Can I compost chicken poo? Yes, All faeces from all animals is compostable.
Can I compost chicken poo in the HOTBIN? Yes. Chicken poo is a super addition to your compost - it easy very easy for bacteria to digest, so helps increase the temperature.
Can I compost chicken bedding - yes - but in in over several days with other materials - not one great pile
There are some rules to ensure done properly:
- Ensure your HOTBIN is running hot (>40C) before you start to add poo
- Add plenty of bulking agent with the poo (to ensure the waste does not block airflow
- Ensure you wear gloves and follow the basic hygiene precautions
- Jump back to the HOTBIN product page here
Some composting sites state "Do not compost dog or car poo" - why is it OK for chicken poo? Many websites advise you not to compost faeces/poop because it is a poses a potential health risk. Sometime they state it OK to compost herbivore (plant eating) faeces but not poo from meat eating animals. All poo (faeces) from all animals including (humans) has the potential to be harmful as they can contain pathogenic bacteria (eg e-coli, salmonella), or parasites such as roundworm. These worms can, on rare occasions, carry a parasites that are also dangerous to humans (eg Toxocara, or t-gondii (producing toxoplasmosis). Most human diseases have a poor life expectancy outside the human body / intestine; normally they survive hours or days. Some parasites produce egg oocysts which can survive up to a year depending on conditions in soil. If you ingest (eat) the egg, it can develop in the human body.
What are the risks? Defra has an excellent risk analysis for composting and pathogens. They seek to determine the ‘minimal acceptable risk' - i.e., so low the Government accept it. All pathogen destruction depends on time and temperature. The higher the temperature and longer time the greater the destruction. At 60C pathogen destruction is remarkably quick - hours!
Toxocariasis is a rare
infection caused by roundworm parasites (Toxocara), it impact is treatable and serious problems are rare - as summarised in by the NHS Website
Now we know there is a small risk. Applying a risk analysis process, you would normally seek to mitigate or remove the high risks before worrying about those posing the least risk. What we have done below is extend the risk analysis from chicken ownership down to composting and then hot composting. YOU are the guardian of your safety - we are not experts in infection or risk analysis, all we can do is offer information to help you make your own judgement. Hopefully you will see that owning tehe chickens and collecting faeces are high risk whereas ‘hot’ composting poo when taking sensible hygiene precautions and low risk.
Risk Analysis - from high to low
- Are your chickens infected ....
- Do you remove poo/bedding
- Do you wear gloves when clearing out...
- Are you hot or cold composting? Pathogens are killed faster at high temperature
- How much faeces waste is added to your heap versus other material? (20g/2000g in a week (1:100 dilution)
- Are you wearing gloves when composting? How much diluted compost will get onto your hands?
- Do you wash your hands after composting? You have to transfer the pathogens back into house/food/stomach. The route is normally from your hands touching food and then eating the food.