using manure for fertalizer

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicklover16, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Em's Dungeon
    we have been decomposing our chicken manure for a couple of months. can I use it for fertalizer right away? I read something about not being able to use it in your garden until it has been decomposing for at least a year. is this true?
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Like all great, unhelpful answers, the real answer is "it depends."

    Generally though you're safe. The more it's had a chance to decompose the better off you are. But right now you could turn fresh manure over into the garden and it'd likely be safe by 90 days, or 120 if you're a purist. It depends primarily on how much per square feet and how well rotted it gets in that amount of time.

    "At least a year" is if you stacked it somewhere and it really isn't rotting well.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Depends is the correct answer. We professionally garden, with a few acres in intensive vegetable production. We couldn't do this without the chicken's driving the engine.

    We strictly follow the safe manure handling guidelines which allow fresh manure to put onto the fields directly. The manure/litter composts in place, not in a pile. The window for applications must cease 60 days before planting and 120 days before harvest. Thus, for us, the last day we can apply fresh, non-composted manure is March 15th, in our growing zone.

    From March 15th through end of harvest, around September 15th, the manure is piled up. September 15th through March 15th it is spread, both partially composted or fresh from the coop. Hope that helps. Here is one safe handling guide from a University Extension. I find it clear and easy to understand.

    http://umaine.edu/publications/2510e/
     
  4. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crap...literally! I have been throwing my droppings directly on top of my untilled garden for the last couple weeks. It has been dry to somewhat dry when I take it out of the coop and spread it in the garden. I am spreading about 1-2 lbs about 3 times a week. Will I be able to plant my garden in a month?
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You'll be inside the ultimate, safe window, but it depends on whether you are planting "ground contact" crops. Corn? no problem. I'd just stay away from planting lettuce, radishes, and other quick maturing, ground contact vegetables, and you'll be fine. I'd cease applications now. Stock pile for next fall spreading. You'll be fine.
     
  6. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok...dang that is not what I wanted to hear...so I will be ok with my: Squash, okra, tomato, corn, beans and bell peppers?
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    None of those are ground contact and none of those would be harvested within 90 days of today, right? You're good.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Seriously, we all know folks who dump raw manure, plant and harvest inside the guidelines and NEVER experience any issues whatsoever.

    The guidelines are just that. Outside perimeters, safe practices guidelines. There are folks who literally grow things in poop and relish the products. I'm just sayin'.
    We choose to follow the guidelines. We don't want any issues, have never had any issues, and don't expect any issues. We just want to keep it that way. We have a considerable investment in what we are doing, financially. So, we are motivated.

    If you stopped applying today, and you didn't even plant for another 30 days, you'd not be harvesting anything for at least another X number of days. Most tomatoes, corn, and other items you mentioned take 70-90 days to maturity. There's little to be concerned about.
     
  9. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    What he said. In addition, you could go ahead and till now if possible. That will speed up the decomposition of it.
     
  10. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys! I saved that attachment that you posted to my gardening file...glad I saw this.
     

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