compost thermometer at 150 degrees

Getting Hot Compost to 150F Degrees

Most of the year in Alaska, our outdoor compost piles are frozen solid. When I get an opportunity to play with hot composting, it’s a rare occasion!

We have 9 chickens and use old dried leaves for coop/nest box bedding. After cleaning out the old chicken coop bedding, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and chopping up small tree branches, we mixed everything together then gave it a light watering.

It was the perfect combination of green grass (nitrogen), dead leaves and branches (carbon), chicken poop (nitrogen) and moisture.

Within 24 hours, the center of the compost bin reached 150 degrees Fahrenheit!

(I know the temperature because we have a 24-inch all-weather compost thermometer.)

Here’s a video of me verbally explaining how I got the compost heap cooking, even though the temperature in Anchorage that day was only 60 degrees.

And even at 150-degrees, the compost pile didn’t stink because old dairy products and meat are the smelly parts of composting – chicken coop waste and yard clippings shouldn’t smell rancid when they’re composting.