How to Dispose of Chicken Manure & Dirty Bedding?

Chickens are fantastic birds that provide lots of eggs, tasty meat, and even manure. The average chicken produces approximately a cubic foot of manure every six months. Multiply this volume of manure by the number of birds in your flock.

It means you will have a massive mountain of manure to dispose of yearly. Plus, you will have another mountain of old bedding to dispose of and replace with a new one. That sounds like a big problem, right?

You can use different methods for disposing of chicken manure and worn-out bedding. For instance, you can compost, burn, dump, sell or even give away chicken manure and old bedding.

5 Ways to Dispose of Chicken Manure

Disposing of chicken manure can be challenging, especially if you have a large volume of stinky manure and don’t know how to get rid of those heaps of chicken manure.

Luckily, you can utilize some simple methods to get rid of chicken manure with little hassle. Here are five ways to dispose of chicken manure and reclaim the sanity of your chicken coop.

– Composting

Composting is one of the methods you can use to turn that pile of chicken manure and old bedding into something useful, particularly if you want some high-quality natural fertilizer to grow plants in your garden. Fresh chicken manure can harbor E.Coli bacteria, Salmonella, and pathogens.

Moreover, fresh chicken manure contains ammonia and a lousy odor, making it unpleasant to use as fertilizer in your garden. You can dispose of the raw chicken manure by composting it in a compost pile. Composting chicken manure is straightforward. Plus, it’s a practical and efficient way of disposing of chicken manure.

Shovel the chicken manure and old bedding from the coop and put it in a compost pile, preferably somewhere in your garden. Stir the composting manure regularly and check the temperature of the composting waste every day.

The ideal temperature for composting chicken manure should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit to allow bacteria to break down the bacteria in the manure effectively. Ensure the composting manure doesn’t exceed this temperature because high temperatures can ruin the good bacteria in composted chicken manure.

Keep stirring and turning the manure daily to ensure air enters the compost pile. After a few months, you will have rich and valuable composted chicken manure for your garden. You can compost the chicken manure in a composter if you don’t have a spacious yard to compost the manure.

– Burning

Burning can be another efficient way to dispose of chicken manure and old bedding. However, you must ensure that the manure and bedding you dispose of are dry. Burning works well for chicken raisers in rural homesteads.

Furthermore, burning is another excellent way to eliminate coop litter, especially if you have problems with lice or mites. You wouldn’t like to dump or compost such coop litter, so the best way to deal with it is to burn it completely. Burning works well if you dispense chicken manure with straw, hay, or wood shavings bedding.

Such bedding will burn easily. Start with shoveling the chicken manure and bedding out of the cage. Place the coop litter somewhere convenient to dry in readiness for burning. However, this method of disposing of chicken manure only works for rural chicken raisers.

Urban chicken raisers don’t have such a privilege because they will pollute the environment, and smoke from the burning coop litter could affect their neighbors. Again, burning only works in dry months when there is sufficient warmth to dry out the manure.

Otherwise, you can’t burn chicken manure during chilly and cold months. It would be best to wait for the manure to dry before burning it.

– Dumping

Dumping is an easy way of disposing of chicken manure and old bedding from the coop. This method works well, especially for farmers with little amounts of manure to dispose of. Again, dumping is excellent for urban chicken raisers because they don’t have somewhere to compost or burn their chicken manure.

Dumping manure will, however, deny you quality manure to use in your garden. In addition, you can’t dump your chicken manure everywhere, so you have to find a suitable dump pile to dump the chicken manure.

The dump pile should be a couple of yards away from your house because the bad smell from fresh and wet chicken manure will bother you if you dump the manure next to your home. Also, it would be best if you dumped the chicken manure where you are sure it will decompose fast within weeks.

– Selling

Selling is a profitable method of disposing of chicken manure and old bedding. Furthermore, selling chicken manure can be rewarding, particularly if you have large heaps of manure you would like to dispose of. The more chicken manure you sell, the more money you earn in return.

Many farmers want to use chicken manure in their gardens and farms for growing vegetables and other crops. You can sell your chicken manure to such farmers or anyone who wants some manure to use in their gardens.

Selling works fantastic for chicken owners with large flocks because they will have vast amounts of chicken manure or coop litter to sell. However, you must identify a suitable buyer if you would like to sell your chicken manure.

Again, wait until the manure is completely dry before selling it to a prospective buyer because wet manure is bulky and difficult to carry, especially if the buyer wants to transport the manure far from your home.

– Giving Away

You might not be in a position to sell, burn, dump or compost chicken manure and old bedding. That’s why giving away the manure can be a great way of disposing of chicken manure.

Get someone who wants chicken manure and give them the manure instead of selling it to them or dumping it.

Chicken raisers can also give away their chicken manure to companies that manufacture fertilizers from chicken manure. Your chicken manure can help such companies produce eco-friendly natural fertilizers.

How to Collect Chicken Manure and Dirty Bedding?

As beautiful as chickens are, raising these birds isn’t a tidy task. As manure and dirty bedding accumulate in the coop, collecting chicken manure and coop litter can be tedious, especially if you are dealing with a large flock.

Luckily, collecting chicken manure and worn-out bedding doesn’t have to be a challenging task. Here are simple ideas on how to collect chicken manure and dirty bedding.

  • Rake it up– Hard chicken manure, and dirty bedding can be hard to collect. Chicken manure also looks messy, especially when it is wet. So rake the manure first to make it easy to collect together with the worn-out bedding.
  • Shovel the manure– Once you have raked up the manure and old bedding, shovel the coop litter and gather it in one corner of the coop or near the door, where you can collect it easily. Ensure you scoop everything before you start sweeping the cage.
  • Remove the manure from the coop-Remove the chicken manure and the old bedding from the coop. You can put the manure in containers or bags, depending on the amount of manure you remove from the cage.
  • Sweep the cage– Now that the cage is empty and there is no manure or bedding in the coop, it’s time to sweep the cage to ensure nothing remains inside. Sweep everywhere to ensure no manure or bedding material is left behind. You can also disinfect the coop after sweeping, especially if you suspect there could be mites or lice in the manure you just removed from the cage.
  • Dispose it of– Don’t leave the manure and the dirty bedding outside the coop or near the house. Kindly dispose it of immediately, either by composting it, selling, dumping or giving it away to someone who needs the manure. Also, add a fresh layer of bedding to the coop so that your chickens feel comfortable and warm.

Can You Use Chicken Manure in Your Garden?

No, it would help if you didn’t use fresh chicken manure in your garden. It’s prudent to compost the manure and old bedding before using the waste in your garden as fertilizer. Fresh chicken manure is hot manure, capable of burning and damaging your plants.

However, composted chicken manure is rich in nutrients plants need for growth. It also doesn’t contain pathogens and bacteria that harm the soil and the plants. Composted chicken manure is especially suitable for nitrogen-deficient soil because it is high in nitrogen.

Why is Chicken Manure Hot Manure?

Raw chicken manure is hot manure because it is highly acidic and can damage and burn plants. Raw chicken manure is also dangerous for the soil because it contains harmful bacteria and pathogens.

These pathogens and bacteria can harm plants. They can also harm humans and animals if they find their way into the plants humans and animals consume.

Conclusion

Chicken manure and old, dirty coop bedding can be bothersome to every chicken raiser. Fresh chicken manure is also difficult to dispose of, especially for the many chicken raisers who don’t know the different methods they can use to dispose of their chicken manure.

However, disposing of chicken manure and worn-out bedding can be easy if you know how to eliminate those heaps of chicken manure.

Chickens   Updated: December 5, 2022
avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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