the important parts of gardening. Like people and animals, also plants have to eat as well. Spurred by this, people are becoming very interested and involved in organic fertilizers. One of the oldest and probably most well-known processes is chicken manure.

Chicken manure delivers quality nutrients that are calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. It doesn’t stop there, also providing micronutrients, for example, copper and zinc.

Chicken poop as fertilizer contains nutrients that are;

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Chlorine
  • Boron
  • Iron
  • Molybdenum

Fertilizing with raw manure – Collect fresh chicken manure along with whatever bedding it is mixed with for example sawdust or straw. Spread the manure and bedding directly on garden beds and let them rest. On established vegetable beds, wait until after the harvest before adding the manure. Never apply raw manure to perennial beds as it will damage root systems and can kill the plants. This gives the manure time to break down and most seed packets include information on “days to maturity.”

Creating composted manure from chicken

Layer raw chicken manure and carbon in a compost pile or bin, until you have roughly 1 cubic foot of materials. Strive for a ratio of 50 percent chicken manure or nitrogen to 50 percent carbon. Carbons are plant-based materials for example straw, sawdust, and leaves. Both carbon and nitrogen in the good ratio are needed to keep the composting microorganisms reproducing and functioning.

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Sprinkle the pile or bin with water and a pile that is about as moist as a damp sponge. Water as necessary to keep this wetness. Wait for the center of the pile to reach a temperature of 130 to 150°F. This is hot enough to kill the pathogens without destroying helpful bacteria in the process. Measure it using a compost temperature gauge and maintain the compost center’s temperature at 130 to 150°F for three days. It will begin to cool after that time.

Mix the compost with a pitchfork to exchange the cooled, center component of the compost pile with the manure and carbon on the outer rim. Allow the center of the reworked pile to reach the correct temperature and stay there for 3 days. Repeat the procedure of exchanging the center part of the compost pile with the outer rim materials at least 3 times. Leave the compost to allow it to cure for roughly 2 months. Then compost is finished when it is dark, crumbly and sweet-smelling.

Fertilizing with composted manure

Screen your cured compost to eliminate sticks and other debris. Put hardware cloth over a bucket or wheelbarrow. Toss shovel-fulls of compost on the hardware cloth and keep the finer pieces that drop through, and put the larger pieces back in the compost pile for finishing.

Work 2 to 3 inches of finely grained compost into the soil before planting flowers, vegetables and fruit crops. Use the compost as mulch around trees and in perennial beds. Add cured compost to potted plants to provide them a boost.

How to preserve manure

Nutrient loss from manure could be prevented by proper handling and storage. Materials that can be used to prevent the loss of nutrients from chicken manure are single superphosphate; a mixed fertilizer, such as 0-15-30, and hydrated lime. The recommended rate is 100 pounds fertilizer per ton of fresh chicken manure or 2 pounds of fertilizer sprinkled on the droppings from 100 birds. Superphosphate is most effective for preventing nitrogen loss, and hydrated lime is an effective deodorizer. Hydrated lime increases nitrogen losses from chicken manure. Stored manure must be protected from bad weather to prevent the loss of soluble nutrients by leaching.

Using chicken manure for vegetable garden fertilizer

Chicken manure for vegetable garden fertilizing will produce excellent soil for vegetables to grow in. You will find that your vegetables will grow bigger and healthier as an effect of using chicken manure fertilizer.

Chicken manure for vegetable garden fertilizing is excellent, but there are some things you want to know about it in order to use it correctly. Chicken manure fertilizer is high in nitrogen and also contains a good amount of potassium and phosphorus. But the high nitrogen in the chicken manure is dangerous to plants if the manure has not been correctly composted. Raw chicken manure fertilizer can burn, and even kill vegetable plants. Composting chicken manure mellows the nitrogen and makes the manure suitable for the vegetable garden.

Drying poultry manure

With the help of the Dorset Dryer, poultry manure can be dried and then converted either into organic fertilizer or fuel.

With the help of the Dorset Dryer, poultry manure could be dried throughout the year and converted either into organic fertilizer or fuel. The required warm air for the drying procedure can, for instance, be derived from stable air, or it can be residual heat from the generation of electricity. Dried poultry manure is an excellent and frequently used plant nutrient, both in a dried type and as a pellet.

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Dorset dryers are normally used for drying chicken manure with the help of warm air from stables. Most installations do not use pre-drying in the stable, which leads to substantial savings in electricity costs. The air from the stables that are utilized generally has a temperature of approximately 20°C. This is sufficient for drying the formed manure. Still, the higher the temperature and the lower the air humidity, the better the drying procedure will be. Poultry manure, either in a dried form or as a pellet, is an excellent and popular plant nutrient.

Uses of chicken manure

Although chicken manure is too strong to be used raw on flowers or vegetables, it can be composted and converted to “black gold”.  If used without composting it could damage roots and possibly kill plants, however, once it is composted chicken manure is;

  • A good soil amendment, chicken manure adds organic matter and increases the water holding capacity and helpful biota in soil.
  • A good fertilizer; chicken manure provides Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium to plants (more than horse, cow or steer manure).

Chicken manure can be applied to the garden soil fresh or at any age. In general, commercially available manure is air-dried, pulverized, and packed in plastic bags of varying sizes. The manure could be scattered on the surface of the soil and worked in with a rotary tiller, plow, spading fork, shovel, or similar tool. It should be mixed thoroughly and evenly so no “pockets” of unmixed material remain in the soil and applied in rows or hills as recommended for the type of crop grown. The manure should be mixed with or covered by soil to prevent offensive odors. Chicken manure, used wisely, brings excellent effects as a top dressing for pasture and turf. It could be used in potting mixtures for container-grown plants, and it can be used to increase the growth of flowers, fruits, and vegetables in home gardens.

Chicken manure as an effective soil amendment

Excessive application of chicken manure and continuous cultivation of the same crop in the field cause deterioration in soil structure and overall soil quality. Different experiments showed that the addition of poultry manure and litter improves several vital properties of soils. Poultry manure has been found to decrease the bulk density and increase the water holding capacity, organic matter content, oxygen diffusion rate, and aggregate stability of the soils.

How much chicken manure to add to the soil

Your garden benefits from applications of chicken manure or poultry manure during two seasons. Applying the fertilizer in the fall helps the soil absorb and break down the nutrients so they’re readily obtainable when you’re ready to plant in the spring. Using the poultry manure in the spring gives a quick boost of nitrogen to the plants, helping them start off strong.

Chicken manure’s NPK ratio varies, generally ranging from 3-2.5-1.5 to 6-4-3; by comparison, steer manure typically provides a ratio of 1-1-1. To obtain these nutrients to your plants effectively, apply 125 pounds of composted or aged chicken manure per 1,000 square feet of your garden. It takes about 450 pounds of steer manure to give similar nutrients to the same area.

Chicken manure should be applied with care as it may ‘bum” plants if used in large amounts, if placed too close to plants, or if planting follows too soon after application. It must be mixed with the soil at least 1 week before planting when applied at the rate of 5 tons per acre (23 pounds per 100 square feet) or less and 2 weeks for greater amounts.

How to mix potting soil using chicken manure

Using potting soil from a garden center makes planting fast and very easy. But potting soil mixes frequently lack the important trace elements plants require for good health. Collect both chicken manure and bedding straw or sawdust mixed with it. You can collect in whatever schedule works good for you, daily, weekly or monthly.

Place the collected manure and bedding materials in a compost bin or a pile somewhere in the yard. The pile will primarily have a strong odor, so pick an unobtrusive spot for it. Add green material to the pile, for example, grass clippings or green leaves. And aim for a 2:1 ratio of green material to the brown manure and bedding material.

Water the pile then it is evenly moist but not damp. Keep the pile covered with a plastic tarp if the area gets a lot of rain. Turn the pile every 3 days to aerate the mixture. The mixture must feel warm to the touch as all the materials decompose and “cook.”

Water, turn and aerate the pile for 1 to 3 months. You will know the compost is ready when it looks crumbly like soil and loses its smell. Mix potting soil and aged, composted chicken manure in a ratio of 1 1/4 parts potting soil to 1/4 part compost.

Advantages of chicken manure

  • Chicken manure has all the right nutrients to keep garden high-yielding and healthy too.
  • The phosphorus in chicken poop becomes obtainable much slower than its nitrogen content. This will make it a reasonably slow-releasing nutrient.
  • Chicken manure contains less salt and free of the weed seeds that can appear in the waste of animals. Finally, because it is organic, you don’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals entering the ground near plants if you are an organic gardener.
  • Potassium is present in chicken manure. It’s readily obtainable in most cases, but not as long-lasting as the phosphorous. If it’s not incorporated into other stuff via composting, it may reach out and be lost.
  • Chicken manure offers a high percentage of nitrogen and phosphate, and using 45 pounds of composted manure in every 100 square feet of your garden will get results.
  • Chicken manure is also plentiful. There is no shortage of chickens, and they make manure on a surprisingly frequent basis. Many poultry houses have more than enough manure to go around, even if they create a habit of donating or selling it. For this reason, it is inexpensive.
  • Chicken manure can be stored for a long period of time before it will start to lose its nutrients. After 6 to 9 month process of composting, the manure must rest in a cool, dry place for a minimum of two months in order to cure.

Disadvantages of chicken manure

  • Chicken manure from a commercial farm can be more easily tracked in terms of average NPK. However, that doesn’t mean it’s as nutrient-dense as the manure from pet chickens might be. Most pet chickens or home layers obtain higher-nutrition foods than commercial farms provide.
  • If you don’t have chickens as pets or egg-layers at your home, you face another issue. It’s possible to obtain manure from a commercial facility, but they usually want you to haul it by the truckload.

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