Composting Chicken Manure
As we celebrate Compost Week in the same week that National Poultry Day falls, we thought it would be ideal to talk about how to utilise chicken manure for your compost. Words by Lesley Reade.
As chicken manure is high in nitrogen and as it also contains a good amount of potassium and phosphorous it makes the best kind of manure to use. However the high nitrogen can be dangerous to plants if the manure is not properly composted. It can burn and even kill plants so composting mellows the nitrogen and makes it garden compatible.
Composting chicken manure is very simple. Take your chicken bedding and put it into a compost bin or to use my technical term “muck pile”. You can add this to your normal compost heap as the duo of the manure and leafy root growth work well together. It is important that if you are using a compost bin that you water it thoroughly, but it is also important to turn the pile every few weeks whether it is the bin or the muck pile.
On average it will take between six to nine months for the manure compost to be done properly. This is dependant on the conditions under which it is composted, if you are unsure you can leave up to twelve months to be on the safe side.
Once the manure has been through these stages it is ready to use. You simply spread the manure compost evenly over the garden and work the compost into the soil just like any other compost.
I am told that chicken manure for vegetable garden fertilizing will produce great soil for your veggies, they should be bigger and healthier………. So get shovelling that ……….!
Find out more about courses in Horticulture and Poultry Science at Scotland’s Rural College, visit www.sruc.ac.uk/study.