Fresh, used Coop litter/shavings straight into garden???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Karen_at_LittleBrook, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Karen_at_LittleBrook

    Karen_at_LittleBrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2010
    Rome, NY
    Hi, I've been reading the threads on this topic but cant seem to find an answer... I have been attempting the deep litter method so far this winter. Its been cold and we've had a lot of snow, so I thought it was a good idea to help keep the coop warm. But Im thinking I'd like to empty the coop out and put in fresh pine shavings very soon. I'm 3-4 months away from the planting season here in central new york. My coop is right next to my veggie garden. I'm wondering if rather than hauling the load way out back in the snow and dumping and and waiting for ????? if it would be okay to dump it in my snow covered garden now. Shavings and all. We've prob got another 2 months of winter & snow ahead of us. And in the spring before planting spreading it and tilling it in.

    I guess my question is can pine shavings go into the garden like that? Right from the coop, into the garden over winter? Is it good for the garden? And will the poo be "cool" enough and safe considering it will be tilled in before the plants & seeds go in? And I'm also wondering about all that chicken feed floating around in the shavings.... will that pose any problems? Or should I use last summer's pile that has been sitting? Or none at all! [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help~
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You have two choices. Take the shavings and its rich contents directly to the garden, as you say, or to the compost pile and let them join the fun there.

    I take the same "product" to my gardens from September 30th up until Feb 15th. At that point, I cease applying, but take them to compost instead. I try not to put fresh manure on soil scheduled for planting within 90 days, as per most recommendations for organic farming associations.
     
  3. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    I have a compost pile that I dump the newest stuff in the back and let it cure for a year or two before I use it. It's also got horse poop in there....I wouldn't dump it directly in there because it will be too "hot" and some veggies won't like that. I am not sure about the safety of uncured chicken poo, either...I'd be kind of wary about eating anything that was lying in used chicken shavings & poop--even with a good scrubbing. [​IMG]
     
  4. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    I'll be emptying my coop in early March directly into my gardens. If the ground is workable I'll also till it in at that time. Most of my veggies don't go in til mid-May and that's plenty of time. Chicken droppings make for a happy garden! (I wouldn't add fresh droppings during the growing season without letting them compost for a bit - too much heat.) Don't know how others do it, but this always works fine for me. I don't see any problems with spreading your shaving over the garden now.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Left over chicken feed, in manure, if whole kernel, will sprout and there isn't much you can do about it. Likely milo from scratch? If your compost pile is truly hot enough, such issues as weeds, seeds, etc, are highly minimal. The heat does most in.
    If it is mash, crumbles or pellets, it just adds to the food value of the manure.

    There is an ever so slight acidic effect with wood shavings/saw dust, but you likely lime anyhow. I usually check the ph of my soil in spring each year anyhow.

    Here's a little video of some of my gardens. Enjoy.
     
  6. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    Fred's Hens :

    Left over chicken feed, in manure, if whole kernel, will sprout and there isn't much you can do about it. Likely milo from scratch? If your compost pile is truly hot enough, such issues as weeds, seeds, etc, are highly minimal. The heat does most in.
    If it is mash, crumbles or pellets, it just adds to the food value of the manure.

    There is an ever so slight acidic effect with wood shavings/saw dust, but you likely lime anyhow. I usually check the ph of my soil in spring each year anyhow.

    Here's a little video of some of my gardens. Enjoy.

    Fred's Hens, love the gardens and the banjo! I'm getting the pre-Spring garden itch! [​IMG]
     
  7. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    Fred's Hens :

    Left over chicken feed, in manure, if whole kernel, will sprout and there isn't much you can do about it. Likely milo from scratch? If your compost pile is truly hot enough, such issues as weeds, seeds, etc, are highly minimal. The heat does most in.
    If it is mash, crumbles or pellets, it just adds to the food value of the manure.

    There is an ever so slight acidic effect with wood shavings/saw dust, but you likely lime anyhow. I usually check the ph of my soil in spring each year anyhow.

    Here's a little video of some of my gardens. Enjoy.

    Your garden is beautiful! I put the stuff right in garden soil, but always a couple months before I plant anything, and I till it in. I let fresh stuff compost for awhile.​
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Farmers have been spreading manure onto their fields, in winter, since time began. This is the nature of organic farming versus the use of chemical fertilizers. Dairymen cannot normally hold their manure for a year to age it.

    Yes, chicken poop is hot, but 90-120 days of curing, dissolving, breaking down in snow/rain, and tilled into the soil neutralizes it quite well. Of course, one can compost it, if one wishes.

    Most organic farming guidelines, established by major Agricultural Universities such as Nebraska, Mich. State, etc all publish guidelines which call for a cessation of manure applications within 90-100 days of planting.

     
  9. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Fred's Hens :

    Left over chicken feed, in manure, if whole kernel, will sprout and there isn't much you can do about it. Likely milo from scratch? If your compost pile is truly hot enough, such issues as weeds, seeds, etc, are highly minimal. The heat does most in.
    If it is mash, crumbles or pellets, it just adds to the food value of the manure.

    There is an ever so slight acidic effect with wood shavings/saw dust, but you likely lime anyhow. I usually check the ph of my soil in spring each year anyhow.

    Here's a little video of some of my gardens. Enjoy.

    Wow! HUGE garden! Who has to weed that all? [​IMG]
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You can do it if it's not an excessive amount and you till it in and wait at least a few weeks after tilling to plant into it. There are some plants that will have more of a sense of humor about this than others, but I don't think it's unreasonable as long as you don't go berzerk and you "know your garden".

    I would totally NOT however recommend SPREADING it on the garden right now. Reason being, the season is far enough advanced that a fair bit of cold wil have got into the ground by now, and if you spread shavings (even used shavings) over top, come springtime they will act as a wonderful insulating and sun-reflecting layer that will make the ground underneath take MUCH longer to thaw and warm up, even just to the point of being able to till the stuff in. Indeed I deliberately use horse stall-cleanings for this purpose, to make a stays-frozen-longer "path" from the shed to the pasture thru the otherwise-muddy-in-spring area. Works great when you WANT to keep things frozen; don't do it in a garden though. I say this from personal experience having not thought of that one year, btw [​IMG]

    So, pile it somewhere (can be in the garden as long as it's a part of the garden you don't mind not being able to use for a while), let the spring thaw get all the way into the ground til it is deeply workable, THEN till the stuff in and proceed.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011

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