Chook poo as manure

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChookNewbieOfTheDesert, May 16, 2009.

  1. ChookNewbieOfTheDesert

    ChookNewbieOfTheDesert New Egg

    Apr 19, 2008
    Hi, I'm posting this in chicken behavior because our chickens are definitely not trained to poo in an orderly fashion! I guess the massive amount of messy poo *everywhere* is what gives free range poultry a bad name.

    Thankfully, it is easy to rake up since we live in the high desert and have sand but no grass (or other small plants, weeds, bugs, etc thanks to the free ranging!)

    What are good ways to process the poo for fertilizer? I've been soaking the dry poops in 5 gallon buckets for a week, then diluting and pouring on to fallow garden beds... is that ideal?

    Any other ideas?

    I'm interested in any information on how to use it. I know it is very high in phosphorus... is there a time of year that any particular type fruit trees need lots of phosphorus?
  2. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ

    I am interested in answers on this one. There are also some in the forum if you search.
  3. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    i've always put it in my compost pile and hosed it down on hot days. it works GREAT as fertilizer. the bucket idea is a GREAT idea! your plants will certainly flourish!
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You can do a search on compost at this forum or go to the companion forum The Easy Garden", link at the bottom of this forum. There is a lot of discussion on compost over there.

    I would not use it directly on the garden without composting it first. Some people do put it in between the rows. It can burn some plants if you put it directly in them.

    Good luck!
  5. FabulousMandy

    FabulousMandy Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 16, 2008
    New Orleans, LA
    compost it! You want to get a big dark plastic bin, drill a bunch of small holes in the sides and in the lid, and bury 1/3 of it into the ground in a spot that gets partial to full shade (since you live in the desert it can be in complete shade and still reach the right temperature).

    A good, not stinky compost is comprised of 50% "green" material (chook poop, de-seeded vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and grass clippings are great green materials that break down quickly) and 50% "brown" material (leaves, straw, wood shavings, coffee filters, and virtually all paper products that aren't treated with wax or chemicals [paper towels work great]). As long as you keep a good balance of these two you'll never have a smell issue- good compost should smell just like the earth.

    I like to layer my greens and browns, water it down (compost needs to stay pretty wet), and let it sit for a day or two. Then I open the bin, mix everything up and aerate it at the same time by turning the mix with a regular hand held garden tiller, and then turn it every other day or every two days until the mix no longer resembles garbage (make sure it stays damp in there!). When it's done it'll look like crumbly earth, and if done correctly it should be ready within a matter of weeks (my first round took about 3 months to be completely finished).

    Whenever you come across earthworms or beetles throw 'em in there! Bugs and worms will speed up the process- my compost hosted a colony of tiny white moth/fly like creatures up until the compost was no longer garbage, then they left. You don't necessarily want slugs in there, since they'll lay eggs that'll end up in your garden, but as long as you bury the compost under a thick layer of mulch once you add it to your garden the eggs won't hatch.

    And these things should NEVER go in a compost bin:
    Dairy foodsFish scraps
    Oils (including peanut butter and mayonnaise)
    Pet excrement
    Diseased plants
    Medical waste

    Egg shells can go in there, but you want to pulverize them before you add them, since they take a really, really long time to break down.

    Happy composting!! My chook poop compost is so fertile the few veggie seeds that made it to the bin from my veggie scrap trashcan actually sprouted into plants inside the dark, non-growth friendly bin! Pretty impressive! Now my corn and tomatoes are reaping the benefits [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  6. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I go ahead and put it directly on the garden when it's not going to be used for a while.
    I use straw or leaves in the coop. It makes a great mulch over the beds all winter and the fertilizer is gently released into the soil and ready by spring.
    Two crops that I apply fresh poo/bedding to are corn and pumpkins/wintersquash. I would wait for the corn to get about 18" tall before using it, and just use a light layer. Pumpkins can take more. as long as it's not right up against the stem. Keep it at least 12" away.
    I store poo/bedding in trash cans in my barn if I don't have an empty bed available at the time. As long as it's fairly dry it won't smell much.
    It is important to keep the manure covered or mixed in with straw or other bedding. If not, heavy rain can cause run-off problems that can pollute streams.
  7. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Once a week, when I cleab my coops, I wheel barrell it all into my compost pile shavings and all..looks good so far. MY dh uses our mini bobcat to stir it up a few times throughout the summer-byt he next summer great soil for planting!! Neighbor lets us take as much hourse pooh that we want!!
  8. cackle

    cackle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Interesting I found this post. I have been cleaning the coop and put the poo/mulch in between the rows. I was afraid it would burn the plant if it was close. I can't wait to see how they do.

    I tilled a big area this year and the dirt is poor so I am trying to improve the soil. Right now I don't have a compost bin but really need to buy or make one.

  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Chicken manure
    Poultry manure (chicken in particular) is the richest animal manure in N-P-K. Chicken manure is considered "hot" and must be composted before adding it to the garden. Otherwise, it may burn any plants it comes in contact with.
  10. lillychick

    lillychick Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    hi Im not sure what to do with my chook poo. I clean my girls out every day (just the poo with some straw) then once a week they get a good clean. Whats the best way to compost i only have a samll back yard and my chooks are free range

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