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Fertilizer in the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenlver2013, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. chickenlver2013

    chickenlver2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was wondering if you could put fertilizer in the run? I have trees and bushes for my flock to hide and nest in. I want to make the plants grow bigger. Would it hurt the flock if I fertilized the plants? Like kind you hook to the water hose and spray the plant.
     
  2. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't use ANY chemical fertilizer. It would be toxic. You could, however, use a sea weed fertilizer or something like that.
     
  3. chickenlver2013

    chickenlver2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Where can I find that?
     
  4. chickenlver2013

    chickenlver2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh and the chickens won't be in the coop and run for a while anyways I thought maybe I could fertilize the plants and set it up before I put them In there In the next couple months
     
  5. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can find it at any garden center. I'm not sure if a big box store like lowes or home depot would have it. As far as doing it before the chicken are in there, it would still be dangerous for them. It leeches into the soil they scratch in and is inside the grass and weeds they eat.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Liquid fertilizer like that won’t hurt them, especially since you are waiting a while and the rain will rinse off the vegetation. If you get much rain, in a couple of months a lot of that liquid fertilizer will have been leached out of the soil anyway. It’s water-soluble. What I’d be concerned about would be the slow-release pellets. Those last a long time and they will eat them.

    Don’t over-fertilize. Most of those liquid fertilizers are going to be really high in nitrogen and you can burn the plants by over-doing it. Just read the instructions about how much area to cover and go by that. It’s not that precise. You have a lot of leeway before you are going to do any harm to the vegetation. Just don’t get ridiculous.

    Another options are to get some compost and fertilize with that. You don’t have time to start a batch now, but I strongly recommend you learn how to do that, especially once you start getting chicken manure. That is an excellent way to recycle and is good for the environment. You get a really useful product, not just for those bushes but any other vegetable or flower beds.

    You can also buy cow manure, usually composted or partially composted, and use that. An even better option if you can find it is to find someone with horses, cows, sheep, goats, or especially rabbits and see if you can get some for free. Chickens have been raised in and around barnyards for thousands of years around animals that poop. They scratch in the manure and get a lot of really beneficial nutrients from that. It won’t hurt them.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Ditto what Ridge Runner says... but here's a bit more thought for you: If the vegetation is in the run, it will already most likely be getting some free fertilizer from the girls. If I were you, I'd watch it and see how it is growing, then decide if it needed fertilizer. I'd then only use liquid fertilizer and be sure to rinse it off the leaves before allowing the chickens back into the run. could you perhaps fertilize in the evening after they've gone to bed so it'll get plenty of opportunity to soak into the ground, and the girls won't be making mud pies???
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'd also think the birds would fertilize the plants enough. If you still want to do something else, something like Miracle Grow is non-toxic. I've had to call Poison Control about it before when a nursing home patient ingested half a bottle of the concentrate (her visually impaired husband had thought it was a bottle of lemon juice and brought it in to use on her fish [​IMG] ) and they said there's no problems--kids literally eat/drink the stuff all the time and are fine. If Poison Control doesn't freak out when a toddler drinks a bottle, I'd highly doubt a chicken would have a problem from maybe eating a leaf or two that had been sprayed with the dilute form.
     
  9. chickenlver2013

    chickenlver2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It needs fertilizer. The bushes are in the old pen where they used to stay when they were little but I took it down and now putting it back up because I've got 62 eggs in the incubator and I plan on putting the babies in the pen with the bushes when it gets warmer
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Did they eat all the vegetation (grass) in the old pen where these bushes are? What kind of shrubs, how big? Plants that have an excess nitrogen load will often resemble plants that are UNDER fertilized. I'd be a bit concerned, but not knowing your soil or climate, all I can do is sit here and speculate about what your climate is like now, and what your soil parameters are now. If these shrubs are important to you... if you want to be sure they don't die, it might be worth having the soil tested. I think the basic NPK test is about $15, and you can buy a kit for multiple tests for around $22. If you are not too specific about the outcome, you could give them a dose of liquid fertilizer and see what happens. Have they leafed out yet, or are they still dormant? If they've leafed out, what do the leaves look like? Can you post a picture? I wouldn't fertilize any shrubbery until it's broken dormancy.
     

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