Chicken manure "binding" with straw?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by SueinWA, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Before I planned to have some chickens, I ran across some information that said if you use a deep straw litter in your chicken pens, the manure would "bind" (their word) to the straw.

    If this does happen, what are the benefits? Problems?

    Specifically, I am wondering this: I have a chicken tractor that I move monthly, and I clean out the litter (usually dry, as they keep it fluffed up by scratching in it). I have a new potato bed with a thin/moderate amount of straw over the potatoes (they're not buried in soil). What do you think the effect would be if I added the straw/manure material to the top of the potato patch? I realize that fresh chicken manure will burn plants, but would this "binding" to the straw (and the drying) change this at all? Our wet season is still here, although improving, so the manure might be washed down to the potatoes before the full dry season is upon us.

    Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

    Sue
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Junior Member

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    Hi Sue,

    My understanding is that if the bedding is left to 'dry' for a few weeks it would be safe to use.

    I personally put all the bedding from the chookhouse through my compost systems - I allow it to sit for a couple of weeks then add it as a carbon layer, then add it all to the garden as humus.

    I imagine their manure would eventually breakdown and be added to the soil in the chook run, rather than staying connected to the straw.

    Don't know if that helps...

    I can recommend a really good chook book - it's Australian, but contains all natural care information. It's by Alanna Moore and its called Backyard Poultry - Naturally.

    PS - in Australia we call the adult birds 'chooks', we only call the babies chickens.

    Cheers,

    Sonya.
     
  3. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    I would guess that this binding is the process of the carbon um, soaking up the nitrogen as it breaks down, but if it stayed dry, then I would imagine that it would heat up again when it got wet, so I don't know how this is going to effect your spuds, Sue. By the way, where you been, Sue?
     
  4. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I've been away for a while, so accidentally called my chickens "chickens" instead of chooks.

    The straw is from their covered tractor, so it doesn't get wet. I did wonder if the manure would get hot if it became liquified and was washed off the straw. I guess I have to go with reality, rather than wishful thinking...

    Richard, I've got a stupid, tiring, frustrating job that often lasts 10-12 hrs, so I haven't been online much. It is almost summer here, so I've been working outside getting my garden in. My one major luxury, an old riding mower broke down, so now I have to mow my acre with a push mower. Killer!

    Sue
     
  5. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Well, I'm glad that you are around still Sue. Sorry that you have a stupid, hard job.
    You know I had the same "problem" - our ride on lawn mower died, something electrical. Now I mow the pathways and few grassy areas on this 14 acres with a push mower, but the good side is that it uses less fuel, and has so much less that can go wrong with it, and for the price of a bag catcher for the ride on we got a whole lawn mower... I really love having the bag catcher because even though I have to stop and unload it often, the necessary evil chore of mowing becomes mulch collection!
    Anyway, let us know what that bound up chook shit does to your spuds...
     
  6. grease

    grease Junior Member

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    chicken manure binding with the straw

    Sue, It's still relatively fresh chook shit whether it is 'bound' to the straw or not. Why not conduct an experiment. Put the straw on a few spud plants and see what happens. As for the mowing .... I gave that up for lent :D . The neighbours still talk to me...... a bit :eek:
     
  7. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I can't give up mowing, esp around the national holiday of the Fourth of July. I live four miles from a Native American (Indian) reservation that has about 120 firework stands, selling the most volitile of fireworks. My single acre is surrounded by idiots who set them off aiming for the largest open area around >>> my property. And YES, they are illegal, but a fat lot of good that does.

    Sue
     
  8. grease

    grease Junior Member

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    chicken manure binding with straw

    Sue, Just mow the middle bit with a fire break around your house. Let the outside perimeter grow nice and long so that when your neighbours let their fireworks off they set fire to the long grass. This event will not cause you problems as you have a fire break but will cause them to take action to save their properties. See what happens then. They'll probably complain about your grass . You could always fire some rockets back at them :D
     
  9. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Hey Sue been wondering where you had got too....

    You dont have a problom as I see it and I think you just needed an excuse to Send a post off didnt you......

    I know you Sue

    Welcome back

    Tezza
     

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