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A Look at Composting Manure, From Coop to Garden

Lucerne Farms

A Look at Composting Manure, From Coop to Garden

Once the weather warms up, a swarm of flies around the manure pile is a common sight. Not only is this annoying and unhygienic, but it feels like there must be another way. So what is it? What can we do with chicken manure? If you have a garden, you may be familiar with composting. But have you ever considered composting your manure? While it is a relatively straightforward process, it requires a bit more than just tossing it into the pile. Let’s take a look at composting chicken manure.

But, in fact, tossing the pile is exactly what you need to do. In order to effectively compost manure, you need to consistently turn the stack in order to aerate it. While the easiest way to get air into the pile is with a tractor, you can also choose to turn the pile by hand with a shovel. If that seems like too much work, consider placing a PVC pipe into the middle of the pile to provide oxygen; for additional air, you can proceed to drill holes into the pipe.

Keeping the pile moist is also key to composting. If you need to, you can water down the manure as you turn it in order to keep it damp. This will keep the microbial activity high and help to speed up the composting process.

Do you use chicken coop bedding, and are you concerned about its effects on the compost pile? Don’t be! All-natural bedding, such as Koop Clean with Sweet PDZ Coop Refresher, will continue to load up with the ammonium and decomposing odors released during the composting process.

This retention of ammonium/ammonia and other waste-generated odors is beneficial in several ways. The Sweet PDZ captures ammonia and odor emissions from the compost pile, thus reducing odor pollutants in the atmosphere. It also increases the conversion of these gases to nitrates, thus retaining nitrogen in the compost in a form that is more readily available to soils and plants when the compost is applied to fields, gardens, and more. Having Sweet PDZ in the compost pile also allows for better moisture management and microbial activity in the composting process.

Additionally, the all-natural straw adds much needs vegetation to the compost pile, while the chopped pieces compost quickly. The straw breaks down quickly and adds essential nutrients to the soil.

This makes adding Koop Clean to your chicken coop a continuously beneficial action. First, it reduces the amount of ammonia in your chicken’s environment, therefore increasing their respiratory health. Then, it aids in the composting process. We call that a win!

We hope this look at composting chicken manure inspires you to try it. Composting generally takes three to six months and will continue through all weather (even though most activity will happen in warm temperatures). You will know that it is composted when it is crumbly and evenly textured, resembling dirt. Use this “black gold” to enrich your lawns, gardens, and even pastures!

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