Poop in the garden, maggots in the poo

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickchick, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. chickchick

    chickchick Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I know this is a heated question and there are alot of different opinions/stratigies/answers out there, but if anyone could help out I'd be really appreciative.

    I've been collecting all the chicken poop for many many months. I scoop it off the dropping shelf along with a small amount of pine shavings, and put in in a large plastic bin with a board over the top. I've got a full bin and I thought I was aging it but I guess not since it was nor arreating or heating up and composting.

    I'd like to spread some on some beds in prep for spring planting. I went out today to put it on the rhubarb bed ( I was going to follow with some compost then straw too) but took the board off the bin and saw lots of maggots. So, I hesitated, and decided not to use it.

    THIS SHOULD BE SO SIMPLE! Right? Collect the poo, use it as a fertilizer. Is it too dangerous to use? I know not to use it too close to planting season and not to use it with things life leaf lettuce that it would come in close contact with , but do I just use it maggots and all and wait as it all breaks down???

    Please help, someone else out there is asking these same questions and I know people on this board have some great advice.....

    Thank you!
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Nothing wrong with maggots. They help in their own way to break it down.

    However note that the poo will not compost very much if it is JUSt poo. Much too much nitrogen, not nearly enough carbon. Also it would need more oxygen than it'll get in a plastic bin. And a bigger initial population of microorganisms etc.

    So what you've got in your plastic tub is not anywheres near finished and garden-ready. I would not put it directly on plants (certainly not on growing plants, and honestly I wouldn't put it on rhubarb or other gonna-be-growing-in-a-month-or-two plants either) at this point.

    You might consider making an outdoor pile, i.e. sitting on the ground and with air around it, in which the pure chicken manure is mixed with an equal or greater amount of mostly-carbonaceous material, such as used bedding from the coop floor, or shredded paper/newspaper, or shredded leaves raked last fall, etc. Make the pile as cubical (and high) as possible; put some scrap carpeting or plywood on top during really really rainy weather. Let it sit for a couple few months, preferably turning it periodically. Come Actual Springtime, it will still not be finished compost as such but should be safe to put on your garden beds.

    FWIW, manure that has aged (properly, not in a pure-manure possibly-anaerobic situation like yours) for at least 90 days is usually considered pretty safe to use around veggies such as lettuce, from a microbiological standpoint.

    Have fun,

  3. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Maggots to much Green stuff!
    Just add more Brown stuff & mix!
    Pile should be kept mist (not soggy)
    In making a compost pile you can just keep in a pile on ground or plastic bin or garbage pail with holes on the bottom (or no bottom at all)

    1/2 nitrogen ((green stuff)) & 1/2 carbonaceous ((brown stuff))

    Green Stuff Brown Stuff
    Fresh leaves brown leaves
    kitchen scapes wood chips
    manure shredded news paper
    lawn trimmings
    used coffee grinds
    even though brown it is green stuff & cafes give it away for free!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2009
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Is there a possibility these are soldier fly larva?
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I don't believe so!

    It is just getting use to the amounts (you really can't get it wrong: if you get the amount wrong it will just take longer to decompose)

  6. n2h20

    n2h20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Pasadena Ca
    i think maggots like anything animal related, poop, pee, hair, old chicken bones, steak bones...etc. whenever i put this in my compost pile and do not mix it all up, i get maggots. i woulds suggest what has already been said, more air, soil, and a combination of other plant material. Mix all this up every couple of days and will have some primo mulch soon enough...
  7. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    We just chuck it in the compost bin with all the rest of our leftovers (that the hens don't eat) and stuff.
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I'd be worried that this spring is too soon to use it... you'd hate to burn your new plants with hot fertilizer.

    I haven't had maggots on my compost before. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it, but it still makes me throw up a little in my mouth...

    Good luck!
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you find the maggots distasteful you can prevent flies from laying eggs by using any of the following sprinkled on the top of each layer of droppings/compost/leaves/decomposing materials you add:

    ground or pelletized limestone
    Stable Boy powder

    If you use food-grade diatomaceous earth in your coop, this will also deter flies from using the compost to hatch eggs.

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