Poop is something that often makes everybody giggle naughtily. However, poop of your chicken is probably one of the best sources of organic fertilisers. With various nutrients, it can be applied to boost the yields of your crops and enhance the growth of your lawns, trees, or fruit bushes.
Indeed, chicken manure has everything that your plants require for development. Keep reading to learn how to make use of this source to get the best results.
Composition of chicken manure
Chicken manure is simply the faeces of a chicken which contains a high amount of essential nutrients. Typically, fresh chicken manure has 0.9% to 1.5% nitrogen, 0.4% to 0.5% phosphorus, and 0.8% potassium. That’s why it is one of the most widely used organic fertilisers on the market.
However, what comes out of your chicken poop isn’t just faecal matter. Instead, it contains different components such as bedding material, undigested food, feathers, and urine. If used directly, it can damage or burn your plant. Thus, it is necessary to compost or age chicken manure before using.
How to use chicken manure pellets in the garden?
Chicken manure is often sold in dried pellets by many garden centres. These products might be added with additional nutrients to meet the meets of your crop. Basically, dried, powdered, and pelleted forms can be applied manually or with the help of a pull-type fertiliser spreader. However, you should understand the spread rate before using.
Watch this clip to learn some more useful tips:
Basically, it’s best to apply chicken manure pellets as early as possible after the winter when the soil starts warming soil bacteria, which can release nutrients in the pellets.
Here are some guidelines for using chicken manure as a base fertiliser:
- Apply around 100 grams for each square meter 1 week before sowing
- Apply around 200 grams before growing hungry plants such as salad, sweet corn, potato, or brassica
- Apply around 300 grams before planting trees, hedges, or shrubs
If you want to use chicken manure pellets as a top-dressing fertiliser, it is advisable to spread out the amount for best results. Basically, you should apply the second batch after 4 weeks. The recommended amount is 100 grams for each square meter.
Benefits of using chicken manure pellets
Chicken manure can provide a slow-release source of micro and macronutrients for your plants. Compared to the manures of other animals, it contains a higher amount of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen.
Also, this type of organic fertiliser is high in organic matter, which can increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. This is helpful in improving drainage and aeration, minimising erosion, enhancing soils’ structure, and reducing fertiliser leaching.
Additionally, chicken manure pellets can provide a great source of food soil microbes, which is important for increasing biological diversity. As a result, the breakdown of nutrients can be quicker to feed your plants.
Compost and store chicken manure
Basically, chicken manure would be composted in around 5 to 6 weeks. This process will help lower the level of ammonia, thus keeping it from burning your plants.
Additionally, it can reduce the total odour, weight, and volume of the pile. Composting also stabilises and allows nutrients to release slowly over a couple of years. Lastly, the temperatures resulted from this process would get rid of most weed seeds and harmful pathogens.
In a residential area, smells generated by chicken manure would quickly annoy both your neighbours and family if not correctly controlled. This problem is often caused when there is a lack of oxygen, which allow microbes to proliferate and cause sewage-like odours.
Thus, it is important to ensure sufficient drainage when composting by turning the pile on a weekly basis. A good chicken manure compost should be similar to potting soil with an “earthy” smell.
Just like other animal wastes, chicken litter and manure might contain harmful pathogens and bacteria. Thus, precautions and proper handling are important to minimise to your family. You should keep stockpiled manure a protected space where livestock, pets, and kids can’t access.
When handling chicken manure, always wear durable gloves to avoid contacting with your bare hands. Make sure to wash raw veggies thoroughly before consuming. If you are vulnerable to food-borne conditions, it’s better to avoid uncooked veggies from a manure-amended garden.