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Attention chicken farmers - what do you do with the poo?

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  • Attention chicken farmers - what do you do with the poo?

    Recently NC banned oyster shells in landfills, which none of could really figure out. I mean, who would have thought this was a problem? Fast forward to this weekend when I went to Tractor Supply to pick up some Sand Clear and while there decided to check out accoutrements for my future chicken coop, and lo and behold, there were ground oyster shells next to the chicken grit. Hmmm, are all those urban chickens now causing a landfill problem?

    Now, I DO live on a farm so I have options, but seriously, do you have a chicken manure pile? Can you spread it? On pastures? Need some answers here before I really dive into the chicken ranching.
    'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
    - Pablo Picasso

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sleepy View Post
    Now, I DO live on a farm so I have options, but seriously, do you have a chicken manure pile? Can you spread it? On pastures? Need some answers here before I really dive into the chicken ranching.
    spread away..it can do wonders esp in ground lacking organic* material

    * not to be confused with the touchy feely separate you from your wallet contents "organic" but the need of the ground for compostable matter on it's top to hold rain and and nutrients in place for the grasses

    Last edited by Tamara in TN; Oct. 20, 2009, 11:06 AM.
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    • #3
      Plenty of gardeners/farmers would be thrilled with chookie crap. My FIL uses it every year on his garden. Maybe Freecycle or the Free-Section of Craig's List?
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • #4
        I throw the coop-cleanings into the manure pile with all the rest of the poop, mix well, compost, and give it away on Freecycle/Craigs List.

        After a few months, it all turns into the same stuff. Proportionally, five chickens' worth of poop and bedding makes up probably <1% of the manure pile.

        If you're keeping a pile of only chicken poop, mix it with some shavings, grass clippings, leaves, etc. to make a nice mulch, let it age, and spread it anywhere you like.
        Click here before you buy.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks, guys. I was afraid chicken poo might be too acidic or something for gardening. It's been a lonnnnnnnng time since I took poultry science. Yes, I'm old.
          'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
          - Pablo Picasso


          • #6
            You definatly want to compost it before using as mulch or fertilizer. It's too hot to put directly onto the garden. Plus, composting should help kill any harmful bacteria.


            • #7
              You can spread directly after taking out of house. It is very high in nitrogen and will make a huge difference where you spread. We have it spread every other year on our hay fields. Only after the first frost that cuts the worry of being over run with flies. If a swath or area is missed you will definelty see a difference in growth and color of vegetation. It must be spread on thin, just enough to cover if put on several inches or more it will burn out the vegetation. Good thing is it burns out the weeds too. We have been doing this for over 25 years, it is excellant. The laws for the farmers are getting tougher. Many reports to fill out and much soil testing. But I use a farmer that has several million chickens. Very large houses.


              • #8
                I have started a secondary composting pile near the coop.
                Barn is too far from the coop for (lazy) me to add the chickens' contribution to the manure pile.

                As soon as things have died back I'll start spreading from both piles for next Spring.

                whip: thanks for the tip - I'll use fresh chicken manure on a flowerbed that was overrun with weeds (if I can remember where the lone perennial lives so I don't kill it too)

                FWIW: I grew sweet potatoes in nothing but composted (horse) manure this Summer and got a halfway decent crop.
                My tomatoes from 4 plants grown the same way last year filled the freezer & kept me in fresh all season.
                This year I put the tomatoes in straw bales topped with compost and the yield was disappointing, but half of the plants got a blight & I don't think the bales decomposed enough. Next year s/b better with the chicken compost added.
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                • #9
                  Fabulous fabulous fertilizer but I prefer it be composted before spreading.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    Oh. my. god.

                    Total flashback.

                    When I was a kid at a huge lesson barn back in Ontario we would spend a few days every summer shovelling tractor after tractor load of chicken crap all over the back pastures. Great fertilizer, but . . .


                    It stinks. It's light and it flies. It gets in your nose and hair and . . . blech.

                    Ugh. I'm going to go have a shower. And brush my teeth a few hundred times.

                    Mad Mare™ Studio
                    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.


                    • #11


                      Botulism should be a concern with any poulty droppings. Dogs, horses , others have been infected with type C. It is not recommended that chicken manure be used on horse hay fields. The last link, if you scroll down to "risks" and " recommendations" for horses it tells this.


                      • #12
                        Around here I've seen a "chicken house on wheels". It's a roost built on a trailer frame so it can be moved around. It looks weird, but the bottom ( I guess) is wire, so the droppings drop onto the ground. After a period of time in one area, the whole to thing is moved to another spot. A fence can be built around it and taken up and replaced in teh new area to keep the varmints out. Then the poo is either plowed in right away ro allowed to sit until garden time arrives and then mixed with the soil for planting. If you do a veg garden each year and have the room, that might work.