Will chicken manure kill trees?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ella&clara, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    I want to use a chicken tractor in my garden and in an orchard. A friend, whose family kept chickens on a more commercial scale, said he's seen nearby chicken pens kill grown pine trees. Anyone know anything on how close/how long a pen(because we will probably have a pen too) can be to a tree or in a garden plot before it damages the soil? I know a stationary pen would be bad for the soil, but what about a moving tractor that may move every few days or something? With maybe 6 chickens?
  2. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    What you describe will be fine and beneficial. Concentrated nitrogen in the soil close to a tree from "hot" chicken manure may kill a tree, but non concentrated would be beneficial to the surrounding plants, trees, grass, flowers, and all.
  3. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    That's what I have been thinking all along, but the friend said he saw mature pine trees die. I am thinking his family must have had large numbers of birds penned in one place for a long time. He said when it rained the manure would wash to the trees & kill them. My husband is supposed to be getting the specifics of his operation.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    In sufficient (that is to say, excessive) amounts, yes.

    But 6 chickens, their poo distributed over a good sized area, should not be a problem.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. CJ21

    CJ21 New Egg

    Nov 17, 2010
    I do plant nutrition for a living; I don't have any special insights, but after a quick Google, it seems that chicken manure has a high pH. Pines and other conifers prefer a low pH; a large quantity of chicken manure might throw the pH to the high side, killing roots. It might be too "hot" from all that raw nitrogen, too. A small number wouldn't be a problem, but ideally it would be composted and dispersed.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I planted a mulberry in my henyard and it's been growing great guns ever since. I have a loquat (Japanese plum) in my rooster pen and it's been growing steady ever since.

    The amount of manure is the key. Too much will kill anything.
  7. soule72

    soule72 Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2014
    This is happening to one of my pine trees I have 6 chickens that roost and poop all around the tree. Can't I put something on the ground around the tree to counter act this
  8. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2016
    34.560847, -81.154203
    My Coop
    Think about it this way: You know that birds roost in trees, have been doing so for as long as their have been birds. Where do you think their poop goes?

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