Do you dread going to the store and paying for soil or fertilizer every year? If you’re like me, you don’t want to use just anything on the fruits/veggies you will be eating. So as I was reading the ingredients on the garden soil I realized the main ingredient in organic soil at the store was chicken manure. Why pay for soil when I can make rich soil on my homestead for free? Here’s some easy ways I recycle chicken poo. Hopefully, this will be of help to some of you and you’ll find recycling chicken poo is an easy process.
A typical laying chicken, lays between 250 and 300 eggs a year. Over that same period of time, this typical chicken will produce roughly 90 pounds of chicken poo.
Chicken manure is chock full of nutrients that will benefit your homestead garden. Topping the list is a healthy dose of nitrogen. While this is great news this also makes chicken poo very “hot.” Plants, especially young plants, that come into contact with fresh chicken manure will be “burned” by the nitrogen content and will quickly wither. Fortunately, there are several good methods to aging chicken manure for use as a fantastic natural fertilizer.
Chicken poo is a superstar for natural composting. It can be added to an existing compost bin, but does just fine combined with fallen leaves or dry grass clipping. Left unattended, the compost will be ready for use as fertilizer in 6-12 months. Turned occasionally, waiting time is reduced to just 4-6 months.
I use this method in the spring/summer so I have natural fertilizer to water my plants. Fill a burlap sack with manure and weigh it down with a couple of bricks or a large rock. Place the sack in a large plastic trash can and fill the can with water. This can be a little messy, but reduces your wait time to just 3-4 weeks and yields a nutrient-packed brine than can be used to treat garden soil or water individual plants.
This is my favorite way to recycle chicken poo. If your garden plot will be left dormant in cooler months, fresh manure can be spread over the soil at a ratio of approximately 50 pounds per 100 square feet once the fall harvest is complete. So I clean out my coop at this time and recycle the chicken poo. Till the plot or turn it under if you are using a raised bed. The soil will be ready to be tilled (turned under) again in the spring, already packed with nutrients provided by your own backyard flock. Allow 3-4 months for the soil to temper before planting.