Chicken Manure Tea (using)

gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)June 7, 2007

I scored 4 garbage bags of chicken manure today. Of course I had to help clean the coop and do a few other things around my friends parents garden. But I didn't think it was all that bad. Plus I have wanted to try adding it to my compost.

Now I have another thought...

Has anyone every made a tea from chicken manure? Or should I be asking if it is safe to use chicken manure tea? I also had a thought that the tea might kill some weeds, if sprayed on them?

Alright wheels have been turning so I thought I'd throw it out here to see if anyone has any thoughts or experience using chicken manure tea.



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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I would not use it as a tea. Throw it one the compost pile.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:29AM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Now I'm wondering why you wouldn't use it as a tea?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:19AM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

It's got a very high N content- as a tea it may burn plants. Some will worry also about ecoli and other pathogens.

If you're using it at a strength meant to kill weeds, then you'll probably be wasting nutrient, or even creating a small runoff/contamination issue.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:53AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree. Compost it. It can be quite beneficial as an added compost pile ingredients. As a tea is has far too many risks as pablo mentioned.

Check out this link: Chicken Manure

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ on Manure Teas

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 11:18AM
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It is pretty "hot" because it has all that nitrogen (urea, fowl don't pee) in it. Well composted it is excellent, or put on your garden in the fall and winter where it has time to break down some and be incorporated into the soil, it is great. The fresh stuff can burn plants if too close to them, or too much is added.

I have not heard of anyone making manure tea out of it, per se. I think that it would be some "powerful stuff" and need to be diluted quite a bit. Weeds that have survived adversity without any pampering are pretty tough to kill, so that might just be a refreshing drink of nourishment for them, dunno. Try a little bit, test sparingly and see what happens. That would be better than someone telling you their opinion. You worked for 4 bags, you could spare one for experimentation, and probably figure on helping clean the chicken house again later for some more. It does not stop with them, they just keep right on a poopin! ":^)

Just piled up it will compost on it's own, but might be a little smelly. If you have access to browns to go with it, you can make some fine compost out of it. My Grandson loves to drive my little garden tractor with the front scoop bucket on it, so it was not hard to get him to help me some yesterdy. We took all the remaining finished compost I had left and . I will cover it with a tarp till I need it somewhere. That got this composting area ready to start shredding up more . I have a in reserve to shred. Some for additional mulch in the garden before the weather gets real hot and dry, then I will combine the rest with another good size pile that I have started way out in back that is cooking now.

It is nice to have the raw materials to need to figure out what to do with, ain't it Gumby!
Bill P.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 11:35AM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I was really wondering why whip1 said he wouldn't use the tea?

I have read & heard it both ways. That chicken manure is hot, it is balanced, the best fertilizer, & low N. The guy I got it from claims he has used it as a mulch in his garden. Yea, that what I was thinking!!

I have never used chicken manure before, so guess I will have to try it out various ways.

So whip1, just wondering about your comment, why not to use it as a tea?

Not challenging anyone on this, just wondering. Someone may have had experiences I would prefer to avoid.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:42PM
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Bill P.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:04AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Sorry it took so long. I wouldn't for the reasons mentioned above. The tea would have a vey high N content, and I'd worry a little about pathogens. If it was me, I'd commpost it.
After thinking a little, the tea might work on your lawn though. Grass is a nitrogin hog, but you still have to be careful not to burn the grass.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 10:37AM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

To Bill (& others who took the time to reply):
Stop it, please.
Your responses were informative and interesting. Esp. Bill, who always has illustrations to go with what he is talking about ;-)

Let me see if I can clear this up.
I just felt that 'whip1' may have had a different experience and that s/he expressed an incomplete thought. That's all.

IOW - I was looking for - I would not use it as a tea because ???????

Does that make sense?
Thanks Again,

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 10:42AM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Thanks whip,
Yes pathogens are a real concern and certainly worth mentioning, oh yes. I guess my thought was somewhat jumbled but the tea part is where I was wondering if it might be useful for a weed killer.

Yes, there is the concern about runoff but I am thinking the quantity required to kill/control weeds would likely be far less than the use of chemicals? Thinking the you could probably plant in that soil following a good rainstorm/watering.
Just a thought and wondering if anyone has ever tried to use chicken manure tea this way?

As mentioned, composting was my original plan, the tea thing was an after thought and probably shouldn't be used on food items because of the pathogens.

Thanks whip for clearing that up.

Gumby_CT - who thinks that grass is a "perennial invasive weed" but could see where those who worship grass (or ornamentals) might find that useful.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 11:02AM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

That's an interesting plan: prepare soil by watering with chicken manure tea, let it sit a few days for the microherd to have at it, then plant in it.

Grass can be an excellent natural groundcover. When I cut back the shrubs around my cabin and garden in the woods, and kept them cut back, what grew? Grass.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 4:25PM
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When I worked over-seas in countries that lacked the resources available in North America, I knew several farmers who raised chickens and cabbage / other greens commercially. The general way this was done was to use a 'deep litter system' which is essentially low level composting in the chicken house, and when that was too thick, clear out that chicken litter from the house and till it into a long narrow garden bed. The farmers would then plant well established cabbage or other seedlings in the bed. All this worked fine.

Re chicken manure tea, the way they raised their seedling cabbage and other greens was by watering them from a 55 gal drum that was filled with maybe 1/3 chicken litter, 2/3 water.

Local cuisine dictated that cabbage, as well as just about everything else, be thoroughly cooked.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:41PM
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When we had chickens, I usually had a bucket of manure tea brewing:
1 bucket filled 1/4 - 1/3 with chicken poop (no bedding/litter).
Fill w/water.
Let sit for 3-4-5 days (or longer) in the sun.

Make a laddle from a pole and a tin can (canned tomatoes).

Laddle the tea **on the ground** around vegetables, roses, etc. (I would never use it as a foliar spray (pathogens)).

Add more manure and more water to have a bucket going perpetually.

The tea will smell a bit, but I didn't mind, and it kept the mosquito at bay.

I worked slowly and was very careful never to splatter the tea. Also hygiene is obviously important (handwashing w/lots of soap). And children should not be near manures.

I didn't use manure tea near things that were eaten raw, i.e., lettuce, spinach, etc, but pole beans ok, 'cauce the beans are so far up and away from the ground where the tea was added. Think splash-back when it rains.

I thought the manure tea was an excellent additive and rewarding to work with. And I loved my girls.

About composting chicken manure: If rain is allowed to fall on the pile, I think the manure will leach out.

Another note on chicken manure: Apparently chickens do not digest their feed very efficiently, so their poop is (I think) 1/4 undigested feed. Chickenfeed for egg layers, as far as I remember, is around 16% protein.

Here is a link that might be useful: The chicken experts live here

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 11:39PM
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I have some minimal experience with chicken manure. Most of my experience is with rabbit manure which is quite different from chicken manure. It is said to have even more nitrogen than chicken manure. Rabbit manure is called a cold manure because it drops from the bunny's butt ready to be put in the garden, and I had an abundant supply until recently when the lady I got it from wanted to sell it.

Now I have to find another source of manure for my watermelons. I did, and I put a lot of it around my watermelons, but now they are in the vining stage, and I wanted to side dress them with a high nitrogen substance. I found a chicken house where I could get some and laid it out on top of the bunny poop several inches from the melons, and they are growing nicely. I feel certain that chicken manure tea washed out to the young roots and contributed to the lush growth after the rain. I am not worried about pathogens because normal people do not eat watermelon roots. Normal people eat watermelons.

On the other hand I put some fresh chicken manure in another place and thought I could put some clay in the hole near the place where the transplant roots would come out, but it was not enough. Those are not doing so good, and I will probably have to replace them with more transplant watermelons and some bunny poop that I forgot that I saved.

I have one other chicken manure experience that I would like to share. Years ago when I did not know where I could get some manure, I grew tomatoes which were obviously needing some. My children were riding with me when I saw what I thought was manure in front of a chicken farm driveway on a rural paved road near my house. A truck had accidentally dropped a small load, and I looked around to see what I had on hand. Fortunately I found a whisk broom in my car with a Walmart bag, and I stopped the car to get out and sweep up the Godsend on that quiet country road. My young children thought I was crazy, but I went home and side dressed my tomatoes with a thin coat over what they were growing in, and it perked them up nicely.

The moral of my stories is that from my few limited experiences I have found that very small amounts of fresh chicken manure can be used on vegetables if the roots do not grow directly into the stuff too quickly. A weakened highly diluted manure tea will probably not bother heavy feeders like tomatoes, watermelons or possibly cabbage (I have no chicken manure experience with cabbage, but I know they are heavy feeders).To be effective however the roots have to grow into something else like plain dirt, potting soil, compost, or other aged manure that is abundant.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:32PM
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i use chick manure tea as starter in compost pile. place manure in stocking or sock,place in 5 gal bucket with water with a cup of molasses and use aquarium pump with bubbler stone to add O, after a couple of days brewing add it to ground up leaves,manure and grass clippings makes super fast compost.I use same method to make compost tea to use on entire garden,lawn and potted plants, works as ground or foliage spray.use immediately as this is alive with micro-organisms that die off quickly when O and molasses are depleted.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 9:39AM
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Organic gardening says that Rabbit, then Chicken,sheep,steer,horse,duck,cow & pig are the highest in Nitrogen & Phosphates. They all have some potash 0.5% or more.
You can use manure compost as a tea also. You need to aerate it with air if you want good micro-organisms in it. Never let it set over night, mix it & use it, so bad micro-organisms do not grow in it(
All of these manures are good for red worm production.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 1:44PM
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One time I was struggling with a new garden plot, lasagna-type. Now I realize the soil was too acid to be of use to the plants, but was naive at the time. I worked and worked every day after coming home from my job. It was my hobby and I wasn't too concerned about the poor nature of my produce. I had free range chickens, and soon noticed that (after having given them some dried beans that had been swept up off the floor) they would poop out a bean and it would sprout and be the most beautiful plant on "the farm", even though the plant sprouted in the middle of thick grass, apparently in the middle of one chicken doot. Whereas, my weed-free, watered and tended plants looked like heck. What does that tell you? I figured it meant a little chicken poop is a good thing.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Hello all,iv'e been using chicken manure tea for years for tomatoes and pepers outdoors/indoors..however i don't use raw chicken manure i use i don't need to worry about it burning..for outdoors i use a 55gal.drum i put pellets in a pillow case tie it with twine on let it soak for 2-3 days..indoors i use a 5gal bucket with an old sock..every day i dip it a few times just like a teabag..i use it 2-3 times a month in place of a regular works great !!..

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 2:42AM
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