My neighbors just got a bunch of chickens and a rooster, and they're not gardeners. I have proposed that I'll take all the bedding from their coops - laced with chicken manure, off their hands. They were quite happy with this proposal, as was I.
I have scant sources of manure for my garden and now that I have one, I'm not sure how best to use the bedding.
I know almost nothing about chickens (which is why I don't have any yet), but I do have about 3/4 acre of land that I want to convert into a nice, thriving, prosperous garden. This land is largely beach sand with a whole lotta pine trees scattered about the property line so the soil isn't that great. But I want to convert it to very usable soil over time and I know manure can only help.
I just don't know the best way to use fresh chicken manure bedding.
I think that chicken manure is too strong to put right in garden beds as mulch. Though honestly, I don't know how long it'd need to sit for before it's usable as a mulch. I think I can make a compost tea but I'm not sure about the dilution rate or even, how to make it. I have Fukuoka's One Straw Revolution and I seem to recall something in there about using chicken manure, so I'll be cracking that this weekend.
I'd love to get your thoughts on this matter. I feel like this is a great deal for both me and my neighbors, and I'd like to take advantage of this. Thanks in advance for all your help!
Free clean nutrient is definately a good score for improving your garden, congratulations. Basically you have alot of options from scattering it around and letting it compost over the winter and then plant some stuff come spring, or you can compost it in a pile and utilize it in more specific locations, or use it as mulch around fruit trees. Usually my own chicken bedding/poop is thrown around all over the place and i havent scorched any plants or ruined anything yet. Since you describe your soil as sand, getting some organic material in there will be important in a lot of ways.
Using it for making tea would work if you wanted a nitrogen fertility blend to water plants with, although since it is mixed with bedding i would think that might complicate things, so i would probably just stick with using it directly in the garden area. Although if you have an abundance maybe you could try making tea and mulching with it?