How Long Does It Take Chicken Manure to Compost

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MsPacMan, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2004
    I am an organic vegetable gardener.

    I stumbled into a great opportunity to get half a truck load of chicken manure for free -- all I had to do was load it up and drive it off!

    Now, here's my question:

    This stuff is FRESH (straight out the hen house).

    How long will it be before it is safe to use it for growing veggies for human consumption?

    Is there any way to speed up the composting process so that it will be ready for an April planting in zone 7?
  2. claytonpiano

    claytonpiano Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 2, 2005
    We have put it on our rows and tilled it in really well -- mixed it with straw mulch and then planted. We try to do that in December or so, but even now might be okay if you have some really good cold spells. It is always best to compost it for a year, but we mix ours with lots of shredded wood. Don't plant tomatoes in the freshest area. They benefit from waiting at least a year after the manure is tilled in. You will have all plant and no fruit. We chip up egg shells and add that to the rows where we plant the tomatoes. I also live in zone 7. I hope it works for you. If nothing else, you will at least be enriching your soil for the next year's garden.

  3. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    I have hen houses .We put fresh litter on the garden one year in Dec. and tilled it in.The soil tilth was great but we had alot of weeds that we never had before.We now compost the manure.It is very hot and composts quickly if it is turned often.We usually add old hay from the last year and turn it twice to three times in a week.The litter is pretty wet already so we try to keep the rain off of the pile.By spring we have nice compost.