Can Chicken Bedding be Applied Directly to Garden?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by suzadams06, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. suzadams06

    suzadams06 New Egg

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    Jul 11, 2011
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    Hi!

    We live in the city and have 4 hens and a small coop. I've been using straw for bedding in the coop/nest boxes and clean it out completely about every week, throwing the straw in the compost bins. However, (being on a city lot) my compost bin is smaller than I would like (but somehow larger than most of my neighbors would like!) and is filling up too quickly. I have a large garden and use straw as a mulch anyway, does anyone put this straight on the garden? Or does it have to be composted first? I am reading a lot of conflicting info.

    Thanks!! Susan
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I don't have chickens but I've always directly applied my duck's bedding.
     
  3. schmism

    schmism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    should not be added directly to garden with plants. as the high nitrgoen can burn the plant.s but if your looking to add it to an un-tilled area that you are about to plant, add directly and then till (or turn) it in.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Why are you cleaning it out that often? Is it stinking or getting wet? You might look at solving your problem from that end.

    Some plants are more tender than others and how concentrated the poop is in there makes a difference too. It is certainly possible to burn your plants and even kill them if you get too much poop on them.

    I don’t do it, but if you can be sure to keep the poopy straw in between your rows and away from your plants, it would probably work out. But there is some risk in this approach, especially around the more tender plants.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We garden commercially. Yes, our straw bedding/manure gets put directly onto the fallow gardens. However, the best practices established by the State Ag Universities and County Extensions offices agree. Cease application of raw manure based bedding/litter 30 days before planting or 90 days before harvest. The issue is the risk of pathogens. Our window is closing soon.

    One of the best, easiest to read publication is here:

    Guidelines for Using Manure on Vegetable Gardens - University of ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would leave the straw bedding in the compost pile to break down. You will find that the waste from below your roosts or from your poop board works well in the garden. I throw buckets full on a 80' x 40' garden plot each Winter. In the Spring I ammend it into the soil via a shovel and or a tiller. When the veggies come up you can still add poo along the isles and ammend it in the soil with a hoe. It is a fantastic fertilizer! Each year we get a wonderful harvest from the garden... ALOT of lettuce, squash, cucumbers, beans, corn, tomatos, onions, carrots, etc.. Hope this Helps!
     
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  7. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting.... We may just use the manure from the Winter and not add during the growing season. I have always been careful to ammend it into the soil and not get it on the plants but I guess you never know. We also wash the veggies and cook them well before eating.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We have to demonstrate best practices, or approved practices. We sell to the public. We cannot carry enough liability insurance to anything less. LOL
     
  9. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah... [​IMG] From you avatar it looks like you have a nice operation Fred. We just grow for ourselves and and ALOT of extra for friends. So much that I even feed the goats and chickens veggies. This year we will put up a scarecrow for fun and maybe shooo away a few birds from getting into the corn.
     
  10. suzadams06

    suzadams06 New Egg

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    Great advice!! Thanks all for the feedback.

    @Ridgerunner, I guess I'm not sure why I'm cleaning it out that often, lol, it doesn't stink or anything. I suppose I read it somewhere, and I want to be sure not to give any neighbors reason to complain. How often do you guys clean out the coop? The bedding definitely isn't that dirty when we change it out...
     

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