How to Heat Your Chickens With Compost

Paul Wheaton/Video screen capture

We know that you can heat your shower with a compost pile. Heck, you can even cook food on compost if you want to.

But here's a neat use of waste heat from the composting process—you can use it to keep your chickens warm.

You see chickens don't lay all that much in the winter, and they still need a lot of food to keep warm. So any assistance you can give them will both cut down on feed costs and maybe get you a few extra eggs. The first farmer—Tereza Fox, of foxbelly farm in Hillsboro, Oregon—approaches this conundrum by having an extremely low, well-insulated shelter to keep them cozy. The second set of farmers, Marina and Robert of Dell Artimus Farm, have a coop with a slatted floor for moving onto farm fields in summer so the poop can fertilize the fields. In the winter they insulate around the coop with straw bales, add a good shoveling of wood chips, and then allow the composting process to get working and provide a little underfloor heating for their chooks.

It's all pretty clever. And just one more reminder that a little creativity can replace an awful lot of fossil fuels.

Tags: Agriculture | Composting | Permaculture | United States | video