Gardeners raise chickens not only for eggs they also use chicken waste as a soil booster. You can convert chicken waste into highly nutritional Chicken manure. Chickens also keep your garden clean and healthy because they eat all pests and give you manure.
If you don’t have enough space to raise chickens you can still use manure. Buy it from the market in pellet form and use it in your garden.
You can collect chicken waste from the poultry farms then age it or compost it before use. You cannot use fresh manure in your garden. Before using chicken manure, it is necessary for you to know the properties of it.
In this article, you’ll learn everything about making manure from chicken waste.
The properties and benefits of Chicken Manure
The manure is good for green leafy plants. Because it has a high percentage of Nitrogen and it is the main element that green leafy plants need to grow. It also has an adequate amount of Phosphorous and Potassium. If you feed chicken a healthy diet then the manure will contain calcium and other essential nutrients in smaller quantities.
To know the quality of fertilizer we check the NPK ratio. It is mandatory to mark the ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium on each bag and bottle of fertilizer.
Fresh chicken manure has variable NPK values because the percentage of nutrients in manure depends on the diet of the animal.
It also depends on how long it has been composted before use. If you compare the synthetic fertilizer with chicken fertilizer you will see that synthetic fertilizers have a higher ratio of NPK. But they are not organic whereas animal manure is 100% organic. It will not harm the plants and our environment.
On the other hand, chemical-contained fertilizers are not good for plants and the environment. Doctors always advise eating fresh organic fruits and vegetables. When you grow vegetables and herbs at home. You should not use synthetic fertilizers. Homegrown veggies must be organic (free of chemicals).
If you use chemical-based fertilizers in your garden then stop growing such veggies. Because you can buy the same quality veggies from the market at a cheaper price than your growing cost.
This organic manure will add vital nutrients to your soil. Also, increase the soil fertility and improve the structure of your garden soil.
By adding it correctly you can improve the drainage in heavy clay soil. Increase the water holding capacity of free-draining soil.
The correct way of using manure is to age it or compost it first before use. Whereas commercially sold animal manures are already aged. You can use them directly in your garden.
Chicken Manure in Pellet form
If you don’t like aged manure then use commercially sold manure. Manure pellets have a good ratio of NPK, 4-2-1. Manure pellets and composted manure works equally best for garden soil. Ready to use chicken pellets have a controlled and well-balanced amount of NPK. It will be mentioned on the manure bags and always check it before buying.
Not all chicken pellets are the same always choose high-quality branded chicken pellets.
Why not use fresh manure in the Garden?
No, you cannot use fresh manure directly in your garden. There are many reasons to aged them before use. Fresh manure is not good for your plants and also not good for your health.
All animal manures contain harmful bacteria and pathogens. Sometimes fresh manure may have Salmonella. It is dangerous for human health. It can transmit to our body by touching the fresh manure or eating the veggies that are raised by giving fresh manure.
To play safe you have to wear rubber gloves. After finishing the process destroy the gloves and wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap like Neem or Dettol soap.
These deadly pathogens do not cause harm to grow plants. Plant immunity is strong enough to fight harmful bacteria. But the bacteria can harm humans by making us sick for weeks.
Moreover, fresh manure has a high amount of nitrogen. This high percentage of N can burn your plants and also burn the plant roots. Never fertilize your plants with fresh manure. Plants cannot handle too much Nitrogen.
The last reason is fresh manure produces a bad smell. Nobody wants his or her garden to smell nasty. Your neighbors can compete against you for spreading the unpleasant smell in the area.
The good news is it is fairly easy to compost the chicken manure. Compost it first and then use it freely in your garden.
Best way to compost chicken manure
This is a quite fast way to make chicken waste ready for fertilizing the plants. In this technique, you need to collect the fresh manure at a place and raise its temperature to 140 Degrees F for 20 days. At this high temperature, no bacteria and pathogens can survive. This technique also kills weed seeds.
All you need to do is start the decomposing process. This is the same process that we use when we make compost from kitchen waste and garden waste.
Make a hotbed of fresh manure by adding wood chips, straw, and other carbon-rich material in it. after 24 hours you measure the significant rise in temperature of the hot manure bed. You can also run the hot water pipes through the composted material. But this idea is best when you need to make manure for a large garden. For small and medium-size gardens do not add hot water pipes this will increase the manure making cost.
Instead of water pipes, you can use compost making tumblers. They are the enclosed plastic or steel made insulated cylinders. Tumblers make this manure in 10 days and they also don’t allow the smell to spread in the area.
You can later use these tumblers to make any type of compost from any material at home.
This method takes months to break down the material and to make valuable composted manure for your plants. Here you just have to collect the material in a single place. Make a pile of it or put it into the big size plastic bin and leave it.
The quality of manure will be the same in the hot and cold composting process. The difference is in time and method. To speed up the cold compost you can convert it into hot compost at any time of the year. Just tilt it a few times a day and add compost accelerators.
Here you need to add carbon rich material to the manure. Because the chicken waste is high in nitrogen and the composted manure should have a balanced ratio of NPK.
Do not add green leaves to the material because green things increase the Nitrogen level and disturb the composting process.
How to use composted manure in Garden?
Once the fresh manure is well composted, you can use it in your garden like you use other composts.
The best way to use composted manure is NO dig system. In this method, you don’t need to dig into the soil or tilt the upper layer of the soil. You just spread the manure all over the place and leave it as it is. The bacteria in the soil will do the rest for you.
You have to leave the space untouched for 48 hours means you cannot work in your garden for the next 48 hours after spreading the manure.
The soil bacteria will eat manure, break it down, and make the nutrients available for your plants. Remember soil has many types of healthy bacteria. These are not harmful to humans and plants. In fact, they are environmentally and plant-friendly.
Add composted chicken fertilizer in fall and spring. In spring top dress, the garden beds. In fall spread the manure soon after harvesting the green plants (nitrogen hungry crops).
Preparing the soil for winter gardening in fall is the smart way of winter gardening.
Liquid Chicken Manure
Liquid manure works fast on plants than other forms of manures. To make liquid manure you have to use compost making tumblers. These tumblers make compost tea in the composting process. This tea has all the essential nutrients in a high percentage. It is totally safe to give this tea to the growing garden plants and container plants.
You will see a sudden boost in plant healthy after giving the liquid manure.
Liquid fertilizers that are available in the market are not liquid manures. Liquid manure is only possible in the composting process by using compost tumblers.
Composted chicken fertilizer and plants
The manure is best for plants that produce green veggie and leaves. Plants that need a high amount of nitrogen to grow. Do not add manure in your garden if you are growing plants like Berries, Hydrangeas. Because the manure is slightly on the alkaline side of the pH scale.
Chickens not only give eggs and meat they also give useful manure. Therefore, raising chicken at home is a good idea.