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#70660 - 01/29/04 03:39 AM Re: Chicken Droppings ?
KazJaps Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2870
Loc: Australia
The goal Carbon:Nitrogen ratio for composting is around 30:1.

Materials to compost
The most commonly used materials for the compost pile are manure mixed with livestock bedding. To achieve the balance of carbon to nitrogen (25 -35:1) needed to begin the composting process, mix bedding (which is predominantly carbon) with the raw manure (which is an excellent source of nitrogen). Bedding materials vary in their Carbon:Nitrogen (C:N) ratio from about 80:1 in straw to 200:1 or more in sawdust or shavings.

Carbon:Nitrogen ratio (C:N) of compost materials:
Dairy manure 20:1, Sheep manure 14:1, Poultry manure 10:1, Humus 10:1, Vegetable wastes 12:1, Seaweed 19:1, Straw 80:1, Corn stalks 60:1, Leaves 45:1, Alfalfa 13:1, Legume/grass hay 25:1, Grass hay 80:1, Rotted sawdust 200:1, Fresh sawdust 500:1, Newspaper 800:1
Organic Agriculture, Manure and E. Coli
The next lot of links help in the calculation of composting ingredients percentages:

Calculation of Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratio (C:N)

Compost Ingredients (with carbon:nitrogen ratio)

Home page of Mastercomposter:

Cornell University: CoComposter Excel workbook:

#70661 - 01/30/04 07:08 AM Re: Chicken Droppings ?

Growing up we composted with the horse and cow manure, and like the chicken manure it too has to be composted because it is to hot. We used to let it sit out in the sun and rain, for about a month or two. When it didn't rain we used to hose it with water, we also used to try an rotate it, which is harder in a pile then in one of those new rotateable ones you see for sale now. I use hay as bedding for my chickens and It also give me something else to composte with.

#70662 - 02/02/04 07:55 PM Re: Chicken Droppings ?
BMW Offline

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Oregon
I'm an avid gardener too and one of the primary reasons I got chickens is for their droppings. I've gone 100% organic in my vegetable garden and raise all the usual veggies but only heirloom and older open-pollinated types. Anyway, I wonder if anyone can give me a good recipe for chicken dropping tea. The post above is not quite enough for me. Is their a good recipe for how much water and time and such? Isn't it still too hot after only a few days? My 8 hens are going to pile me up with droppings by May. Help?

#70663 - 02/03/04 11:40 AM Re: Chicken Droppings ?
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
I have once made a super concentrated manure tea (as in 1 to 1 ratio) and tried to kill weeds with that. Lo and behold, I got superweeds. I have never been able to burn my plants with fresh chicken manure. In fact when I pasture my poultry I have a .4 inch layer of manure on my lawn each time I move the pen. After about 3 weeks you can't tell the difference.

Organic gardeners must know Ruth Stout, the super mulcher lady. Well, the nitrogen fix is partially a myth according to her. If you do not rake the manure and shavings into the soil, and I don't know why anybody would do that extra work, then you will not have any nitrogen defficiency. Pile it on top. The nutrients will decompose and eventually add to the soil and mulch will keep weeds from coming up. Kill two birds with one stone. It is really that simple.

#70664 - 02/10/04 03:08 PM Re: Chicken Droppings ?
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
Re: Cedewynne's caveat about the wood shavings. If wood shavings will suck the available nitrogen out of the soil, and chicken droppings are too rich in nitrogen, wouldn't that make a mix of wood shavings and chicken manure nature's most perfect compost?

#70665 - 02/10/04 03:26 PM Re: Chicken Droppings ?

Hi all,

I haven't begun using my droppings yet, but I'm thinking I oughtta and that tea recipe sounds good - I'm hoping someone will post it!

Hey BMW, where do you get your plants/seeds? There isn't much out here locally in the way of nurseries...maybe you could send me a PM - I'm really curious what you've found that grows well up here - if you are where I think you are we are in a funny zone. When I lived down below near Pasadena I was an avid gardner, but have found it challenging here. :rolleyes:

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