Chicken owners have at their disposal not only meat and eggs, but also a valuable ingredient for soil feeding – chicken droppings, which can be used in their garden or sold, for example, to tomato growers – this is one of the best food for tomatoes!
Feed intake in chickens is relatively high, but it can only remain in the digestive tract of the bird for a short time, so the yield of chicken manure is very high.
According to statistics, each adult chicken can produce 130-180 grams per day, that is, 55-60 kg per year! If you count on a larger scale than your family farm, a poultry farm with ten thousand chickens can produce about 1500 kg of fresh manure per day. And on the farm, 5-10 chickens will fully provide an uninterrupted supply of organic fertilizers for one vegetable garden.
About 40-70% of nutrients are excreted from the body of poultry, so chicken manure is considered nutritious for plants.
Compared to horse or cow manure, organic fertilizer made from poultry manure can provide more nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for soil and plants.
Thus, fresh chicken manure contains about 70% water, 25.5% organic matter, 1.63% nitrogen, 1.54% phosphorus and 0.85% calcium. Since the diet of chickens is usually high in calcium to provide strong eggshells, the dung contains more calcium than other livestock manure.
As we can see, the nitrogen content is also high, so if you are going to start selling organic chicken, you need to know the rules for composting. Otherwise, the high nitrogen content in chicken manure will be dangerous for plants, burn the roots and ruin the crop. Fresh chicken manure can only be used as a natural herbicide against weeds.
Composting poultry manure softens the nitrogen and makes it garden-friendly.
How to compost chicken manure
Plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant benefit from adding calcium to the soil, so feel free to offer chicken compost to those growing these crops.
When proportioning, you want to get a ratio of 25 percent chicken manure to 75 percent other materials, which may include straw bedding, leaves, plant material or kitchen waste, and lawn clippings.
The internal temperature of the heap must be heated to 60 to 71 degrees Celsius to kill pathogenic bacteria.
Take your temperature daily with a thermometer and keep a data log. Your goal is to reach the specified temperature and maintain it for three days.
If you do not reach this temperature, the chances of survival of pathogens such as Salmonella will increase.
As we all know, ventilation is an important factor in compost temperature and fermentation effect. Remember to turn the contents over once or twice a day during fermentation.
It usually takes about a week for composting and fermentation, after which you cover the pile and leave for 80 days. This waiting period helps to ensure that pathogenic bacteria are killed. If you are not sure about the quality of the compost, then the waiting period can be extended to 12 months – that is, until the next season.
Do not add dog, cat or human excrement to your compost heap, as it cannot be composted safely.