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Old 12-07-2015, 11:17 AM
c.r.tactical c.r.tactical is offline
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Default Chicken poop queston...



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So I have about 10 backyard chickens. I use recycled shredded paper to put in the bottom of the hen house. It makes it easier to clean the hen house and when it gets cold (like recently in the high 30s and low 40s) they sometimes get down from the roost and sleep in piles of the paper shreds.

The question is; can I rake out the shredded paper and poop all in one and put it directly in my garden? Or is there a middle step that I'm missing?

I was hoping that the paper would also act as water retainer during the summer months as well as being saturated with chicken poop for fertilizer.

Any help or ideas on the matter appreciated..... thanks in advance!
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:22 AM
Greta Greta is offline
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So I have about 10 backyard chickens. I use recycled shredded paper to put in the bottom of the hen house. It makes it easier to clean the hen house and when it gets cold (like recently in the high 30s and low 40s) they sometimes get down from the roost and sleep in piles of the paper shreds.

The question is; can I rake out the shredded paper and poop all in one and put it directly in my garden? Or is there a middle step that I'm missing?

I was hoping that the paper would also act as water retainer during the summer months as well as being saturated with chicken poop for fertilizer.

Any help or ideas on the matter appreciated..... thanks in advance!
I would compost the chicken poop first before putting it in your garden.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:25 AM
c.r.tactical c.r.tactical is offline
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I would compost the chicken poop first before putting it in your garden.
Thanks for the tip. Guess its time to finally set up a compost station. I have not done that yet... off to do some reading up on composting.
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Old 12-07-2015, 01:22 PM
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Personally, I don't see any reason to compost barnyard waste before using it.
The problem with chicken poop is the very high N value...
It's like 4 times as potent as horse or cow poop... Which isn't necessarily bad...
You just use it differently.
I use horse poop to help the soil hold moisture...
Chicken poop needs to be spread as thin as possible, and even then... there are crops that it shouldn't be used near.
What I used to do when I had chucks... Is... everything that came out of the garden went into the chicken pen... it was fun... watching the chickens grab those cow peas... shake the peas out and then eat the dry peas...
I'd come turn the mass of material in the pen, and the biddies would all gather 'round to catch the bugs that got turned up...
When the pen pile got deep enough, I'd dig it out and spread it over the garden, and as it was largely just weeds and vegetable material... it didn't burn the garden.
Now... that chicken poop from the commercial barns... might not be safe to even bring on-site.... due to the amount of antibiotics they are fed...
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:22 PM
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Chicken poop is very acidic... you need to compost it prior to using it. Any grass grazing animals, you can use immediately.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:09 PM
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Fresh chicken crap is just like weed killer. It will burn up anything you put it on.

We always put a load on our garden but wait till the end of the season. Spread it, till it in, and let it do its thing all winter. When spring comes we plant and sometimes when it isn't a drought or monsoon we get things to grow.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:21 PM
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I use wood shavings because they take a lot of bodily wastes and still stay in good shape to take on more. Paper gets soggy and unhealthy in my opinion. You might clean your cook daily though. I clean mine every few months by just adding new shavings on top as needed. This makes some pretty good compost.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:29 PM
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We use dry river sand $10/ truck load. We swap this out twice a year. The sand helps lighten up our heavy clay soil. I usually clean the coop out in the fall after we have closed the garden so it sits all year. In the spring I put the coop clean out in the manure pile with the hay, goat and horse crap and turn it over with the tiller and add it to the garden before tilling the garden in one last time before planting.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:43 PM
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You do not want to use fresh chicken poop in the garden. It will end up "burning" your plants (not to mention is kinda gross and stinky!).

Simply put it in a pile. Add other stuff (leaves, banana peels, coffee grounds, etc.) or not. Turn it, or not. Adding stuff and turning it will result in a better, quicker end product. Or just let it sit (that's what I do most of the time), and it may just take a little bit longer. Then it's ready for the garden.

What I usually do is make a pile of it in the chicken yard (and my future self always thanks me if I do it as close to the garden as I can), and I add table scraps and what not to it, and sometimes even sprinkle the chickens food on it - and they'll turn it for me.


Watch out with using shredded paper. I use some, but you'll want to mix it with something - wood shavings or leaves. Otherwise it tends to mat up and in a few months when you go to clean it out, you'll be cursing yourself (ask me how I know!). Especially over the winter when you *need* to change it/stir it, but it's all frozen. Grrr!!

Once a day (or at least every few days) go in and give the bedding a quick stir. Add a little bit. It will help. You can even throw in some scratch or corn, and the chickens will stir it for you.
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:05 PM
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I don't use any kind of paper (except feed sacks and brown shopping bags) because of the bleaching process.

The following is taken from http://www.gardensalive.com/product/...t_your_garden:


Using Cardboard and Paper Wisely in the Compost and the Garden



Q. I'm a devoted fan of your show looking for composting advice. Many gardening websites recommend adding shredded paper to your compost pile. I'm concerned that the ink on printed paper contains chemicals, and I won't have a truly organic compost come next spring. So should I add paper? Not add paper? Help!
---Anne in Doylestown, PA
A. Unfortunately, many people who give composting advice have never actually done it, are not thinking their recommendations through, or both. I've composted for 25 years, tend to think things through maybe too much, and don't like the idea of composting paper for many reasons.

Paper is one of the most easily recycled materials in today's enlightened world. Virtually everyone has an easy way to get old newspapers, magazines and mixed paper into a stream where it gets turned into more paper, tissues, toilet paper or some other essential element of modern society, thus reducing the need for the raw material needed to make virgin paper (otherwise known as 'trees').

While some modern inks (like the soy-based inks that have become popular in newspaper printing) are fairly innocuous, inks that are made for some other purposes still use petroleum and metals in their manufacture. (A good example is slick paper, where soy inks dry too slowly to be practical.) In addition, some paper itself has been bleached with chlorine, a particularly nasty player whose breakdown produces dangerous dioxins.

Most importantly, there is little to no nutrition left in processed paper, and it won't add much—if any—fertilizing or disease-preventing power to the finished product. That's why I'm always yelling at allayouse to collect and shred massive amounts of fall leaves; shredded leaves make the finest disease-preventing, soil-enhancing, plant-feeding compost. If you have a compost pile where the predominant "brown materials" are paper instead of leaves, you are creating the equivalent of a heavily-processed artificial fast food for your plants. Compost made with shredded leaves is minimally processed, high quality slow food—and it's local too!
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:34 PM
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DEFINITELY compost the chicken waste first BEFORE putting it on your garden! Chicken manure is very "hot"...it can actually BURN your plants if you don't compost it first.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:14 AM
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...don't like the idea of composting paper for many reasons.

... inks that are made for some other purposes still use petroleum and metals in their manufacture. (A good example is slick paper, where soy inks dry too slowly to be practical.) In addition, some paper itself has been bleached with chlorine, a particularly nasty player whose breakdown produces dangerous dioxins.

Most importantly, there is little to no nutrition left in processed paper, and it won't add much—if any—fertilizing or disease-preventing power to the finished product.

What this ^ ^ says...at the very least, newspaper has lots of stuff that isn't good for your garden.

I use shavings and the deep litter method.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:35 AM
c.r.tactical c.r.tactical is offline
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I get the shredded paper from work for FREE by the truck load if I want.
I don't produce enough wood shavings from my other hobbies to make that a realistic option.
In general I add a fresh couple inches of the shredded paper every couple days and clean out and replace completely about once every 2 weeks. I under stand the risk of the paper treatment posing a threat to the garden, but I was hoping that the composing process could render it safe???
Thanks to all the advise on this post I will be composting before adding to the garden. If it is deemed that the shredded paper will be an issue for the garden I will continue to search for alternatives. I will be adding the additional suspects to the compost as well.
If I could find a place to get wood shavings for free I would switch to that.

Thanks all for the help!
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:16 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is online now
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I use leaves, grass cuttings, and wood chips in my coop.

They all get dumped in a 'vacant' garden spot where I also presently am tossing extra grass clippings, light branches, misc. steer poop, leaves, etc. At some point I will use that garden space again, but not for awhile. Don't bother turning or anything.

Curious. When my chickens get ahold of some newspaper they like to eat it. Makes their poop very watery. Do your chickens eat any of the newspaper? Have watery poop?

I do put chicken poop [with misc. leaves/chips] in a bucket of water and let it sit to make chicken poop tea sometimes. [Getting partial to using steer poop all the time in the garden and as cow poop tea.]

Anyway, I would suppose that the newspaper shreds, with poop, would dissolve in enough water in a bucket to be usable that way. After a few days minimum [depends upon the heat, I have noticed that the hotter it is the faster the 'tea' brews and is safe to put on plants].
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:38 PM
c.r.tactical c.r.tactical is offline
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I use leaves, grass cuttings, and wood chips in my coop.

They all get dumped in a 'vacant' garden spot where I also presently am tossing extra grass clippings, light branches, misc. steer poop, leaves, etc. At some point I will use that garden space again, but not for awhile. Don't bother turning or anything.

Curious. When my chickens get ahold of some newspaper they like to eat it. Makes their poop very watery. Do your chickens eat any of the newspaper? Have watery poop?

I do put chicken poop [with misc. leaves/chips] in a bucket of water and let it sit to make chicken poop tea sometimes. [Getting partial to using steer poop all the time in the garden and as cow poop tea.]

Anyway, I would suppose that the newspaper shreds, with poop, would dissolve in enough water in a bucket to be usable that way. After a few days minimum [depends upon the heat, I have noticed that the hotter it is the faster the 'tea' brews and is safe to put on plants].
Its not news paper. Just regular printer paper from the office.
I was a bit scared they would try eating it as well but if they tried it, they must have not liked it. their poop is still "normal".
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