Chicken Poo

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by horsedirtocala, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. horsedirtocala

    horsedirtocala Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2012
    Morriston/Ocala Florida
    Hello!! I know that chicken poo is GREAT fertilizer and heard that if fresh, it has too much nitrate or someother ingredient that will kill or burn plants. How long does the poop have to "season" for before it is safe to put around shrubs, flowers etc?
  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    I'd compost it for a year before applying directly onto plants. If you mix it into a dirt bed that you want to use next year, then you'll have a good bed next year. If it's mixed with other organic material that composts fast (vegetable peelings, grass clippings) and let it break down in the heat for a few months, you might be able to use it sooner. But I'd start putting it in a compost pile right now, and throwing in other compostable waste, to use next year.

    However, if you know someone with sheep or rabbits, that can be used fresh. It's like slow-release fertilizer pellets.

    Other organic fertilizers that you can use now: leftover coffee grounds and cold coffee, whey from making cheese or yogurt.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I've accidentally made my compost heap too acid by adding to much chicken poo and too little other stuff. We neutralised it by mixing it with ash. If you have a fireplace or do lots of BBQ's mix the ash in with your compost and or poo. Cow poo is fantastic for the garden too. Once it's dry you can add it directly to the soil, no need to age it. Pig poo is the best by far, but that needs to sit somewhere and age for a year before you use it, as it will kill your plants if it's fresh. But once it's aged, it's fantastic.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We market garden and once the harvest is finished in late September, the manure gets spread directly unto the fields. We continue to spread all fall and winter, right from the chicken pens, directly to the soil. Once March comes, all applications of fresh manure must cease. The issue is pathogens. This is a serious concern.

    During the the April thru September growing season, the manure is stockpiled, awaiting final harvest, then it too is spread and the cycle repeats itself.

    Yes, manure can be "hot" for some plants, but pathogen safety needs to be of primary concern.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It is very wise to follow safe manure handling guidelines, when using manure in a garden producing table vegetables. All State University Ag Schools produce similar documents, but this brief one from the University of Maine is particularly easy to read and understand.
  6. smilingcat

    smilingcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Ash must be wood ash. Not from charcoal briquettes you buy at store. Don't use ash from charcoal briquettes such as Kingsford.

    Wood ash also adds potassium into the compost so its a good thing.
  7. 7 Biddies

    7 Biddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2012
    NE GA Mountains
    My Coop
    Thanks for the wood ash tip: I'm about to burn some garden debris and I'm glad to know it's beneficial in the garden. The timing is perfect. I cleaned out the chicken house today, shoveling the girls’ droppings into the trench where I’m going to plant raspberries in the spring. I filled it up with waste and straw, then emptied some bags of good garden soil over it, raking it all down. Next, I'll add wood ash. By spring, it should all be pretty well composted and good for planting baby raspberry plants. I still have to edge the bed with bricks, and will add a little more soil before planting. Once the plants are in, I’ll mulch it with straw so the young shoots can come up through it, and to keep the weeds out. Hopefully, I’ll have raspberries this summer.

    I’ve had the girls digging up one area in the yard to use as a strawberry bed, and they’ve done a pretty good job! Next time I clean out the chicken house, I’ll shovel it all into that area, add soil and ashes, let it compost, and plant strawberries in it. When finished, I’ll have blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries surrounding the coop, with a plum tree out back.

    Chickens are a gardener's best friend.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  8. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    In hot humid climates the compost seems to break down very fast. I am in NE FL and I have compost break down in 3 mos during the summer months. Usually it is about 6 mos the rest of the year. I mostly use the chicken compost for my flower beds. The plants really like it and go crazy (see my Flower&Garden photo album ). I have a vermi-compost set up under my rabbit cages that I use for the edible gardens and in flower pots.
  9. Fluffnpuff

    Fluffnpuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2012
    Thank you for posting that information. I have been applying scooped up chicken poo straight to my garden all fall and winter but didn't know which month to stop.
  10. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009

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