Poo Power


It’s midwinter, and baby it’s cold outside. Cold, windy, and wet. But poo never rests. Mixed with straw and, in this case, shredded paper, it is generating heat. Actually it is all the bacteria feasting on the chicken poo which is creating the heat. The compost pile is coming alive and getting warmer by the day.

Done correctly, a sizable compost pile will keep an unheated hoop house from freezing. Place thick pipes in it, and a steady flow of warm air will flow from the center of the pile. It’s amazing what poo will do.

2 Replies to “Poo Power”

  1. I am trying to do this in my coop. The deep litter method, it takes a surprising amount of straw due to my ducks pooping all night long directly on the bedding. But I reached my hand down about a foot into the litter and was shocked by the heat! I have noticed a few ducks favoring one corner, which I suspect is due to the warmth. I have to keep up with the straw, because otherwise things are out of balance and it’s ammonia. Have you used pine needles and branches in your coop? I had good success with that last year.

  2. I haven’t used pine needles or branches. I once tried pine shavings under the roost, but the chickens did not like it. They refused to use the roost. Good material to mix into a compost pile with chicken manure is shredded cardboard. Cardboard has a 350 to 1 carbon-nitrogen ratio, so it does a good job counter balancing chicken manure.

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