Tyler Ludens wrote:That's what I do, I only ever do sheet composting in the garden; I don't have a compost heap.
Su Ba wrote:I consider manure to be reasonably safe that comes from my own healthy animals. Frankly, I don't routinely compost my own homestead generated manures. But I do hot compost manures that I collect from other sources off my farm. And I don't import manures from animals known to be unhealthy.
I realize that a lot of non-farm oriented people are manure phobic....well beyond commonsense precautions. Those people won't eat veggies from my gardens because I use manure fertilizer, but they will eat stuff from their own little garden plot, totally oblivious to the fact that lots of manure bits being deposited there : birds, insects, worms, rats, mice, mongoose, turkeys, feral chickens, feral cats. I pointed this out to one woman and she promptly tore out her garden. Now I keep my smart mouth shut.
Especially since your area has a winter season and several months pass before the next planting, in your situation I would have no fear in spreading the chicken litter in my garden area. But I wouldn't leave it exposed laying upon the surface. I'd flip it under in order to start the decomposition process and to capture the nitrogen aspect. Surface manure will lose a lot of it's nitrogen components.
Colin Dunphy wrote:Total newbie here, but with a 10x10 coup and only 7 chickens, I've got mostly pine shavings with some manure in it. I understand whenever you amend wood/pine shavings into soil it will suck nitrogen, so it is best to keep it as top dressing. The manure should be protected/suspended in it which aint bad making it more like boosted mulch. To this date I've composted it, but plan on doing this in spring.
Galadriel Freden wrote:I wanted to add: this spring I cleaned out the top layer in my chicken coop (I use a deep bedding system and generally clear it out 3 or 4 times a year), and used this fresh stuff to plant my pumpkin seedlings into; I use straw as chicken bedding, and the manure in it was no more than a few weeks old. I made mounds of it about 6 inches deep and maybe 18-24 inches in diameter, and planted the seedlings straight in. They grew like wildfire, and are still trying to make new pumpkins now, at the end of October (I've been picking the little new ones off and eating them like zuccini while letting the older ones mature on the vine). I think a lot of garden vegetables wouldn't like this treatment, but my pumpkins sure did!
I have read that not emptying/cleaning the coop over winter will keep the chickens warmer, as their manure composts and produces heat. Can't say for sure if it's true though.