Chicken manure pathogens....

emyers(8 SC)January 28, 2012

I've researched this to death and common wisdom seems that everyone composts their chicken manure. I have some that I've started composting (broilers) but I also have some from under my layer roosts that I collect in "bulb crates" (similar to milk crates) that has no bedding.... pure manure.

The term would be "aged manure" but as far as organic standards are concerned, even if this stuff sits under roosts for 100 years it still has to be composted before it's put on a garden even if it's tilled in unless you time it so you apply it 90 days before harvest of crops not in contact with soil, and 120 days for crops in direct contact with soil. My assumption is most of you know this.

I'm not die hard organic but am kind of working that way so take all this with a grain of salt....

Here goes. I have about a 3500 sf home garden that I use for my vegetable production and I want to put my chicken manure on it now. There is no way I can do this and meet the 120 day rule for my salad/root type vegetables. Other vegetables will not be a problem (those that fall under the 90 day rule) Since this is the first year I've been able to collect enough manure to fertilize my whole garden, I'd really like to broadcast with aged manure and till the whole garden so I can establish a baseline, so I only have to get ONE soil report done every year or so. If I use synthetics I'll have two different things going on in the same garden and I just don't want the hassle. I'm trying to get to where nitrogen is the only variable.

So, what I'd like to do is broadcast an equivalent quantity to 3 tons per ACRE +/- aged manure over my garden and plant everything when It's supposed to be planted (right about now), but I'm concerned about potential pathogens, with the salad/root type crops. Note that I plan on tilling in the manure before planting crops AND mulching the lettuce etc AND using drip irrigation.

Since this is my manure & my vegetables do I need to be concerned about pathogens? The manure sat under the roosts under the eaves of a shed so the moisture content is only 19% (had analysis done). I think the most common pathogen I need to be concerned about would be salmonella, correct? From what I'm gathering, the consequences of eating foods contaminated with salmonella are not that big of a deal (diarrhea etc).

What else do I need to be concerned about?

Would you put it down and plant?

Note that after this planting, this should not be a problem because hopefully by next time, I'll have the timing down to meet the 120 day rule "requirements".


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I'm probably in the minority on this topic so please take this with that in mind.

This goes for salmonella, brucellosis, TB, anything, really.

Since you are already performing tests, send out for a salmonella test if you are worried about it. Chickens can carry salmonella in their eggs/body naturally. I havn't read up on it in a while, so the details are fuzzy. You might want to visit this topic and verify.

Having said that, we eat our home eggs yolks raw, no issues. If I buy store-bought they are used and cooked completely. I topdress my greenhouse barrels with the shavings/waste and don't worry about it. Could I contract Salmonella? Why yes. Have I? A resounding NO for over 40 years. The reason is because there isn't an issue here to present itself so I've become confident it's not present!

It's good so see someone doing their homework. If I were you I would either send out a test or get one of those composters to compost batches quickly.

Reminds me of that farm in MA recently where they pointed Brucellosis a man contracted to the raw milk dairy farm be bought milk from 3 or 4 weeks ago. Turns out the farm is clean, no brucellosis. The media has been very slow to retract the pinpointing that states the milk & farm was clean and no Brucellosis present. The scare tactics are unbeleivable & skewed against all natural doubt there are some risks however now this farm's name is mud because assumptions were made before proof was had.

Just my take on the disease thing(s). Learn about diseases, the means of incubation/and contamination, and one has the knowledge to make sound decisions without the fear tactics so often used.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 7:38AM
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