From Waste to Wealth: Can You Compost Chicken Bones?

Can you compost chicken bones? Of course, you can compost chicken bones whether raw or cooked. As chicken bones contain too much phosphorus, which quickly leads to a buildup of nutrients in the soil.

Composting is an environmentally friendly way of dealing with organic waste, but not all materials are suitable for composting

Only in the United States, the consumption of broiler chicken in 2021 is about 95.6 pounds per capita which may likely increase to around 101.6 pounds per capita by 2031.

The excessive use of broiler chicken results in tons of waste, which can be used for composting but we never think of. Isn’t it momentary? 

Have you ever thought about composting the chicken bones or can you compost the chicken bones? If so, don’t worry, because we are going to explain everything you need to know in this article.

Let’s read on to find out do you compost chicken bones or not.

If you’re new to gardening and looking for tips on how to get started, be sure to check out our guide, “How to Start a Garden.”

Can you compost chicken bones
Credit: Canva

Can you compost chicken bones? 

When it comes to composting, many people think of vegetable scraps and yard waste. However, one often overlooked item that can be added to the compost pile is chicken bones.

That’s right, chicken bones can be composted and they can actually be quite beneficial for your garden.

Why do we need to compost chicken bones?

First, let’s talk about why chicken bones are a great addition to the compost pile. Chicken bones are rich in phosphorous, calcium, and other minerals that plants need to thrive.

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When the bones break down in the compost pile, these minerals are released and can be taken up by plants, leading to healthier and more productive plants. In addition, the organic matter in the bones will also add to the overall health of the soil.

Adding chicken bones to compost pile

When it comes to composting chicken bones, it’s important to note that they should be added to the compost pile in small amounts.

This is because they take longer to break down than other organic matter, and a large number of bones in the pile could slow down the decomposition process.

It’s also important to note that if you are using a backyard compost pile, chicken bones should be crushed or broken down into smaller pieces before adding them to the pile. This will help them break down more quickly.

Compost Bones in Bokashi Composting System

Another option is to use a Bokashi composting system. Bokashi is a Japanese method of composting that uses beneficial microorganisms to break down food scraps, including meat and bones.

With Bokashi, you can add chicken bones directly to the bucket, and they will break down quickly and safely.

One of the most important things to consider when composting chicken bones is safety. Chicken bones can attract unwanted pests and animals, such as raccoons or rats.

To avoid this, it is important to bury the bones deep in the compost pile, or in a sealed Bokashi bucket.

Are Chicken Bones Biodegradable?

Chicken bones are organic matter, so it is natural to assume they are biodegradable. It’s essential to understand the process of biodegradation and the factors that can affect it to get a better idea of whether chicken bones are actually biodegradable.

It must also be noted that chicken bones decompose much slower than other organic materials, so understanding the environmental effects before disposing of chicken bones is vital for sustainable living.

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Are you enjoying reading this? If so then read out “Can you compost egg cartons?

Can I Put Cooked Chicken Bones in Compost?

Yes, It is suggested to use cooked chicken bones for composting rather than raw ones because they disintegrate more quickly and won’t cause the propagation of dangerous bacteria.

Boiling the bones is also an option, though it can remove some of the beneficial elements, so it’s better to add the broth used to boil the bones to the compost pile as well.

How Long Do Chicken Bones Take To Decompose?

When handled appropriately before being added to the compost pile, chicken bones can take two months to break down.

The rate of decomposition may differ, depending on a few elements like the size of the carcass and volume of bones used, how often the compost is turned (recommended to be done every 3-7 days), and the amount of moisture in the compost.

can you compost chicken bones?
Credit: Shutterstock

How was this experience for me?

My personal experience with composting chicken bones has been nothing but positive. I have been adding crushed chicken bones to my compost pile for a few months now and have noticed a significant improvement in the health of my plants.

I have also noticed that my soil has become richer and more fertile. I have also used the Bokashi composting system and it is very easy to use and helps in breaking down bones faster.

In addition to this, there have been several studies that have looked at the benefits of composting chicken bones. One study, published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, found that composting chicken bones led to increased soil nutrients and decreased heavy metal concentrations.

Another study, published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, found that composting chicken bones led to an increase in soil microbial activity and a decrease in soil erosion.


Final Thoughts: Can you compost chicken bones

Chicken bones can be a valuable addition to the compost pile. Not only do they add important minerals and organic matter to the soil, but they can also help to improve soil structure and fertility.

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However, it’s important to add them in small amounts and to take the necessary precautions to ensure safety when composting. With the right approach, composting chicken bones can be a simple and effective way to improve the health of your garden.

It’s worth noting that there’s no scientific evidence that composting chicken bones can harm human health in any way. So next time you finish a roast chicken, don’t throw the bones away – add them to your compost pile instead.

FAQs on Can you compost chicken bones

Is chicken bones good compost?

The short answer is yes, chicken bones can make great compost! Chicken bones are a great source of nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for healthy compost.

In addition, they can provide microorganisms with calcium and other minerals. 

When adding chicken bones to your compost pile, it’s important to make sure they are broken up into smaller pieces. This will ensure they decompose faster and more evenly.

It’s also a good idea to add some carbon-rich material like straw or leaves to balance out the nitrogen. 

Can I Bury Chicken Bones in the Garden?

Yes, you can bury chicken bones in the garden. Burying chicken bones can attract animals to your garden. This can be a problem if you don’t want them digging around in your garden and potentially destroying your plants.

If you do choose to bury the bones, make sure to bury them deep enough that animals won’t be able to find them.

Burying chicken bones can introduce bacteria and other pathogens into the soil. This can be harmful to your plants and possibly even humans if you decide to eat things grown in the soil.

To reduce this risk, make sure to completely cook the bones before burying them.


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