I have a pile of chicken litter from last year?


I have a pile of chicken litter at back of my property from last summer. It is straw and chicken poo. We also had a couple of pigs, so it also has some pig poo in there as well. I want to build a raised garden bed greenhouse this year and am wondering if I can use this large pile poo and straw for the bottom two thirds of my high raised gardens. I also have the barn litter from over this winter, chicken poo and straw... I used the deep litter approach this winter and I will need to muck out the barn this next month or so. Can I also use the newer litter from the barn for the bottom two thirds of the garden beds? Or just the older stuff or both or neither? I’m not sure what to do, any suggestions would be appreciated tons!

  14 answers
  • The newer stuff should be ok as long as the roots from whatever you are growing are fairly shallow

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Feb 28, 2021

    Hi Wayne, pig poo is great for the garden once it's turned into compost and chicken poo too. Here's a great article that will give you a whole bunch of information - https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/pig-manure-compost.htm#:~:text=Absolutely.,a%20danger%20to%20your%20health. Happy gardening

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 28, 2021

    I also have chickens. You need to compost the manure so it isn't too "hot". If not composted it can actually burn the tender roots. Apply only aged or composted manure to your soil.

  • Seth Seth on Feb 28, 2021

    Here's one more site to check out:


  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 01, 2021

    Your manure is great stuff for your garden, but you have to let it mature so it does not burn your plants. To help with that mix in your compost.

    One thing you want to be certain of is you do not want the manure running off into the water supply, so be sure to contain it.

    Here is a link on gardening and how to prepare the compost:


  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 01, 2021

    I'm not the best source for this type of advice but I will say that chicken manure should be used very sparingly. It is very strong and has a tendency to "burn" anything planted.

  • Em Em on Mar 01, 2021

    The key to how to compost pig manure is that it needs to work at a high heat and be turned frequently. Build a pile with a good mix of ingredients, from dried grass and dead leaves to kitchen scraps and pulled weeds. Mix the pig manure in with the ingredients and add some garden soil. Keep the pile moist, but not wet, to get the decomposition action going. Compost needs air in order to transform, and you give the pile air by turning it. Use a shovel, pitchfork or rake to dig down into the pile, bringing bottom materials up to the top. Do this at least once a month to keep the action going in your compost pile, and let it work for at least four months before you use it. The best timing for using pig manure in the garden is to build a fresh compost heap in the fall when you’re cleaning up the garden and yard at the end of the season. Turn it over every three or four weeks until the snow flies, then cover it with a tarp and let the compost cook all winter. When spring arrives you’ll be treated to a pile of rich compost, ideal for working into your soil. Now you’re ready to use your pig manure fertilizer in the garden. Read more at Gardening Know How: Pig Manure For Compost: Can You Use Pig Manure For Gardens? https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/pig-manure-compost.htm

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 01, 2021

    I did think of another way to compost besides a compost pile (which can look ugly). I call it ditch composting. Very simple.

    Dig a ditch at least 12 inches deep and fill it with your chicken poo. Then cover that over with the dirt you just dug out. This will make a mound. Let that sit for about 6 months. Then plant your flowers or shrubs near the ditch.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 01, 2021

    Hi Wayne, you can use these both as they are very good sources of fertilizer for growing! Hope these help you out,



  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 01, 2021

    Hi Wayne: I'd use the old stuff. The urine in the new stuff is a bit potent and can burn the tender roots. Put the newer stuff away from the house/barn and let it simmer over the next year :) That's what we did. But, you will still need some good soil to mix in with the 'stuff' :)

    Good luck

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Mar 03, 2021

    any farm animal dung that is 1 year old or older can be used. If it is fresh it might burn the plants. I am told by horse owners that horse dung is an exception and can be used when not aged. I have never tried it. I envy you having so much you can work into your garden soil!! Have a great summer and gardening!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 04, 2021

    Hi, Only use one year old stuff as Urine content will be to strong and kill everything otherwise!

  • Annie Annie on Mar 05, 2021

    Chicken manure is very "Hot" It is great compost, but needs to sit for a year. Pig compost is not hot and can be used in a couple months. Mixed together as long as it has sat as compost for a year is GREAT. Fill your boxes with it and plant away, or mix with a bit of soil. Also keep some back so you can top dress plants through out the growing season..

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