1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Chicken compost and kids

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by ColoradoSLV, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    Hi from Colorado's gettin'-ever-chillier San Luis Valley!

    I've discussed a community garden with other locals and would like to know the benefits and hazards of using chicken poop-based compost, and what this may pose to children.

    I'm aware that children under five years old should not handle the chicks they see at the spring sales, but is there a later concern about salmonella, etc., that I/we should be aware of?

    I have the chickens (of course!), 3-4 bags of leaves, and have access to topsoils and fertilizers.

    Your thoughts, s'il vous plait? :)
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    5,169
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Mais Oui! Je suis excited for this venture! Chickens make fantastic fertilizer. The written rule of thumb (I think from dusty memory banks) is that chicken poo should not be applied to crops intended for harvest within 90 days of application. So... to meet the letter of the law, you should complete your pile, and let it cook for 90 days. In home application, I am a bit more lenient. If the compost looks finished, I consider it ok to use in my garden. Even then, I am careful about it's use in crops that grow in the ground, or are close to the ground and intended to be eaten raw (salad greens). Also a good idea to cover with mulch if water will splash material onto fruits eaten raw. Common sanitation practices should be fine. Any one with compromised immunities should follow the guidelines of their medical practitioner. Chicken poo is hot, so should be fully composted before use anyways. I do DL in both coop and run, and am hard pressed to keep enough DL in the run b/c it melts into the soil so quickly. Hoping there will be some to harvest next spring after almost 2 years of composting there. Finished compost should harbor no more concern about infection than good soil.
     
  3. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    Merci pour la réponse rapide (Thank you for the quick response)!

    Since I volunteer with a local kids group I want to be sure our future gardeners are safe. For sure, we'd be sure they wash up before and after, but the benefits can be quite remarkable, especially for those who show an interest and a passion for what the Earth can provide.

    (Central Maine? I'm originally from Rhode Island! :) )
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    5,169
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    I'm currently working with a lady in a skilled nursing facility who's primary language is French. I'm hard pressed to come up with enough French from my high school years (34 years ago!) to carry on a conversation with her, but I can get across the basics! You are greatly blessed to be able to pass your passion on to the next generation. For the last 2 years, I've gone to local first graders, and done a presentation re: the relationship of poultry to gardening and farming in general to go along with their incubation science unit. It's been an interesting opportunity. Interestingly, when I talked with the first group about chickens giving us meat, the kids were pretty matter of fact about it. When I mentioned it to last years kids, they were grossed out about it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by