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Fresh poultry manure and vegetable gardening.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have found a lot on the internet about poultry manure and gardening but their idea of "fresh" seems to be some kind of purchased version and I'm reading all kinds of warnings about residual antibiotics and medications in the feces. 

I'm thinking about using actual chickens and turkeys in their tractors between rows and as treating ground before planting.

Does anyone else do this or can anyone point me to an informational site that discusses methods, issues and other concerns?

In particular, I'm wondering if I can use poultry manure in an existing garden between rows and how heavy the concentration can be?  Is there a difference between chicken and turkey manure?  Should I avoid using poultry manure on areas for particular types of crops or is it a pretty general kind of fertilizer? 

I also have a situation which developed over the winter where the turkey enclosure now has a tremendous amount of manure in it.  We had a lot of snow this winter and it was particularly cold so the snow just kept piling up and the turkeys would poop on top of it in layers.  Today was so warm that it pretty much all melted off and now I have a thick layer of manure.  Should I shovel it up and compost it or is it OK to let it get absorbed into the ground for a future garden plot?

Thanks for any advice.  I have enough birds now that I will have plenty of the stuff and want to use it as best as possible.

post #2 of 21

What I have done in the past is use fresh manure/bedding to kill off the area that I want to use for garden space next year.  It breaks down quite a bit over winter and I work it in when the ground thaws.

Otherwise, I allow it to decompose for a year before I apply any of the manure/bedding is used in my garden.

Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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post #3 of 21

I am halfway through the book "Chicken Tractor" by Andy Lee.  He talks about exactly what you describe; using chickens in tractors in the garden.  He suggests using chicks to prepare garden beds by moving them often and using lots of bedding to help counter the strength of their manure.
The book itself isn't written very well in my opinion: typos and poorly worded.  But the info seems to be good and he covers quite a bit of it.

Dont you find it odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows their food?
-Joel Salatin
 

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Dont you find it odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows their food?
-Joel Salatin
 

MeadowPath Photography 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MeadowPath

https://www.facebook.com/pages/MeadowPath-Photography/133763756735779

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post #4 of 21

I like to use poooop tea, I seem to get so much better control without the hottness, I only use it on plants that like a little extra Nitro, and extra leafy growth does not prevent fruiting.

I use a burlap sack filled with pure chicken Doodie Pies, with a brick in the sack to weigh it down and a rope tied to the top. then fill a 55 gal barrel with water next to the garden in full sun. every couple of days or so I just grab the rope and go to dipping it up and down, after a week or two it is brewed just right. I then fill a   2 gal garden spouted bucket and feed as needed, but not often maybe once a month. and be sure not to wet or drench the leaves.

                                    Good luck with tea time
                                                   AL

Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
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Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
Reply
post #5 of 21

Yep, All my chicken manure goes directly onto the gardens while dormant, then tilled in in the spring.

The only caution I would offer is that chicken manure will burn plants if it isn't at least 3 months old. Between the rows would be ok, however not directly around the plants or new seed beds, if truly fresh.

I do have a large ben for saving during the summer, then apply to the harvested gardens in the fall also.

  bigzio

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Winter with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Winter with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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post #6 of 21

I sell my composted litter [ pine shaving and manure ].   Composted litter can be used anytime that composting is appropriate .... which is pretty much anytime.    Composting kills the bacteria,   but it will not remove the arsenic that can be expelled when some types of medicated started/grower feed are used.    Thats not an issue for me since all of my birds are raised with 100% natural non-medicated feed.   Yeh,  yeh,  yeh I know that arsenic is natural.   Funny how  trendy can be so misleading.   Nevertheless,   arsenic is never an ingredient in feed,   just a biological byproduct produced during the chemical reactions that accompany digesting certain medicated feeds.

post #7 of 21

My veggie gardens are never dormant so just putting fresh coop cleanings is out of the question. The coop cleanings go either in a large mulch bin or on top of my banana/plantain box. I use a lot of hay in the coop and clean every other month. This helps reduce the risk of burning my banans/plantains. I like the idea of tractoring the chickens during your dormant season. They can eat whatever you leave and till whatever is there. You can use composted chicken manure on any vegetables.

post #8 of 21

Andy Lee's book "Chicken Tractor" goes into that a lot, although he was kind of an optimistic kind of guy and you're only really getting one side of the story wink  Still, useful book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lengel 

In particular, I'm wondering if I can use poultry manure in an existing garden between rows and how heavy the concentration can be?  Is there a difference between chicken and turkey manure?  Should I avoid using poultry manure on areas for particular types of crops or is it a pretty general kind of fertilizer?


I'd be astonished if there were any meaningful difference between chicken and turkey manure. It's all pretty high in N so is less appropriate (particularly when only months old rather than WELL composted) for crops that do not do well with high amounts of N, like IIRC root crops such as carrots.

If it is less than a few months old, I'd be real cautious using it where its fecal bacteria can potentially contaminate produce (e.g. I wouldn't use it near the surface in a lettuce bed); sure, you should wash yer veggies before eating, but best not to rely TOO much on that, you know? If it is older, especially if it has composted 'hot' or been mixed in with soil a good while, that's not a concern.

How much is too much really depends on a) how much bedding is mixed into the manure, b) whether it is dead fresh or old or composted; and c) what your soil is like to begin with. You could drive yourself crazy doing lab tests and math, or you could just figure it out the practical way, by trying and seeing what happens (and I'd err on the side of less not more!)

I also have a situation which developed over the winter where the turkey enclosure now has a tremendous amount of manure in it.  We had a lot of snow this winter and it was particularly cold so the snow just kept piling up and the turkeys would poop on top of it in layers.  Today was so warm that it pretty much all melted off and now I have a thick layer of manure.  Should I shovel it up and compost it or is it OK to let it get absorbed into the ground for a future garden plot?


It would be best to scoop it up as soon as you can, mix it well with carbonaceous material such as shavings or straw or old leaves or shredded paper, and let it compost a while. Othewise it loses most of its nutrients to runoff, which is not only kind of a loss but can create nutrient pollution problems in some circumstances (if it gets into a ditch, or stream, or groundwater table).

Good luck, have fun,

Pat, who just did a similar outdoor sheet-of-poo removal from around the horse shed yesterday tongue

post #9 of 21

So, Tim_TX if I am understanding your post, do not put chick doodle pies who've been eating medicated starter/grower in your garden as you'll be planting arsenic?

But, non medicated fed birds doodle pies are just fine.

post #10 of 21

I read to never use fresh chicken manure in the garden, because it is a "hot" fertilizer, and burn the plants, but to let it compost, or age it to let it mellow.  I have not read anything about using poo that was medicated feed, where could I read more??  i don't believe I use medicated feed, but I would like to know if all the poo I saved all last fall is worth putting in the garden this spring like I had planned.  Right now it is mixed with goat poo and a lot of straw in a huge snow covered pile at the edge of the woods.

wanna be a farmer
Check out my tiny farm page!!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=14134
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wanna be a farmer
Check out my tiny farm page!!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=14134
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