Mushroom compost vs. chicken manure are soil conditioners and fertilizers that help grow healthy plants. These soil supplements are also organic, so farmers worry less about side effects when using them.Mushroom Compost Vs. Chicken Manure

However, they are different and serve different plant needs. Read on to know the differences between these fertilizers, and decide which suits your plants best.

Features  Mushroom compost Chicken manure
Composition   It contains hay, corn cobs, hulls, straw, and animal manure. It is a combination of chicken feces, urine, undigested food, feathers, and coop bedding material.
Nutrients  Manganese, nitrogen, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron A high percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and magnesium
PH Level Average of 6.6 6.5 to 8.0
Moisture content 57.33 percent 75 percent

What Are the Common Differences Between Mushroom Compost and Chicken Manure?

The main difference between mushroom compost and chicken manure is in their composition. Mushroom manure is an organic fertilizer made from the leftover growing medium of mushrooms. On the other hand, chicken manure is a combination of chicken feces and other cage bedding substance rich in organic material.

The other difference between mushroom and chicken fertilizers is the nutrients they contain and how they would feed the plants. Mushroom compost mainly has nutrients in salt form. It has about one to two percent of nitrogen, two percent potassium, and 0.6 percent of phosphorus. When applied to plants, they also benefit from manganese, magnesium, and zinc.

On the contrary, chicken manure is most valuable because of its high nitrogen levels, and this way, it is the richest animal manure in nitrogen, constituting 0.9 percent. The other beneficial micro-nutrients in chicken compost are 0.5 percent phosphorus, potassium, zinc, calcium, copper, and iron.

Besides, these fertilizers have different uses because of their different nutrient composition. For example, mushroom compost is best used as a topsoil or deeper soil amendment. The fertilizer also increases water retention, meaning it can be used to conserve moisture. Whereas, chicken manure is best used for plants with nitrogen deficiency because it enriches the soil with nitrogen.

Exploring The Components, Benefits, Uses, And Downsides of Mushroom Compost

Mushroom compost is a by-product of mushroom farming, but it is not a fertilizer from them. This fertilizer consists of organic materials like hay, hulls, corn cobs, and even horse manure, among other components. Moreover, the acidity level is, on average, 6.6, as it contains 57.3 percent moisture.

However, the composts produced by different mushroom farmers may differ because they use different mushroom-growing processes. Some farmers add materials like peat moss, soybean meal, and lime, among other organic items.

You may also find this material being called spent mushroom compost or spent mushroom substrate, and this is because it is a ground-enriching product that is steam pasteurized to remove impurities before it is packed in bags for sale. Mushroom manure is aged for two years before applying to the garden soil, and for this, aging is key to help draw out unstable salts, which could harm young plants.

– Nutrients

As a farmer, you want the best for your plants, so you must choose the best fertilizer to keep them healthy. As a result, you are likely to question, ‘Is mushroom compost good?’ Using mushroom manure will support your plants’ growth for a long time because it releases nutrients into the soil slowly.Nutrients of Mushroom Compost

The major nutrients in mushroom fertilizer are in salt form. The commercial mix contains about one to two percent nitrogen, two percent potassium, and about 0.6 percent phosphorus. Now, remember that nitrogen is an essential nutrient because it helps with photosynthesis, the process by which plants produce energy that helps their growth. The nutrient also contains amino acids, the building blocks of proteins that keep plants alive.

Phosphorus found in mushroom compost helps the plants form new roots, seeds, and flowers, and potassium helps with the plant’s fast growth. Crops with little amounts of these nutrients have slow growth rates, and others winter and die.

Besides the three major nutrients in mushroom manure, the organic fertilizer also contains other helpful micro and macronutrients, such as these include iron, copper, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, sulfur, and calcium. What happens is that these nutrients play an imperative role in the plant’s development, helping to maintain the osmotic concentration of cell sap, and are a significant constituent of coenzymes.

– Advantages

Many farmers swear by mushroom compost because of its benefits to plants and soil. First, the fertilizer is organic because it is a by-product of mushroom growth. Since there are no additional industry-made fertilizers, this makes the compost eco-friendly.

To elaborate further, what happens here is that the mushroom-growing by-products make a slow-release fertilizer, which would ensure the plants have low levels of various nutrients over time. The manure degrades gradually, unlike other industry-made composts, so you won’t worry about adding more to the plants, because this would be a great benefit for them.

Another interesting reason why farmers prefer mushroom compost to others is its mild nitrogen content. This is because most of the nitrogen is utilized by the previously grown mushrooms. The low nitrogen levels will ensure your plants’ proper growth without encouraging weeds’ growth.

The manure also improves soil water retention, an advantage for plants that prefer wet environments. In this case, when the soil has high water retention also reduces the frequency of watering your plants, making them easy maintenance and conserving water.

Compared to peat moss and other composts, mushroom compost is rich in many beneficial microorganisms. One significant difference between mushroom compost vs. peat moss is that the former is a re-sterilizing compound that kills most microorganisms when applied to the soil. These microorganisms stimulate plant growth, and their absence can cause stunted growth and death.

 – Disadvantages

While most farmers will spend their last coin on their manure, others prefer other types because of the compost’s high salt levels. You cannot use it with seedlings because they are sensitive to high salts. Some plants that don’t like mushroom compost, like blueberries, camellias, and azaleas, could also die from using this compost.

The mushroom compost NPK ratio is 1:1:1, with a slow-release composting process. This ratio can exceed desired levels of some soils, killing the plants, as ones who use it see the positive side, so they tend to use it over, and once this is done, the plants will undergo stress. Farmers should therefore perform soil tests to know the available nutrients before application of the compost.

However, the former has lower nitrogen levels when comparing mushroom compost vs. regular compost. Therefore, it is safe to use in soils with low nitrogen to ensure good growth of foliage and roots. Note that while water retention ensures the soil is constantly moist, it can cause water-logging issues. This is a disadvantage to plants that prefer dry soils because too much water causes root rot and other fungal infections.

– Uses

A manure made of these materials having rich consistency in the right nutrients is best for hydration-loving plants because it increases soil’s water retention. Before applying the compost, ensure you first mix it with garden soil.Uses of Mushroom Compost

Moreover, this dilutes the salts leaving you with healthy mushroom soil. You can also use this type of compost to top-dress soil. While at it, leave gaps around the tree trunks and stems.

Exploring The Components, Benefits, Uses, And Downsides of Chicken Manure

Chicken manure consists of chicken droppings, undigested food, and other materials in the coop bedding. You can get it in different forms like dehydrated pellets or powder or in fresh or composted form. Moreover, it is rich in minerals as it has 75 percent moisture content.

In addition to this, you must also take into consideration how this manure is one that contains the highest amount of nitrogen compared to cow manure and other animal compost, making it suitable for nitrogen-deficiency soil. It is also rich in other nutrients essential for plant growth and promotes microorganisms in the soil to ensure the perfect distribution of the nutrients. Even so, chicken manure has pros and cons, which you must consider before using it.

– Nutrients

Coming from chicken droppings, this fertilizer is one that also includes their urine and feathers. It is the richest animal manure in nitrogen, containing 0.9 percent of the nutrient. Knowing this, you should also keep in mind that the material has a pH that’s between 6.5 to 8.0.

Nitrogen is essential in plants because it helps with photosynthesis, the food-manufacturing process that produces energy crucial to plant growth. It also helps develop giant foliage, so you need it for your vegetable garden.

Nevertheless, the manure also contains about 0.5 percent phosphorus and 1.7 percent potassium. These nutrients help grow new roots, fruits, and flowers and boost the plant’s immunity, so note that in this case, the potassium content also has one to increase the plant’s growth rate.

Iron, chlorine, boron, zinc, copper, and sulfur are other essential nutrients in chicken manure. These nutrients improve soil health, increase crop yield, and help synthesize chlorophyll and photosynthesis.

– Advantages

Farmers benefit from chicken compost in many ways. To begin with, just like cow manure, chicken compost can increase nitrogen levels in areas that have suffered erosion, runoff, or leaching. These cause nitrogen loss, reducing the survival probability of plants in those areas.Advantages of Chicken Manure

The compost is perfect for soils with water retention problems because it improves drainage. You can also use it on plants that grow well with little moisture to reduce the chances of root rot and other plant infections.

Chicken compost will be the best if you suspect a reduction of microorganisms in your garden soil. It introduces more microorganisms into the soil to ensure the active movement of nutrients.

Another reason you will need chicken manure is if you have a vegetable farm. When you use it around your vegetables, you will see how the high amounts of nitrogen encourage fast growth of the leaves and also promote root development. You will enjoy a larger harvest of giant kale and carrots at the end of your vegetable growing season, all because you applied this type of feeding.

– Disadvantages

While you enjoy the chicken’s organic fertilizer benefits, remember that it can also cause adverse effects. It is hard to tell the pH of this poultry manure because it varies with the manure’s age and what the birds eat. This makes it hard to know how safe applying it on certain soils is.

Although the high nitrogen level benefits plants, it can burn some. This is why you must always check how much nitrogen a plant can withstand before applying chicken manure.

– Uses

Chicken compost is best for nitrogen-hungry plants and flowers. The nutrient supports photosynthesis, which produces energy for the plant’s growth. For higher productivity, you can apply this manure on kale, spinach, lettuce, and different leafy greens, as they need proper nitrogen content to grow.Uses of Chicken Manure

Manure is also suitable for soil amendment because it adds organic matter, micronutrients, and microorganisms to the soil. It is also beneficial if your garden soil dries fast because it increases water retention. However, chicken compost must be aged before use, so applying raw manure to plants can burn them.


It is evident in the mushroom compost vs. chicken manure that these two fertilizers are different. First, mushroom compost comprises the by-products of mushroom farming, like hay, horse manure, and other organic matter, while chicken manure consists of poultry manure or droppings. These fertilizers also contain different nutrients, making them serve different plant needs.

Using mushroom compost or chicken manure depends on your plants and garden soil needs. The best fertilizer for growing flowering plants and herbs is the mushroom substrate. Leafy greens, tomatoes, sweet corn, kale, spinach, and other vegetables will benefit more from chicken manure.

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