Organic Gardening with Chicken Manure!

Chicken manure is the richest animal manure in N-P-K. Chicken manure is considered hot and must be composted before adding it to the garden. Otherwise, it will burn your plants. Raw manure generally releases nitrogen compounds and ammonia which can burn plant roots, young plants and interfere with seed germination.

Chicken manure: N – P – K      1.1  .80 .50

Sources: Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, An Illustrated Guide to

Organic Gardening, by Sunset Publishing, and the Rodale Guide to Composting.

Chicken manure typically has fewer weed seeds surviving the digestive processes. However, other animal manure may contain numerous viable weed seeds if the original feeds were contaminated. Composting and stockpiling manure can reduce the number of viable weed seeds.

Note: Nutrient values of manures vary greatly, depending on the diet and

age of the animals, and the nature and quantity of bedding in the mix.  I do not use hormones or special additives to feed my egg laying chickens.

How to use

1.  You can make tea. Chicken manure fertilizer tea, place the chicken manure (3 lbs. 2 oz.) into a burlap bag with a rock for weight.  Place the bag into a 5-gallon bucket. Fill the bucket with water (rain water is best) and let it sit for three weeks. After three weeks, your nutrient-rich chicken manure fertilizer tea concentrate is ready.  Dilute the concentrate by four, 1:4 (1 oz of concentrate with 4 oz of water) and you can water your plants giving them a great vitamin boost.  Do not allow undiluted manure tea to come into direct contact with foliage.

2. Chicken manure compost! Composting also destroys bacteria and stabilizes potash and nitrogen levels.  Compost can be made in either a pile or bin, depending on the amount of material for composting and the needs and size of your garden. A compost pile should be a minimum of one cubic yard, sufficient to ensure a hot temperature. Leave an access area for turning the compost.  A compost bin is often better for smaller gardens. Plastic bins, metal tumblers and plastic tumblers can be purchased from nurseries.

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