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chicken litter

Post  polkymom on 2/17/2014, 10:35 am

We moved into our new country home last summer.  Since then we built the raised garden beds, and a chicken coop (for our 12 chickens).  This is my first go at raising chickens and my first go at a good sized raised bed garden (though I've researched for years anxious for the day I could pull it off) My question is... through this winter, when we cleaned out the coop, I tossed the litter on my large 8'x16' raised bed.  My thought was I would just sweep it off in the spring when it came time to planting.  My other beds are more narrow for the hoop housing I'll be building this week.  Anyway, there is a lot of waste there now that I'm not frozen and have time to really look at it.  Was this a good idea? Bad idea?
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Re: chicken litter

Post  Turan on 2/17/2014, 12:14 pm

Waste in what way?
Chicken litter is normally a great addition to the compost pile. It makes a very rich compost for adding to the garden beds every year. I deep bed my coop with straw/old hay and then clean it twice a year and compost it. Uncomposted chicken droppings are a high nitrogen fertilizer and should be spread sparingly over an area. They do break down pretty guickly when dug into the soil. I used to do that for the corn patch. And I would sprinkle droppings over flower beds and around bushes.

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Re: chicken litter

Post  sanderson on 2/17/2014, 1:55 pm

Hi Polkymom, Producing your own chicken manure is wonderful.  Very Happy 

Are you going to try Square Foot Gardening in your raised boxes? Have you read the book All New Square Foot Gardening? I ask because I see your raised bed is 8' wide, twice as wide as any recommended here. How will you reach the inner part without walking on it?

Welcome to the Forum!  Very Happy 
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Re: chicken litter

Post  Triciasgarden on 2/17/2014, 9:03 pm

Welcome Polkymom!  If I am reading your questions correctly (let me know if I am not) your chicken waste that you put in your raised bed may not have time to break down before you are ready to plant and may burn the plants you plant in the spring.  If you can, get it out of your bed and start a compost pile with it.  Chicken poo is very hot and should be composted (or let it age by itself) first before you use it.  Good luck with your garden!
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Re: chicken litter

Post  camprn on 2/17/2014, 10:17 pm

Here is some reading on the subject of chicken poo and when to use it in the garden.

Moving to country living can lead to a steep learning curve! Welcome to the club, we're glad to have you!!! Wink 

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-chicken-manure-age-use-fertilizer-43419.html

http://simplethrift.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/lesson-311-the-wonders-of-chicken-poop-in-the-garden/

http://county.wsu.edu/king/gardening/mg/factsheets/Fact%20Sheets/Using%20Manure%20as%20Compost.pdf

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