Should I be concerned about nitrogen near my run?

MiaS

Songster
Mar 28, 2019
273
508
207
DeWinton, Alberta
My Coop
My Coop
I've situated my coop and run at one end of my garden, near a shelterbelt of lilacs. The run base is wood chips and I've been adding a flake or two of nice hay and a few grass clippings just for them to scratch around in. I rake every few days just to mix and turn in any manure. I plan on emptying my coop bedding out into the run in the spring as well and will be composting the manure from the droppings board in my compost bin.

What I'm wondering is whether or not I need to be concerned about an excess of nitrogen over time? Is there anything else I should be doing to keep the area around my run from becoming terribly imbalanced?

Any insights?
 

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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,970
832
California's Redwood Coast
Hi there. :frow

Your coop is beautiful. :love

What you are describing is how a lot of us do it without any nitrogen issue.

Since mine stays pretty dry I call it semi deep litter, basically the same thing you're doing. But if you search deep litter method it should give you some good ideas about things. :fl
 

MiaS

Songster
Mar 28, 2019
273
508
207
DeWinton, Alberta
My Coop
My Coop
Hi there. :frow

Your coop is beautiful. :love

What you are describing is how a lot of us do it without any nitrogen issue.

Since mine stays pretty dry I call it semi deep litter, basically the same thing you're doing. But if you search deep litter method it should give you some good ideas about things. :fl
I've read a ton of stuff on deep litter but I am still just slightly worried about leeching of nitrogen since my run is also dry and in general composting requires moisture to really work.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,065
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
You are wise to be concerned, as should every back yard poultry owner. Excess nitrogen will quickly be used up by new plant growth. As you know, excess nitrogen will result in lush vegetative growth with little or no fruiting. The greater concern is phosphorous contamination of the soil. An excess is not easily corrected. Harvey Ussery, in his book "the Small Scale Poultry Flock" warns about the risks associated with a back yard flock (with resulting manure) that is too large for the size of your yard/gardens. Your best bet: Test your soil. I would test soil in the garden, as well as soil that is a bit down hill from your poultry run. Observation of plant growth and soil condition can also be a guide, but will not take the place of a timely soil test. Your use of deep litter will help to contain the nutrients, and hold those nutrients so they will benefit the soil life. Here's a good article.

https://www.extension.uidaho.edu/publishing/pdf/CIS/CIS1194.pdf
 

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