Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:38 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Chicken coop cleaning

Can I put the shavings etc. from the winter clean out of the chicken coop to the garden and turn in and plant ?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Chicken waste runs pretty "Hot." It's better for your garden if the chicken waste is composted first; otherwise, it'll burn the roots of your plants. :(

OTOH, if you were to do a fall clean-out and incorporate the wastes then, before a "winter sleep" in the garden, that would be terrific! The nitrogen in the chicken waste/manure would compost in the subsurface over the winter, and you would have a nice, rich soil come the spring. :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Greener Thumb
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:58 pm
Location: zone 4

Here in WI we can kind of get away with that. If you spread it (not too thick though) about now while there's not much, if any, snow and leave it for a month or so until the soil is workable it won't burn your plants if you wait until Memorial Day to plant.
Just another note though, cow manure is best. The only reason I don't usually use fresh chicken or horse manure this time of year is neither of those animals actually fully digest what they eat. Be prepared to have weeds and/or "volunteer" plants of miscellaneous varieties growing wherever! We used to use the coop cleanings, stall cleanings, and duck pen scrapings on the garden each spring at the farm. There was always a LOT of hoeing involved afterwards to keep weeds and grass at bay.....
If you don't want to risk it, chuck it all in a compost pile for the summer and spread it out come fall. :)

Greener Thumb
Posts: 716
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Interesting stuff. I know we used to compost our coop bedding in a pile that would not be distributed for at least a year because it was so hot. But then, we could pretty much grow stuff year round. Old timers in my area said it needed two years to sit before you could use it. Man, I woulda had fifteen compost heaps instead of five or six at any time.

Oh, and totally seedy, weedy droppings.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:58 pm
Location: zone 4

I think being able to put hot/high nitrogren stuff on the garden has to do with being in WI and the weather here. Someone (Cynthia maybe?) talked about this a little bit last spring.
This time of year here it freezes, gets warm, light frost, gets hot, etc. And we can till usually a month or two before we can actually plant. (Last est. frost date is May 15th but most don't plant until Memorial Day) I think the strange weather cycle helps break down the "hot" poo.
It was over 50 on Sunday and now it's snowing :roll: but that's just WI.

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