Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

How to Turn Chicken Manure into an Organic Fertilizer

Chicken manure is the “chicken excrement plus the mixture of other organic waste from the bird,” such as feathers and food waste. From this, you can obtain organic fertilizer (compost or humus) of excellent quality and slurry (liquid fertilizer). Preparing it is very simple and it will be explained step by step how to prepare chicken manure in an easy and fast way

On average, a 2-kilo hen defecates 57 kilograms of manure per year, which is equal to 150 grams every 12 hours. By keeping a minimum of 10 chickens, a sufficient quantity of chicken manure could be obtained to use as compost in the garden.

What is Chicken Manure?

Chicken manure refers to the “accumulation of manure or excrement from laying hens”, which is mixed with bird feathers and food waste. Mixing with absorbent bedding materials such as shavings, dry grass, husks, etc. may or may not also be considered.chicken-manure

It is traditionally used as organic fertilizer (compost) and as a slurry (liquid). Its quality and percentage of nutrients are directly proportional to the following factors:

  • Food quality.
  • Type of bird housing system.
  • The number of feathers.
  • Age of laying hens.
  • The ambient temperature during the process.
  • Ventilation of the shed in the production of chicken manure.

In addition to being used as fertilizer, it is also a food supplement for raising livestock. This is due to the richness of its nutrients, since of the foods that chickens consume, they only assimilate 40% of these that exist in their food. Therefore, manure contains 60% of the remaining unassimilated nutrients.

Turning Chicken Manure into Organic Fertilizer

Chicken manure is the main component of “chicken compost”. However, the simple accumulation of bird droppings is not chicken manure. First, it is necessary to mix it with other waste from hen rearing and process it through fermentation to reduce the number of microorganisms in high concentrations that can be harmful.

For this, we present to you step-by-step and simple ways to prepare chicken manure correctly and obtain chicken manure of excellent quality.

Collect manure and other waste

You should start collecting all the elements. These can be:

  • Chicken waste/manure (it is the main ingredient in this compost).
  • Food waste.
  • Bedding materials such as chips, cracked eggs, dry grass, etc.

These ingredients should preferably be collected once every 3 days or at least every week. As they are waste substances, it is advisable to use gloves and tools that facilitate their handling and not touch them directly.

Find a suitable place

The second step is to choose the place where the collected waste will be deposited, the treatment area must be in a place where there is good ventilation, and this does not generate excess heat and humidity, being able to be covered galleys or patios, type canopies

This is so that the place does not contain the harmful substances that will be released during the process.

Waste mix

The chicken excrement must be mixed with the bird’s wasted food and feathers, in addition, cutting grass or any chopped material or dry grass and water should be applied in a proportion of 3 parts of chicken manure, one of grass and one of water.

It can also be done by mixing sawdust or shavings, only with these materials more water must be added.

All these materials must be mixed well so that it is as loose as possible. Use safety equipment for personal protection and necessary tools. Leave the mixture on one of the edges of the galley for a week, this way you can have piles of chicken manure from different weeks of processing in the treatment area.

The characteristics that the batteries must have:

  • Have a height of 1.5 to 1.6 meters.
  • Moisten the mixture while stirring the ingredients to assemble the pile.
  • The ideal humidity is 40% and it is not recommended to exceed it with water as it will prolong the drying and aeration time.

Cover the chicken manure with plastic

This step is one of the most useful to know how to ferment the chicken manure, for, once the mixture is made, the entire mixture must be covered with black plastic, this will cause the fermentation to increase and the process to be faster.

The plastic must be stepped on around the entire base of the compost, with the help of brick or stones, to prevent the air from blowing it up and discovering the mixture.

Monitor the mix

During the next 3 to 5 days it should be constantly monitored until reaching a temperature between 55 ° C to 0 ° C. For this, the temperature must be measured at different depths of the mixture, carrying out the process three times a day.

Try to stir the preparation constantly, every 2 or 3 days, for proper oxygenation and decomposition, especially at the beginning of the process, which is when the material is more humid.

Depending on the area, compost can be used after two to three months but can be helped by applying store-bought microorganisms that speed up the decomposition process.

Over time and after reaching the ideal temperatures, the poultry manure piles must be uncovered and disassembled with the help of shovels, to try to cool them.

In the end, the fertilizer  should have the following characteristics:

  • Be solid and firm organic compost.
  • Look like dark earth.
  • It should not have traces of moisture.
  • There should be no bad odors, it should have a pleasant, clean smell, without the smell of rotting or fermentation.

As an option, you can pass the chicken manure through a sieve so that the soil is more refined.

Chicken waste as organic compost

You should always go through the whole process to obtain chicken manure, since applying chicken manure directly to the plants trying to use it as organic fertilizer can mistreat them, to the point of burning and killing them instead of improving their nutrition. 

Its application to plants generates better nutrition thanks to its high amount of nutrients, for example, the high percentage of nitrogen that is essential for plants to assimilate other nutrients.

In addition to nitrogen, this fertilizer that is used as organic fertilizer contains phosphorus, potassium, and carbon necessary for the optimal development of plants.

How to make liquid chicken fertilizer

Chicken manure is easier to prepare, and in practical terms, it can be said that it is the fertilizer obtained from chicken manure mixed with water, only that you must follow certain indications because this solution is very strong if applied directly to the plant.


  • Chicken manure.
  • Water (2 liters for every kilo of chicken manure).


  • In a large container, you must mix the chicken manure with the water, in a 1: 2 ratio.
  • Mix lightly with a stick or with gloves to improve dissolution.
  • Let it soak in for 5 hours.
  • If possible beat every hour.
  • Over time, it separates the liquid from the earth, using a sieve or with the help of a strainer.
  • The liquid obtained is the slurry, but this should not be applied directly to the plant since it is very strong for the plant and can damage it.
  • The slurry should be diluted in a ratio of 1: 5, using one unit of slurry per 5 units of water.
  • The chicken slurry is ready to be used in the garden.
  • This is the correct way to make liquid chicken manure, it is only to dilute the chicken manure in a large amount of water.

Application of chicken organic fertilizer

The organic fertilizer made with chicken manure is an excellent fertilizer for vegetables. In the Philippines, these are the preferred fertilizer by vegetable farmers in the Cordillera region.

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