crobi13
Senior Member
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Boston Zone 6

Question about chicken poop

Hi :D
I recently started raising chickens (I have 3 of them). I know that their poop is good for my garden and I know that I have to wait to add it or risk burning the roots of my plants. The chicken's "bedding" is unscented wood shavings.
My questions are:
How long do I need to wait to add it to my garden? Do I need to wait for the bedding to de-compose?
Is storing it in an open container (like a plastic bucket) ok while it ages or should it be in a compost bin?

Thanks for your help 8)
Charlette
Wife, Mother, Gardner, Cook, Quilter, Banker and Tupperware Lady

huskie
Full Member
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:16 pm
Location: Snellville, Ga

I didn't know you had to let it age at all? As long as you water it in well I would think you'd have too?

I read an article the other day about how great it was to have chickens running lose on ones property....they eat ticks, fleas and skeeters :D

That's pretty cool!

crobi13
Senior Member
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Boston Zone 6

huskie wrote:I didn't know you had to let it age at all?
Yes, you are supposed to age it because of the high ammonia content. I just don't remember where I read that or how long it said to age it for.
Chickens can roam free but allowing them to roam in a garden is not a good idea because they will dine on the garden & preditors will dine on them.
Charlette
Wife, Mother, Gardner, Cook, Quilter, Banker and Tupperware Lady

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

The Nitrogen in the Ammonia will burn the plants so, it should be combined with some browns (leaves, wood chips, cocoa bean hulls and so on) if added to a garden directly. And if left to sit on it's own, it will composted anaerobically if not turned everyday without a brown added to it and subsequently start to smell.

Just something to keep in mind. chicken manure is great stuff though! I use it along with horse manure and steer manure and coffee grounds in my garden.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

crobi13
Senior Member
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Boston Zone 6

Thanks for the info :D
Charlette
Wife, Mother, Gardner, Cook, Quilter, Banker and Tupperware Lady

huskie
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Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:16 pm
Location: Snellville, Ga

crobi13 wrote:
huskie wrote:I didn't know you had to let it age at all?
Yes, you are supposed to age it because of the high ammonia content. I just don't remember where I read that or how long it said to age it for.
Chickens can roam free but allowing them to roam in a garden is not a good idea because they will dine on the garden & preditors will dine on them.
I use ammonia (through a water feeder) in my lawn and I've seen (actually smelled :( ) others us chicken manure directly in their lawn here in the south a few times....none burned the lawn but I guess that's cause it was watered in well and it was all used on grass....not ornamental plants.

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

When you smell ammonia that is the fertility you want volatizing into the air :( . It probably didn't burn because it probably all volatized...

Better to go Opa's way and move the ammonia into a stable form (in compost that stable form is BACTERIA as they have an incredible low Carbon to Nitrogen ratio (C:N) of 5 to 1) Otherwise it volatizes to the air or turn into nitrite, then nitrate then it washes away if the CAtion Echange Capacity of the soil is fully loaded (which if you don't have a fair amount of biology in your soil, it is). This is why we get dminishing returns from chemical fertilizers (well, it's one reason... :roll: )

Oh and don't worry about the bacteria; protozoa will eat them and release the nitrogen SLOWLY and naturally like Nature has always done it (and they are not water soluble, so they stay put). It's a lovely system, and it's worked for billions of years. Chemicals have only really been around for about a hundred years, and they aren't working out so well in the long term... ask the Okies in the Dust Bowl.... their soil is still messed up 80 years later and a lot of it (about twenty to forty thousand years worth) is just gone :cry:

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

crobi13
Senior Member
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Boston Zone 6

I found my answer :clap: Yeaaa!

FYI: It should age 4-6 weeks for warm weather & several months for cold weather.

Thanks for the replies.
Charlette
Wife, Mother, Gardner, Cook, Quilter, Banker and Tupperware Lady



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