Chicken manure

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jackie c, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I've heard chicken manure is very strong, and should be composted for a couple years, or it burns tender roots. Does anyone use say last fall/summers chicken poop for the next years garden? and if so with what success or failure?
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    It's true. Fresh chicken manure can be 'hot'. It's better to compost it with other organic matter and mixed soil. Aged chicken manure is great stuff for the garden, either broadcast and tilled in, or spot fetrilizing around plants.

    Where my chicken coop was located, and down the hill from it was the lushest lawn compared to the other parts of the yard. It's all that nitrogen which leeched down with rains. So, that is one thing to keep in mind is that the garden will benefit especially for the green leaf growth and nitrogen loving plants.
     

  3. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Richard, I thought it need time to 'cool down' . I guess I'll save it for next year, I do have a huge pile of piggy pooh to work with for the upcoming season. :eek:
     
  4. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    I just started throwing manure where I plan on growing corn next year. Plan on letting it sit on surface and let the sun,snow,rain do it's thing, then till it up in the spring. Anyone see a problem with that?
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Jack, I love your idea. It's worked for me. Even fairly fresh chicken manure tilled in early as possible in the spring. Your idea of allowing the maure to settle over winter, though if you can till it in now, it might bind with the soil and not run off as much with snow melt or rain. If in the spring tilling Mixed in below the soil, it will be just great in time for corn planting. Corn is a monocotyledounous plant like grass, They love the nigtogen to gain good growth.
     
  6. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    I just started throwing manure where I plan on growing corn next year. Plan on letting it sit on surface and let the sun,snow,rain do it's thing, then till it up in the spring. Anyone see a problem with that?

    You might want to cover the area with newspaper or old carpet etc to keep the weeds and other rampant growth under control. :)
     
  7. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    Sheet composting, otherwise known as lasagna gardening.

    Each fall: put down layer of manure. Add 6-8" leaf mulch.
    Spring: plant right down into the mulch.
    Summer: more leaf mulch to keep the watering and weeding down.
    Fall: repeat.
     
  8. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My friend has the most incredible garden I've ever see. He digs a hole about a foot deep for his tomatoes, puts about a half shovel of pure chicken poop, then about 6" of garden soil. Tamps it all down, puts in the little tomato plant, and ads soil around it. This is poop from the entire winter, so some is pretty fresh. His hens poop down through a mesh floor, so there is no bedding mixed in. Seems like it would be too strong, but maybe it breaks down with the soil within a few weeks. Works for him. I plan on cleaning my coop in early April, and layering it right on the future corn patch. I'll till it in around May 15th, if it's dry enough.
     
  9. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    You all have some great answers, going to try them all. I have a pile on top of my garden right now so I'll till it right in come spring and plant the some corn there. I wish I had more compost materials to do lasagna gardening, just can't get my hands on enough given the large sizes of my gardens. The tomatoe thing sounds likes its worth a try. Thanks all! :D
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    In the spring I like to clean the hen house and scatter the poop where the spring garden will be.

    It does NOT burn the roots if you spread it THINLY and let it get rained on to wash that good nitrogen into the soil before you plant. It's pretty quick acting: I needed to fertilize in the summer because the nitrogen was already used up.

    I think that much of the problem with chicken manure is due to the good old American attitude of "if some is good, more would be better". With chicken manure, more is NOT! better. A little is good: more will burn roots.
     
  11. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    I generally just go ahead and throw mine in the garden and till it under, then plant whatever on top of it. Have never had any problems.
     
  12. valschickens

    valschickens Big Brother's Watching

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    Along with my chickens' poop, can I 'save' my rabbits' as well? And if not, how do you dispose of it? And being a newbie with all this, where do you keep all this poop? Do you pile it in a nearby field? My "thoughts" are to pile the rabbits' in a field behind the coop, and in the spring spread the chicken bedding/poop all over the garden area. Sound confusing? I am! :)

    And what about cats' litter in the barn? Does anybody bag it up and toss with their weekly garbage out here in the country?

    And NO! I refuse to scoop my Saint Bernard's poop any longer out here!! :)
     
  13. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I'de love to have that rabbit poop, and I would use it the same as chicken manure in the garden by spreading and tilling it in, OR make a compost bin and add it to that.
    I wouldn't add too much of the cat poop with litter to the garden. I would burn it outside if that's possible, or bury it.
    My dog's poo outside in the grass. I don't pick it up, either. It decomposes into the ground soon enough and they don't have worm or parasite problems. I know it's probably better to bury dog poop, though I bet few do it in the country.
     
  14. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    My MIL used to put the rabbit poop right on the garden. Rabbit poop does not burn plants roots.
     
  15. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    You want a pretty garden, then throw that bunny pooh in.
     
  16. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    tender roots are found generally on very young plants. if there is a problem, its with germinating seedlings only.
    rabbit poop is 'not hot' and seeds can eb seen to germinate directly in it.
     
  17. moldy

    moldy Well-Known Member

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    Rabbit droppings are great mulch as well. I put some around some pine seedlings that has been piddling along - they shot up about 12-18 inches that year with beautiful bright green growth.
     
  18. Homesteader at Heart

    Homesteader at Heart Well-Known Member

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    Some comments from a former chicken raiser/gardener...unfortunately neither right now. When I had chickens I put plenty of leaves and or seaweed in their pen for bedding. I used a barrel composter and when I was ready to make a new batch I would rake the top layer of organic matter in the henhouse aside and get the good stuff below and use that to make great compost. I never had any problem with burning things that way. Plus a barrel composter, if used correctly (proper moisture, ventilation and regular turning) will make compost much faster than just piling things up and letting nature take its course. One note of caution...just piling any type of manure outside in the weather will cause it to lose some of its beneficial properties through leaching.
     
  19. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    " One note of caution...just piling any type of manure outside in the weather will cause it to lose some of its beneficial properties through leaching."

    .................................................

    It will indeed, which is why I always tried to clean out the hen house just before it rained. I figured that the rain would wash some of the nitrogen into the soil, where it would be safe from the sun.

    I have seen before and after pictures of manure piles, and by the end of the winter those piles were half the size they were to start with.

    To prevent the chicken manure from being too rich for the plants, I always scattered the chicken manure very thinly.
     
  20. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me you could clean out the chicken house (leaving some behind to jump start the next bedding) in the late fall, and apply it to the growing beds. It would weather and compost, etc. and you could safely plant into it in the spring.

    I love the idea of using leaves for bedding. The trees reach down into the earth for the good minerals which benefit the chickens as well as the garden. The deep litter has molds (good ones) that provide B vitamines that will keep the chickens healthy and prevent pecking on each other.

    If you can get a truckload of chicken droppings, cover the pile with leaves or straw, then cover the whole thing with a tarp for over the winter. By spring the "heat" should be greatly diminished.