Keeping chicken is fun and comes with a wide range of benefits. One of the most ignored is the byproduct – chicken manure pellet. This should not be left to go to waste; it can be used to add nutrients to your garden soil.
Various plants do well using this organic matter. Chicken manure is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. It is balanced with the right mix of nutrients and is easy for plants to digest. Once the manure is matured, plant health can easily absorb it, irrespective of how underdeveloped the root system is.
For many years, the birds’ manure has been used as a soil amendment. This is due to its unique water retention capabilities. However, it cannot be used raw; it needs composting first. So what plants like composted chicken manure?
Below is an overview of how you can benefit from this natural fertilizer.
Plants that have shallow roots are best suited for chicken manure. Perennials or plants with deep root systems might not benefit from topdressing using the manure. However, this works during planting. The manure improves soil aeration and moisture content for most plants with shallow and fragile roots.
Chicken manure can be beneficial for both indoor and outdoor plants. It is safe to use for edible and non-edible plants.
Here are some plants that like chicken manure.
Vegetables that are grown for their leaves love chicken manure. These include kale, lettuce, and arugula, which are primary ingredients in making soups and salads. These derive their nitrogen from the manure. These vegetables are not heavy feeders, and chicken manure helps their leaves to flourish.
Adding the manure when planting and bloom time is a surefire way of ensuring leafy plants. Since you do not need the flowers and fruit from these plants, your goal is healthy leaves, and that is what you get when you use chicken manure.
Tomatoes do well in soils enriched with well-composited chicken manure. These vegetables have a shallow root system making the manure suitable for planting and nurturing. However, you should use it sparingly to avoid excessive nutrients, especially nitrogen. Because of its high nitrogen content, chicken manure can burn plant roots if it is not fully composted.
While nitrogen (N) promotes healthy green growth, tomatoes require a balance of N, P, and K, or potash, in order to bear fruit (K).
Mature your chicken manure first before applying. You can use it safely after it has fully broken down into compost. However, you need to maintain a ratio of one part manure and two parts soil. Your tomatoes will grow well and yield a lot of fruit if you take a natural approach by applying a small amount of chicken manure once a month.
Alternatively, for the outdoor garden, matured manure should be evenly spread and turned with a hoe or shovel to fully mix well with the garden soil.
For the outdoor lover and flower enthusiast, using chicken manure is good for your roses. It is an inexpensive and widely available organic fertilizer that is already used in vegetable and perennial flower beds. Rose flowers are nutrient-demanding to yield healthy blossoms. To satisfy their nutrient demand, chicken palette manure can be top dressing. This works well when put around the flower base and seeps to the roots during watering.
It helps to build soil structure, improve water retention, draw in earthworms, and add organic matter in addition to significantly increasing the amount of nitrogen in the soil.
Topdressing rose plants improve cane and leaf development. When the overall plant is healthy, the flowers are healthy too. If you miss the right manure during planting, chicken manure should come in handy in top dressing. Note that before you can use it as a fertilizer, chicken manure must turn it into compost first.
One reason why you are missing out on the benefits of chicken manure is the smell. You can turn it into manure “tea” for your indoor potted plants as this reduces the foul smell. The “tea’ is rich in nutrients and is easy for indoor plants to absorb.
Liquefied chicken manure helps the plants digest nutrients fast and has no side effects. What’s more, your plants directly digest it, and you can choose which plants need additional manure. Tea manure also helps in maintaining soil moisture. The size of the container determines the root system of indoor plants, which reduces manure waste.
If you’re not sure how to dispose of your chicken poop and bedding, composting it and using it to feed your indoor plants is an option. Indoor plants that do well with chicken manure include the Chinese money plant, air plant, peace lily, English ivy, asparagus fern, and the pothos plant.
Lastly, you can use chicken manure for pest management in plants. Plants grown and matured used chicken compost are pest and common disease resistant. This is an added advantage since you do not have to use pesticides in your garden.
Apart from the eggs and meat you get from chicken farming, the birds produce manure, with each giving you one cubic foot of organic manure every 90 days. This is enough to use in enriching your garden. The more birds you have, the better. However, the manure takes a month to mature for safe use.
Using chicken manure straight from the chicken coop is not advisable. Raw manure has high levels of pathogens that do not support beneficial microorganisms. It also burns your plants, giving them a malnourished look. You need to compost it before applying it to your garden or potted soil.
Chicken manure contains uric acid, feathers, and bedding materials from the coop. To break these down, composting is really important. The final product releases micronutrients slowly into the soil to mature your plants. However, not all plants will do well in soils enriched with chicken soil.
When it comes to plants that like chicken manure, you need to consider the soil type and the root system. This type of manure works well with plants with fibrous and adventitious roots.
Plants with taproots might not benefit much from chicken manure unless applied as a top dressing for branch roots to derive additional nutrients from the top soil.
Fresh chicken manure is not suitable for plants.
When you apply it, the composition is so strong for the plant and ends up burning the plants instead of nurturing them. To get the best, collect the birds’ poop together with feathers and bedding, and compost the mixture till maturity. Whether outdoors or indoors, chicken manure never disappoints when the soil type is right and the correct amount of manure is used.
Next time you are looking for a quick fix for your plants’ nutrients, use matured chicken manure.