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Chicken Litter to Mushrooms

Andrew Winsor
Posts: 58
Location: Aberdeen, WA
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UPDATE: I've taken M.K. Dorje Jr. Post from 11:58:48 AM 05/22/2014 to the best of my ability.
I'm not very comfortable asking for other peoples waste streams. (as an FYI) and I don't have cows.

I have 13 young hens that should start laying in the next couple of weeks,
I currently buy pine shavings to litter their coops with, as a result I end up with chicken manured pine shavings and don't really know what to do with them.
I also have lots and lots of cardboard and I am a coffee drinker.
I clean the coop out weekly.

so what I am thinking.
1. Boil cardboard in mason jar
2. Get some brown button mushrooms at the store Almond Agaricus (A. subrufescens) spawn from Field and Forest Products
3. Cut some shavings of stems and place into mason jar (do allot of jars and toss the bad ones)
3a. Seal mason jar
4. Wait 10 days

5. Oven bake (in the same oven I use to make food) Used Chicken Litter with cardboard and RO water "tacky dap" at 190 degrees for 10 mins (after pre heating) (inside of toss away tin or thrift store container)
6. Place Chicken Litter into factory new 10 gal zip lock bags
7. Add RO filter water TDS 0 to Chicken Litter until "tacky dap"
8. break up cardboard "cakes" spawn into 10 Gal zip lock bags
8a. Seal zip lock bag
9. wait 30 days? cut holes in bag
10. add water (Flush)
11. Fruit outdoors in sun in doors next to window
12. Pick and Eat mushrooms (Do step 10 again until bag is spent)
13. When bag is spent add it to my garden bed

So I just came up with this off the top of my head, please tell me what is wrong with it, so I can fix it. Thanks (I don't mind failure/learning also)
M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
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Andrew, although I admire your ingenuity, I doubt very much that your plan would work. There are multiple reasons why:
1. Brown Button/Crimini Mushrooms/Portabello (Agaricus bisporus) do not grow from stem butts onto cardboard, at least according to paul stamets. Their mycelium is very weak and is not aggressive.
2. Button mushrooms are among the most difficult of all mushrooms for amateurs to grow. They have a very narrow temperature and humidity range for growth and fruiting that is difficult to duplicate without spending a lot on a special building or chamber to grow them in.
3. Button mushrooms require a high quality horse or cow manure compost that is well-pasteurized and free of any contaminants. This is difficult for beginners to make. As far as I know, they simply won't grow on just chicken manure or cardboard. (However, chicken manure is sometimes added as a supplement to the high quality horse or cow manure compost that is used in Button Mushroom production.)

In my own experience, I prefer to grow Almond Agaricus (A. subrufescens) instead. These mushrooms are much, much easier to grow, are much better for you and in my opinion, they are one of best-tasting mushrooms I've ever tried, with a flavor that is far better than the Button Mushrooms at the store. The Almond Agaricus can also grow from stem butts onto cardboard and it is much more forgiving when it comes to substrates. Chicken manure could be added to the cow manure compost that these mushrooms prefer, too. I grow Almond Agaricus inside my house in cardboard boxes filled with leached cow manure compost I get from a dairy farm. I buy the spawn from Field and Forest Products in Wisconsin. There is a thread in the fungi section where I explain how to do this. The only bummer is that the Almond Agaricus does not like our chilly Pacific Northwest nighttime temperatures, so they must be grown in a greenhouse or warm room. They can be grown outdoors in the summer in the Southeast and in coastal California, even the Midwest. I hope this info helps and doesn't disappoint you!

Here is the link to the thread I just mentioned:

John Saltveit
Posts: 1899
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
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I agree with MK. You might not mix all those together and then say, "what grows on this mixture"?

You might want to take parts of the mixture and inoculate that with something that works well with it.

Oysters grow well on fresh coffee grounds, but not old ones.

Many agaricus mushrooms will grow well on feces, but they're hard to identify, especially for beginners.

The question may be more difficult than you want it to be.
John S
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