How High Is Too High For A Pile Of Chicken Droppings?

Jan 13, 2017

Credit Jayme Frye /

With the growing season still weeks away, chicken waste that will be used as fertilizer is piling up in barns across the South and causing worries about spontaneous combustion.

A chicken litter pile this week triggered a wildfire that destroyed a mobile home before being brought under control. Agriculture officials say the right mix of moisture, texture and decomposition is needed to produce a burning pile of waste, and that farmers should be mindful of how high they stack manure in their barns.

They recommend that waste piles not exceed 7 feet. At Charleston, Arkansas, on Wednesday, a pile estimated at 8 or 9 feet high caught fire.

No injuries were reported in the blaze.