Using Chicken Manure In Garden – As Fertilizer

Introduction to Using Chicken Manure in Garden

Are you planning for using chicken manure in garden plants as compost or fertilizer? Chicken manure is the faeces of chickens that are used as an organic fertilizer, mainly for soil low in nitrogen. Compared to all animal manures, it has the highest amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Chicken manure is sometimes pelletized for use as a fertilizer, and this product has additional phosphorus, potassium or nitrogen added. Optimal storage conditions for chicken manure contain keeping it in a covered area. In this article we also discuss the below topics about chicken manure;

  • Using chicken manure in garden plants as fertilizer
  • How much time it takes for chicken manure to compost
  • The fastest way to compost chicken manure
  • Is composted chicken manure safe for plants?
  • How do I use fresh chicken manure in my garden?
  • How much chicken manure should put in the garden
  • Making chicken manure with soil
  • What is the NPK of chicken manure

A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Chicken Manure in Garden as a Fertilizer and Compost

Chicken manure for garden fertilizing is excellent. It is chock full of nutrients that will benefit your gardening plot. It is considered the king of animal manures because it is higher in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than any other. The utilization of chicken manure as an organic fertilizer is important in improving crop production and soil productivity. Chicken manure acts as a good soil amendment, adds organic matter, and increases the water holding capacity and also beneficial biota in soil. It acts as a good fertilizer that provides Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to all plants.

Chicken manure pellets are a perfect alternative to inorganic fertilizers and also have other benefits. Some other advantages of Chicken manure pellets are;

  • Full of natural slow-releasing plant nutrients.
  • Improves soil structure and fertility.
  • High humus levels.
  • Promotes strong, healthy plant growth.
  • Sustainably sourced materials with no added chemical.
  • Chicken manure is a more concentrated source of crop nutrients, especially NPK and calcium.

Chicken manure is a source of nitrogen that is useful for plants because it helps promote green, leafy growth. It is commercially obtainable in composted form, but some gardeners have access to uncomposted or fresh chicken manure as well. Composted chicken manure is safer to use in your garden, but uncomposted chicken manure also has its uses. Composting chicken manure is a lot like composting kitchen scraps, but while temperature level control in basic composting is optional, it is imperative in manure composting to kill bacteria. Now, let us get into using chicken manure in the garden for growing plants.

Using Chicken Manure in Garden as Fertilizer

Chicken manure fertilizer is high in nitrogen and also has a good amount of potassium and phosphorus. Chicken manure compost is the best kind of manure to use because it has high nitrogen and balanced nutrients. But the high nitrogen in the chicken manure is dangerous to garden plants if the manure has not been properly composted. Raw chicken manure fertilizer can burn, and also kill plants. Composting chicken manure mellows the nitrogen and also makes the manure suitable for the garden.

How to Mix Potting Soil Using Chicken Manure in Garden

Step 1) Using potting soil from a garden center makes planting easy and fast.

Step 2) Collect chicken manure and the bedding straw or sawdust mixed with it. Then, you can collect in whatever schedule works best for you, daily, weekly, or monthly.

Step 3) Place the collected manure and also bedding materials in a compost bin or a pile somewhere in your yard. Initially, the pile will have a strong odor, so pick an unobtrusive spot for it.

Step 4) Add green materials to the pile like grass clippings or green leaves. Add for a 2:1 ratio of green material to the brown manure and bedding material.

Step 5) Then, water the pile so it is evenly moist but not damp. Keep the pile covered with a plastic tarp if your location gets a lot of rain.

Step 6) Turn the pile every 3 days to aerate the mixture. Then, the mixture feels warm to the touch as all the materials decompose and “cook.”

Step 7) Water, and aerate the pile for 1 to 3 months. Then, you’ll know the compost is ready when it looks crumbly like soil and loses its smell.

Step 8) Mix potting soil and composted manure in a ratio of about 1 1/4 parts potting soil to 1/4 part compost. For example, for Rose plants, mix 1 part garden soil and 1/4 part potting soil.

How to Compost Chicken Manure

Generally, Chicken manure is a superstar for composting. It can be added to an existing compost bin, but does just fine combined with a carbon-based matter like fallen leaves or dry grass clipping and left in a pile or corralled in chicken wire bins. Left unattended, the compost will be ready for use as fertilizer in 6 to 12 months. Turned occasionally, waiting time is reduced to just 4 to 6 months.

Compost Fertilzier
Fresh Compost (Pic Credit: Pixabay)

Chicken manure composting gives the manure time to break down some of the more powerful nutrients so they are more usable by the plants. The process of composting chicken manure is very simple;

Step 1) Already if you have chickens, you can use the bedding from your chickens. If you do not have your chickens, you can locate a farmer who owns chickens and they will most likely be happy to give you the used chicken bedding.

Step 2) The next step in chicken manure composting is to take the used bedding and then put it into a compost bin. Then, water it thoroughly and turn the pile every few weeks to get air into the pile. On average it takes about 6 to 9 months for chicken manure compost to be done properly.

Step 3) By using wood shavings or rice hulls on the floor of the coop can absorb odors from the manure and help it decompose quickly. Also, litter makes composting much easier. Make sure your birds have 6 to 8 inches of the substrate on the floor of the coop and in the preening area.

Step 4) The exact amount of time it takes for composting chicken manure mainly depends on the conditions under which it is composted. Then, you can wait up to 12 months to use chicken manure compost. Normally, chicken manure’s N-P-K ratio ranges from 3-2.5-1.5 to 6-4-3and that of steer manure is usually a little less than 1-1-1.

Step 5) Once you have finished chicken manure composting, it is ready to use for plants.

Step 6) Chicken manure for vegetable garden fertilizing will produce excellent soil for vegetables to grow in. Then, you will find that your vegetables will grow bigger and healthier as a result of using chicken manure fertilizer.

Benefits of Using Chicken Manure in Garden

Generally, manure can be one of the greatest assets for a home gardener. Chicken manure is too strong to be used raw on plants, it can be composted and then converted to “black gold”. If using chicken manure without composting it could damage plant roots, once it is composted chicken manure is;

  • Acts as a good soil amendment – chicken manure adds organic matter and also increases the soil water holding capacity.
  • Acts as good fertilizer – chicken manure provides Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to your plants (more than horse, cow or steer manure).

Composted chicken manure provides a slow-release source of macro-and micronutrients and also it acts as a soil amendment. Chicken manure and the associated litter are higher in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, and are also rich in organic matter compared to other manures.

The addition of soil organic matter increases a soil’s water-holding capacity, improves aeration and drainage, reduces erosion, reduces fertilizer leaching, and improves a soil’s structure. Also, organic matter provides a food source for soil microbes, which increases soil biological diversity, accelerating the breakdown of organic nutrients into forms more readily available to crops. All of these factors can improve crop health. The use of composted chicken manure and litter can also reduce the need to apply additional fertilizers.

Using Chicken Manure in Garden as Pellets

  • Chicken manure pellets serve as a slow-release source of essential nutrients for the planting and feeding of established garden plants – nitrogen to promote green leafy development; phosphorus for root growth; and potassium for fruit and flower growth. Also, you can buy chicken manure commercially in dried and pelleted form.
  • Chicken manure pellets are useful nitrogen-rich fertilizer. They have NPK values of about 4 -2 -1. (4% ammoniacal nitrogen, 2% phosphorus pentoxide and 1% potassium oxide).
  • However, chicken manure pellets can improve garden fertility, it is very important to recognize that it will not have the other soil amending properties of chicken manure from a flock kept on your homestead.

Why Use Pelleted Chicken Manure?

  • Pelleted chicken manure is a widely available non-chemical fertilizer on the market.
  • It is rich in some important nutrients, the main one being nitrogen, which helps promote green leafy growth in plants. Other nutrients like phosphorus release slowly to promote root growth, while potassium promotes plant growth.
  • Fresh chicken manure is high in nitrogen and it contains bacteria that can be harmful to humans. While, pelleted chicken manure is sterilized when it’s manufactured, and making it simpler to use for gardeners.

How Much Chicken Manure Should You Use in Your Garden?

For every 100 square feet area, an annual application of 45 pounds of chicken manure or more, per year will be just right to work wonders in the garden. About 45 pounds is the approximate amount that one hen will produce every year. Thus, the average small-scale chicken flock of 5 to 10 chickens must be enough to take care of your entire vegetable garden and yard.

Tips for Using Chicken Manure in Garden as a Fertilizer

Tips for Using Chicken Manure in Garden
Tips for Using Chicken Manure in Garden (Pic Source: Pixabay)

Using Chicken Manure in Garden as Liquid Fertilizer;

To make a liquid fertilizer by using composted chicken manure to give nitrogen-hungry leafy crops a speedier boost over the summer season.

Make this in the same way as any other compost tea and by combining some of the compost with water. A mulch or top dressing of chicken manure is a slow-release fertilizer for plants. Nutrients are released and made available to plants slowly over time and liquid fertilizer works more quickly.

Here are a few general points and tips for using chicken manure as a fertilizer;

1) Never feed fresh chicken manure to young and tender plants. Fresh chicken manure is “hot,” meaning it is high in nitrogen and will “burn” the growing plants. This will kill your plants. Also, too much nitrogen can produce negative plant growth and this is why you need to age your chicken manure.

2) Chicken manure makes a great addition to compost. Though, composting destroys the coccidia bacteria (a chicken disease), bacteria, worm eggs, and viruses, and stabilizes potash and nitrogen levels. Manure that is composted without carbon-based material like dry grass clippings will overheat.

3) Give chicken manure time to age by spreading fresh poultry manure over soil and then turning the dirt at the end of the growing season to allow it time to decompose over the winter.

Safety Tips for Using Chicken Manure in Garden

The safety tips for using chicken manure are;

  • Apply aged or composted manure to your soil. 
  • Always wear gloves when handling livestock manure.
  • Thoroughly wash raw vegetables before eating.

Why You Should Not Use Fresh Chicken Manure Directly in Your Garden

  • Normally, chicken manure can be useful in the garden, it is not used directly. There are several reasons why it is not a good idea to spread the chicken manure directly around the garden.
  • Firstly, chicken manure can have bacteria and other pathogens. Some of these bacteria, like salmonella, can pose a serious threat to human health.
  • It is important to wear gloves when handling the material and to wash hands thoroughly if you do come into contact with it to avoid contamination.
  • Fresh chicken manure is high enough in nitrogen that it can ‘burn’ plants. The plant roots can be damaged if they come into contact with too nitrogen-rich a material.
  • It is easy to compost chicken manure so that it is safe for people and plants and can be spread around your growing areas or used in other ways in your garden.

How to Add Chicken Manure to the Garden

If your compost is ready to use, follow these simple steps to add chicken manure to the garden;

  • First, spread evenly across the garden
  • Use a garden pitchfork for mixing the chicken compost through the garden soil
  • Do not put too close to the stem or base of the plant
  • Water the toiled soil and manure down carefully
  • Cover garden with a good thick layer of mulch

Though, repurposing chicken manure in this way is so better than putting it out with the garbage.

About 3 to 4 months is the recommended period to age chicken manure before using it in a garden.

The Properties of Chicken Manure

  • Generally, chicken manure is an excellent source of nitrogen. Also, it has reasonable amounts of phosphorus and potassium and it also has smaller quantities of other plant nutrients including calcium.
  • Fresh chicken manure is variable in its NPK values; it depends on the diet of the animals and the conditions in which they were kept. It depends on how long it has been rotted or composted before use.
  • Usually, chicken manure won’t have NPK ratios that are as high as synthetic fertilizers. But synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are hugely damaging to the environment and both in their manufacture and use.
  • Using chicken manure also encourages a healthy population of soil biota that keeps the soil web functioning as it should.
  • Adding well-aged chicken manure to your garden will increase its fertility and also improve soil structure.

That’s all folks about using chicken manure in garden plants for better growth and yield. In case if you miss this: Organic Cocoa Production.


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