Using composted chicken poop in the garden. Or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gale65, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Chickens for Dummies book says not to use even composted chicken poop in gardens where food is growing. I thought it was ok as long as it was fully composted? Is this just in the book because of liability issues? And how can you tell if it's fully composted?
    We always wash anything we get from the garden, but I like being able to just set the just-picked tomatoes, cukes, etc on the table or counter until they are washed and not worrying about having to disinfect surfaces after.
  2. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    Quote:I do use composted chicken bedding/poop in my gardens once per year. I have a few garden plots. It is an essential part of my manure management. I use the deep litter method for my houses (which needs to be managed appropriately) and compost this bedding to use in my gardens. The chickens shred the bedding to nothing and the results is a quick to compost mix. Composting when done correctly generates enough heat to kill harmful organisms. I "flip it" weekly until it stops heating up. It will then set as I am able to till it in the next to plant site. I do allow a rest period of a month before I plant. Straight manure (in my opinion) is where you can run into problems. I also would caution against too frequent of an application. I do clean my produce after harvest (except potatoes). I do this out of habit and not necessarily because of a concern with the compost.
    Look at it this way. I compost the bedding for aproximately eight weeks. It sits for a month plus or minus before it is added to the garden area, I plant a month plus or minus after adding it; then my earliest vegetables (other than radishes) are producing after 60 days. That is aproximately six months later. It is pure humus by then. Also my compost piles generate heat in excess of 200 degrees initially. Composting is an appropriate way to deal with manure with consideration to the enviroment, yourself, and disease management for your birds. Straight manure might be a concern.
    Just my opinion.
  3. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    Ha! I hope not.
    I made some crap tea with a quart of water and about 1/4 cup of poo. I swished it around until dissolved and have been using it on my tomatoes. They have never been bigger or healthier looking.
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I use a truckload of compost on my garden. I till it in every spring, about 2 weeks before planting. Sure makes them veggies grow!
  5. jwg423

    jwg423 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    I have been looking into this haven't tried it yet, but I hear that as long as it is composted it is one of the best fertilizers you can use...
    I am also interested in what others from BYC have to say about this???
    Thank you for asking [​IMG]
  6. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    Sacramento County, CA
    Manure that has been hot composted is perfectly fine to use on garden beds. In fact, piles with chicken manure added stay hot pretty easily by just keeping it moist and turning the pile once a week or so. The main concern with chicken manure is that it will burn just about any plants if used without composting. The other concern is disease management. As far as that goes, keep your chickens healthy, and get the compost nice and hot.

    That said, chicken poop makes a great fertilizer. I add it in the fall on my rose beds, and steer manure in the spring.
  7. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    I have that book also. With salmonella and E. coli showing up in vegetables that is probably the reason for mentioning it in the book. There is no way to know how a reader will use the poop or how they will compost it so I think they are being safe.

    I am composting what comes out of the south end of our chickens and letting it bake a season or so before using it. The cooperative extension said it is fine to use unless you feed animal protein, like beef, to the chickens because of bacteria issues. Guess they are being safe too.
  8. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Getting "free" chicken poop is one of the reasons I opted for chickens in the first place. You can bet I'm using it in the veggie garden!
  9. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    I was always told to use it only sping/fall and then till it into the soil. I've always heard to never use it on growing plants that are meant to be used as food.
  10. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I till compost in every fall and it winters in the garden. By the next spring the garden is loamy and rich but no poop smell. I had my chickens checked for the salmonella that bothers people and they did not have it. Also Npip'ed at the time. I washed my veg. as is normal and never thought much about it. I would not use it fresh on anything. It is too rich and will burn the foliage. Best kind of fertilizer. Gloria Jean

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