Compost Chicken Bones

Compost Chicken Bones (Detailed Guide With 4 Steps!)

Can bones be added to the compost pile? Most food wastes are organic and can be recycled into compost for your plants’ nutritional needs. So you might want to compost chicken bones, probably the ones you want to throw away.

However, you may not be sure about this, as not every food waste is compostable and healthy for plants. But can you compost chicken bones?

Can You Compost Chicken Bones?

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Yes, it’s possible to compost chicken bones as they are organic and safe to decompose as fertilizer for your plants. After composting, they produce humus, which is essential for soil fertility and plant growth. While you can compost the raw and cooked chicken bones, the cooked bones are preferable.

Now you know that chicken bones are compostable and healthy to use on plants. The next thing to worry about is composting them.

To make sure you do it right, we’ll be providing a detailed step-by-step guide on how to compost chicken bones and use them in your garden.

Keep reading below!

How Can You Compost Chicken Bones?

Chicken bones take time to break down, even when composting them. However, you can speed up the process with a few techniques.

Follow these simple steps below and your compost won’t even need 60 days to be ready.

Step 1: Cook The Chicken Bones First

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No doubt, you can use raw chicken bones to make your compost. However, cooked ones are better to use as they break down faster.

In addition, if raw chicken bones are what you have, try boiling them first before using them. Of course, you might be worried about the nutrient loss. But that’s not a problem as you can equally add the boiled chicken bone water to the compost.

Step 2: Thoroughly Dry The Chicken Bones

Drying these bones is very important for them to decompose faster. Leaving it open to dry indoors is fine, but that’s just a slow process; It might take more than a day.

A better way to do this is by placing them out in the sun. However, you can also use an oven. Just make sure the oven is not too hot. 

Low heat of about 200 degrees would do the trick. And it might just take a few hours.

Step 3: Grind And Split The Bones

It’s not advisable to place huge chunks of bone in your compost as these bones take time to decompose. Nevertheless, it’s possible for them to decompose this way, but it would take forever.

So if you want to compost chicken bones faster, they must be in pieces. Moreover, the aim of breaking these bones into pieces is to create surfaces that microbes can degrade easily.

Chicken bones lack surface area, and that’s the reason they don’t decompose quickly. All you have to do is smash them or grind them into powder. Furthermore, the tinier the pieces, the faster they decompose.

Step 4: Place The Pieces In A Compost Bin

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When using a compost pile, bury the bone pieces right in the middle of the pile and cover them up. It has to be in the middle because that’s the hottest part of the pile.

Moreover, this hot condition is what chicken bones need to decompose faster. Alternatively, you can use a Bokashi bucket for composting chicken bones.

Bokashi composting is a very common way to decompose organic food wastes, and chicken bones aren’t an exception.

Take Note!

If you’re not into composting, which isn’t your thing, you can create a bone meal instead. It’s just the same process, only that you don’t have to compost them.

Just after boiling and drying the chicken bones, grind them thoroughly into powder form, and your bone meal fertilizer is ready.

Are Chicken Bones Biodegradable?

Just like any other organic material from plants or animals, chicken bones are biodegradable. Biodegradable and compostable mean two different things.

But as long as you can compost the chicken bones, they are biodegradable. They just degrade and return to nature. But when you compost them, they turn into useful materials that soil and plants can use.

However, since they are bones, they take equal time to degrade compared to other softer organic materials. But they will degrade eventually.

Are Chicken Bones Good For The Soil?

Chicken bones make great compost or manure for enriching the soil. It promotes the creation of useful bacteria and fungi that help to form humus in the soil.

Whether as a bone meal or compost, chicken bones contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, calcium, and nitrogen. These are all essential for healthy plant growth.

Furthermore, after chicken bones degrade, they don’t contain any toxic elements that will harm the soil. This makes them a better choice than chemical fertilizers.

Learn more in this category: Can You Use Cactus Soil for Other Plants? 


Now, we believe you know chicken bones are compostable and also how to compost them. Since they are biodegradable, you can always recycle them into compost and use them as fertilizers for your plants. Preparing them is easy if you follow the steps in this article to do it.

Chicken bones contain no harmful chemicals that you need to worry about, unlike chemical fertilizers. It’s also a more economical way to enrich your garden soil and plants.

So whenever you want to get rid of chicken bones, remember that your garden soil and plants need them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Put Meat Bones In Compost?

Meat bones, both raw and cooked, are fine to add to compost. In addition, meat bones are one of the toughest organic items to decompose. So their decomposition rate is very slow.

However, you can speed things up with the right techniques. Make sure you first cook them, then cut them into pieces. Doing this first before adding them to compost makes the composting process faster.

Can I Bury Chicken Bones In The Garden?

It’s totally fine to bury chicken bones in your garden. If you bury it in the ground directly, it might take months or years for it to decompose fully and become useful. However, if you choose to bury it this way, just make sure it’s deep enough in the soil—about 2 feet.

This prevents animals from easily digging them out. However, chicken bones are more effective in your garden soil when you compost them first. Composted chicken bones are already decomposed, so they easily work on soil and plants.

Furthermore, you can prepare chicken bones into a chicken bone meal fertilizer and add them to your garden. This way, you don’t need to bury it in the garden. Just sprinkle it on the soil and plants and it will give them the nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus they need.

How Long Does It Take Chicken Bones To Decompose?

Most of the time, it takes about two months for chicken bones to decompose fully in compost. If you do not compost chicken bones, it might take up to a year or more for them to decompose completely.

Moreover, the less dense a bone is, the faster it decomposes. Chicken bones decompose slower than fish bones but faster than the bones of larger animals like goats, pigs, cattle, etc.

In addition, the surrounding conditions and your interventions determine how long chicken bones will take to decompose. 

So, with the absence of boiling, grinding, hot composting, or Bokashi composting, you shouldn’t expect chicken bones to decompose anytime soon.

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