• Hometalker
  • Salley, SC
Asked on May 21, 2019

Can I put compost and chicken poop together?

MindshiftJewellmartinHolly Bertone | Pink Fortitude


We are trying to learn to garden to be a little more self sufficient. We sent samples of soil to Clemson College for testing. It came back the correct PH balance, so we only used a pelleted fertilizer. We have quite a bit of chicken poop. Do I need compost and chicken poop? If we only need one, which one?

4 answers
  • Redcatcec
    on May 21, 2019

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your self sustainability outlook. It is refreshing to hear that and quit commendable.

    Here is a link that might answer your questions and concerns:

    One environmental point is chicken poop is high in nitrogen and phosphorus, there has been lots of documentation of farms in the midwest contaminating streams, rivers, and lakes from runoff. The nitrogen causes an overgrowth of red algae in the waters, which drives the normal water environment out of balance.

  • Hi Lisa - YAY my composting friend! Here's a great 101-style article on getting started with composting and everything you ever need to know. Also how we DIY'ed building our compost bin. My Stepson built it for a Boy Scout merit badge. Hope this all helps and happy composting! Hugs, Holly

  • Jewellmartin
    on May 22, 2019

    If you don’t mind your neighbors’ complaints, use the poop, mixed with straw or other compost. It sure makes the veggies grow. But chicken poop is high in nitrogen. If your dirt is already balanced, this might knock the balance akilter. But you may have the largest strawberries in the county. Best wishes! Jewell

  • Mindshift
    on May 24, 2019

    pH is not the only measure of garden soil. Your soil should also have been checked for element composition. How much nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium does your soil contain? How much calcium, magnesium and sulfur? What about the minor nutrients of iron, zinc, manganese, boron, and others? Note that chicken manure is slightly alkaline and not usually recommended for azaleas, blueberries, or camellias, but most soil pH is not permanently affected by the addition of compost no matter its pH.

    Home generated compost is primarily decomposed vegetable matter. Compost can also be decomposed manure. You do not specify whether the chicken manure is fresh or composted, but it is always best to use composted manure because the nitrogen content of fresh manure can injure plants. Poultry manure is excellent in stimulating decomposition of dry plant material. It should be layered with dry plant matter (straw or leaves), with each layer moistened as added until the pile is about 3 feet high and wide. I use 9 to 10 feet of old wire fencing to create a cylinder to hold my compost. I lift the cylinder from around the pile every couple of weeks, set it down next to the original pile, and move the contents into the empty cylinder, mixing as I go. If your climate is very wet or very dry you may need to cover the pile with a tarp to regulate the moisture content.

    Adding compost makes soil friable (crumbly, easily worked). It helps sandy soil hold water, and it opens clay soil to receive oxygen. It increases microbial activity that helps roots to access and uptake elements that may be chemically locked in the soil.

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