Chicken poop for your garden

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by yellowbee0110, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. yellowbee0110

    yellowbee0110 Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you use it?

    So far I'm just adding the poop/shavings in with my compost. I should probably make a new compost pile now and let that one just cook for spring.

    The interweb is making me paranoid that my feathered babies' poopies are going to hurt my green babies if I don't wait long enough to let them meet.

    What do you guys do in real life? Have you had any problems with poops and plants?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    What I have been doing is making a nice heap of shaving and poop and having ducks chickens and geese that is alot of shavings and poop. But I intend to use it come spring once everything is up high enough the leaves won't be touching the mulch I have actually put poop shavings straight out of the coop around the blueberry plants and they are still alive.This was a test. I am thinking it must break down pretty fast.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Many people put their bedding on the garden in the fall. By spring, it's aged enough that it's not a problem. The general rule of thumb for animal feces is that it should age 90 days to kill any potential pathogens that would be problematic in the garden. Chicken poo is hot. So, you need it to age before it goes into the garden. The other issue is that shavings are very high in carbon, and there is likely not enough nitrogen in the poo to break down the shavings in that amount of time. So, you might end up with an imbalance of nutrient if you till that coop litter into your soil. It might be better to use it as a top dressing. You might want to view the Back to Eden film ( )to get some more food for thought regarding your gardening efforts. I can tell you what I do with my flock and their "black gold". I stopped using shavings 2 years ago (will use them occasionally when brooding chicks). In my adult coop, I use leaves and grass clippings. I let that bedding build up and add to it. Eventually, I will do a partial clean out. Open the clean out door behind the perches and move all of that deep poopy bedding under the perches out into the run. Then, I move the relatively clean bedding that was in front end of the coop to the back, under the perches, and add more fresh leaves and grass clippings to the front. I do the partial clean out about 2 x / year. In the mean time, the birds busily turn all of that bedding in the run, as well as all of the other goodies that I add to it into the most luxurious black compost you could get your hands on. I put copious amounts of compostable material into that run every year. Eventually, perhaps this spring, I will harvest some of it for my gardening pleasure!
     
  4. yellowbee0110

    yellowbee0110 Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome advice! I will watch the video.

    I have a mix of leaves and shavings in the run and just shavings in the coop. My setup is really small and every morning I scoop out the coop poop. I'll add more shavings maybe once a week . In the run I initially put in a lot of shavings, then I added a bunch of leaves. I just kind of dig around in there with a little rake once or twice a week to make the poop go away somewhere not on the top. I have added shavings a couple of times since the leaves. Also, before we got down to being super cold, I took out a bunch of rain-soaked run bedding and replaced it with dry shavings (and then tarped the run).

    Now though, I think I will heed your advice and try to transition more toward leaves and less shavings. Do you use leaves in the nest boxes as well? It just doesn't seem so cozy to me. (I haven't raised my birds right to not sleep in their nests). Do you find that your coop stays pretty dry?
     
  5. yellowbee0110

    yellowbee0110 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Are your blueberry plants mature?
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yes they are mature. This is the first time I have placed shaving and poo mixed around them so I am excited to see what spring will bring. I put this mix around them back in early fall.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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  8. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use deep litter in my coops/runs. I have 3 large coops. They are 10x10 with 10x20 attached runs. I put leaves, pine straw and some shavings in my coops. In the runs, I put leaves, pine straw, grass clippings and garden scraps. I also throw my kitchen scraps out in the runs. The chickens eat what they like and the rest composts.

    I line my nest boxes with large flake shavings. When they need to be changed, I just dump out the shavings on the coop floor and add fresh to the nests. I also use large flake shavings when I brood my chicks along with leaves. This also gets dumped into the runs when I move them to their large coop.

    My deep litter in the coops never really composts down. Even with all the chicken poo, there is never enough moisture to complete the cycle in my coops. I do a big clean out in the early spring and put everything out in the runs to compost down over the summer.

    This is what my compost looks like. I rake back the large pieces of uncomposted debris in the runs. I dig down into the black dirt and run it through my compost screen to remove the large pieces. What is left is a very fine, dark, rich compost. I squeeze it into a ball and it falls back apart. This will be my first year really using it in the garden.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This compost is made up of chicken poo, leaves, pine straw, lots of shavings and garden leavings.
     
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  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Lovely black gold. To be honest, i got chickens for just this purpose, as well as weeding and insect control. The eggs, the meat, the entertainment and the exercise are simply part of the bonus package. it is my goal to make a compost screen to fit over my smaller wheel barrow. But, I'm not sure what size wire mesh would be best. I'm thinking 1/2". Any one built a screen, care to share your screen size, screen design, and how well it's working for you, and any thing you'd change about the screen you've made????
     
  10. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    LG, I had some leftover 1/2" hardware cloth and 2x4's from my building projects. I cut the boards so that they would sit on my wheelbarrow and screwed the cloth to the short sides. This gave me a rim to help hold in the compost as I sift it through the wire. It works great for me. I'll get you a pic of just the screen this evening when I get home from work.
     

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