How to fertilize with chicken manure

Written by tiana mortimer
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How to fertilize with chicken manure
Chickens provide the best manure for fertiliser. (Jared Benedict)

The ultimate organic fertiliser for your garden is chicken manure. It is the best natural fertilising resource because it contains high amounts of nitrogen in addition to phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients. Unless you raise chickens, you will have to find a local resource for chicken manure such as local 4-H clubs, farmers or feed stores. Knowing how to fertilise with chicken manure will help you produce a bountiful garden.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large scoop
  • Tiller or hoe
  • Large 34-gallon garbage can
  • Shovel
  • Burlap bag
  • Fist-size rock or brick
  • Twine
  • Watering can or sprayer
  • Compost pile
  • Rake or pitchfork

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    Preliminary Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine how much chicken manure you need to fertilise your garden. The basic rule of thumb is to use 22.7 Kilogram of chicken manure per 100 square feet of garden soil.

  2. 2

    Choose your preferred method to fertilise your garden with chicken manure. There are three ways: mixing the manure directly into the garden soil, making a manure tea, or composting the manure.

  3. 3

    Allow the manure to age before broadcasting it into the soil (should you choose the direct method). It is the safest way to fertilise if you do not want to compost or make a manure tea.

    Directly Mixing Manure into the Soil

  1. 1

    Use a large scoop to broadcast the chicken manure evenly over your garden soil.

  2. 2

    Let the manure rest in a pile outdoors for at least three weeks before spreading the chicken manure.

  3. 3

    Work the aged chicken manure into your garden soil using a hoe or tiller before planting.

    Making Chicken Manure Tea for Fertilizer

  1. 1

    Prepare the chicken manure tea by filling a large garbage can three-fourths full of water .

  2. 2

    Shovel the chicken manure into a burlap bag, put in a rock or brick and then tie the opening shut with twine. Place the burlap bag in the water-filled garbage can. The rock or brick will weigh down the burlap bag, keeping it submersed in the water.

  3. 3

    Allow the chicken manure to sit for three weeks in the water. The water will become rich with nutrients, creating chicken manure tea.

  4. 4

    Fill a watering can or sprayer with the manure tea and water your garden plants or seeds so they can benefit from this homemade liquid fertiliser.

    Composting Chicken Manure for Fertilizer

  1. 1

    Add the chicken manure to your existing compost pile and water it thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Use a rake or pitchfork to turn over the composting material, mixing the chicken manure with the other organic ingredients.

  3. 3

    Turn the manure every two to three weeks to aerate the compost pile. In about six months, the chicken manure compost will be ready to spread over your garden soil as fertiliser.

  4. 4

    Fertilise your garden by mixing the composted chicken manure into the soil using a hoe or tiller.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose chicken manure mixed with litter such as hay, sawdust or wood shavings because the nitrogen content is typically higher than manure without litter.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from fresh chicken manure as it could harbour viruses, worm eggs or even bacteria that cause chicken disease.
  • Do not spread fresh chicken manure as fertiliser because it contains high nitrogen levels that will burn and possibly kill the plants in your garden.

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