Chicken poo?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Topaz Farm, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    I have read several post where people have put chicken manure around their fruit trees with great success.

    It is time to clean out my chicken house. My question is can I put the manure around the trees now, or should I let it compost some first?
     
  2. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    I always compost chicken/horse/cow manure before using it for fertilizer. Be sure to get plenty of green manure mixed in with it so it heats up real well. Goat and rabbit manure go straight on the plants...

    That being said, I've never used any of it for trees, so.......
     

  3. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

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    Depends on if you are going to use that part of the garden yet this year or not. My grandmother cleans out her chicken coop every fall and puts it on her garden. Remember though, that SD gets snow for 6+ months out of the year so the manure is aged by planting time. She has the best garden around. If I lived closer, I would get some for my garden.

    Her earthworms are HUGE! She has ones that are as big around as my index finger and very long!!! You only have to turn one spade full over and you will have enough worms to go fishing!!!

    I do not know if this helps you or not?

    Carrie in SD
     
  4. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    The Organic Gardening show that I listen to on Saturday mornings does not recommend a manure-based fertilizer/compost for trees. A fungal-based product is recommended.

    For example, when you walk through the forest, the only thing that is protecting the soil is decomposed leaves and the micro-organisms that have formed under those layers of leaves.

    The show has been recommending a slow release granular fertilizer and a 4"-6" thick layer of mulch ( but not up to the trunk to the tree).
     
  5. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    There's one problem with that. Chemical fertilizer is damaging to the micro-organisms that break down the mulch. Manure isn't. I'm surprised an organic gardening show is recommending chemical fertilizer. Or maybe there's a non-chemical granular fertilizer I'm not aware of?
    Trees do great with uncomposted manure. We have fruit trees in our garden. We fertilize with manure, either chicken house or horse/cow barn (it all has bedding mixed in.) We then mulch with old hay. The trees grow and produce like crazy.
    We also have lots of persimmon and nut trees (black walnut, hickory, pecan) that the cows stand around and poo under. They produce amazingly well.
     
  6. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Chook poo is great, especially for citrus trees. It's best to let it dry out before using it, or if it's mixed with nesting straw, just scatter it around as a mulch, and water it well. Or you can make a 'tea' out of it, by soaking it in water, then water in a diluted mixture of it - say 1 part chook poo tea to 10 parts water. Terrific for veges, too.
     
  7. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    There are several Organic granular fertilizers sold in our area. The gentleman that runs the show has his own company (Lady Bug), there is also Rabbit Hill Farms, as well as a few others.

    These fertilizers are indeed gentle and will not hurt the micro-organisms or the ground water.

    Some of the home improvement stores are even carrying the dry organic fertilizers.
     
  8. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Cool!
     
  9. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, everyone for your input. The chicken house has been cleaned and a compost pile started.
     
  10. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    For some years I kept pigeons. They were housed in a small building (called a "loft"" and the manure accumulated on the floor to a depth of several inches. For those of you with no pigeon experience, pigeon manure is much dryer than that of chickens or other poultry and forms a dry, powdery base underfoot in the loft. It is as good fertilizer as any other poultry manure.

    I routinely spread this under my fruit trees and in my garden. Results were excellent but I did not realize how useful this was until I spread some in a big circle under a pecan tree in the front of the house one winter.

    In the spring that tree took off. Also, the grass around it was emerald green all summer. The following winter I spread nothing, having given up pigeons. Despite this, the next spring the grass greened up as before and the tree continued its rapid growth. The effects of this fertilizer were evident for 5 years. The tree continued its excellent growth, but the real evidence was in the brighter green color of the grass in the circle fertilized.

    Unless you are going to plant immediately there is no need to compost chicken manure. Spread it on the land; it will compost in place and all the nutrients leached out by rain will be where they are needed instead of under a compost pile.
    Ox