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Discussion in 'Gardening' started by jschway, Apr 26, 2012.
When is it safe to use chicken manure around vegetables or as fertilizer?
6 months to a year.
Make sure you don't put it in close to your plants as straight manure it will burn the plants. It helps the compost heat up make sure you stir your compost often
Make sure you don't put it in close to your plants as straight manure it will burn the roots of the plants. It helps the compost heat up make sure you stir your compost often
I depends on how it's ben "composted"
if you just let it sit in a pile it takes about 6-12 months
If you turn the pile every few weeks about 4-6 months
If you put it in one of those barrels on a pivot point and rotate every day or so as little as 4 weeks
Their is also something called compost accelerator ( or some such) it's benieficial bacteria that speeds the process along
It helps to wet the pile every now and then during dry spells / also your never suspposed to 100 % deplete the pile You should leave just a little to seed the next batch - kinda like the deep litter method
Every state university Ag school extension publishes a guideline about this. I find this one about the easiest to understand.
http://umaine.edu/publications/2510e/ Safe manure handling practices.
I have the compost tumbler and I've never been able to successfully compost in it. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.
I've gone back to the pile. If you don't plant a winter garden, you can add the manure to the garden beds and let it sit all winter. It will be ready for spring planting - till it in and you're ready to plant.
Old organic gardner here...so here is the scoop on composting! You need a 50/50 mix of "brown" and "green" parts. Brown is the carbon base for your compost. Some good browns are dried leaves, hay, COMPLETLY dried lawn clippings, any type of paper from newsprint to old printer/copy paper, bark, wood chips and so on! Greens are easy to come by, fresh grass clippings, uncooked vegi scraps from the kitchen, garden scraps, basically any non-dried plant material...and of course...manure! And here is a big time saver, the smaller your green and brown scraps, the faster this goes! So if you have any way of doing this..weedeater, chipper...do it! It can save you as much as two weeks! Here is how it goes:
You want a section of land about 3 feet by 3 feet...this is about the smallest you want to work with and you'll see why later.
Put down a 3 inch layer of browns, sprinkle LIGHTLY with water and a smidge of dirt..any old dirt. This is basicaly what those compost starters are so don't waste your money on 'em.
Then put down a 2 inch layer of green. You don't want TOO much green because the bacteria that is going to do your work can't handle it...it'll give off an ammonia smell. If you smell this at any time, throw in a few forks of dried leaves and turn. Another sprinkle of dirt but not water, the greens are wet enough.
Just keep doing this until you get a 3 foot pile. Then take a gardening fork and turn/mix everything REALLY well. Give it one last LIGHT sprinkle and let it set. About two or three days later go out and ease back the pile and feel inside. Is is getting warm? Great! That means you have good bacterial growth! This is also why you want such a large pile, it helps hold in the heat and speed up the process. Some piles have been known to reach 140 degrees! Leave it alone for another three days and then go turn it. If it looks dry..give it a light sprinkle of water. You may see these long grey or white threads...those are your buddies the bacteria...you want to promote that growth!
Basically every four days or so, go turn the pile and give it a sprinkle if it is dry. You don't want it soaking wet, just moist. Each time you turn it, the pile will heat up again as bacterial growth spreads. Depending on the size of your scraps when you start...you can have good compost in at little as a month! And as someone stated above...save a bit for your next pile...it'll help fire up the new one!
I have dirt floor in my pens. I throw straw down over the dirt. I feed regular chicken feed in a gravity feeder but I throw black oil sunflower seeds,greens, etc. on the ground for the chickens to scratch for. I almost never see a whole chicken poop. They work the ground so well that when I need fertilizer I just go in with a shovel and a bucket and scoop up the dirt off the floor of the pen. It is almost totally composted and turned by the chickens. I then work this into my garden beds and have had great success growing. Nothing ever seems to burn because of the chicken poop.
Just my two cents.
I think this process is subject to local conditions. Here it is so dry I cannot get much to decay. I water the pile in the morning, and by noon it is totally dry.