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How to Burn Chicken Manure

Joshua Roberts

Chicken manure is in the limelight these days as poultry companies and environmental groups look to offset the impact of vast amounts of chicken waste on local ecosystems. One solution to dispose of chicken manure is to burn it.

While large farms may use complex equipment to burn their manure, small farmers can easily dispose of their chicken manure by burning as well.

  1. Contact your local government to determine the legality of burning manure on your property. Ordinances and restrictions will vary from town to town and state to state.

  2. Position your burning location wisely. Consider the typical direction of winds and air flow on your property to ensure that odors and fumes from burning manure do not head straight for your home or your neighbors' homes.

  3. Collect the chicken litter regularly. Waiting to accumulate vast sums of manure all at once will make burning more difficult and also lead to increased fumes and smoke.

  4. Keep the chicken manure in a dry location with plenty of air circulation for three to four weeks before burning. Moisture is a common difficulty with burning chicken manure and drying will limit the effects of wet manure as you burn.

  5. Ignite the chicken manure as you might any fire, making certain to stay nearby. Although the drying process leads to a more stable, predicable combustion process there is always the possibility of methane pockets that might cause the fire to get out of control. Keep an eye on the fire as it burns to ensure safety.

  6. Use the same spot for burning every year. Chicken manure hosts disease and the nitrogen content can “burn” plants. Once you've chosen a spot for your burn pile you'll want to keep it there so that other areas of your property are not compromised.