How chickens can fertilise your crops

Chicken manure can add many nutrients to your soil, and works better than most other manures.

To prepare chicken manure for use in the soil in your vegetable garden, mix it with other organic ingredients such as vegetable and fruit leftovers, eggshells, leaves and straw. Keep it for a few days and keep turning it before applying it to your soil.

The correct amount to use on is about 2,3kg per a 1m x 1m square of ground. Never use fresh poultry manure on growing plants as the nitrogen is too strong and will burn the plants. It also encourages unbalanced plant growth.

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Most farmers prefer to spread fresh manure over bare soil and dig it in at the end of the growing season in autumn. This gives the manure time to age in the ground in winter.

Many gardeners prefer to compost manure for application on growing plants.

Using chickens
You can allow your chickens to roam freely in your garden. In this way you will have fresh droppings to fertilise your garden. The chickens will also eat weeds and bugs.

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However, they may also damage your garden. Chickens eat new sprouts, dig, scratch up seedlings and peck holes in tomatoes. To prevent this, let the chickens into the garden an hour before dark to eat bugs and peck at leaves. This will not give them enough time to do serious damage. Keep them out of your garden while tomatoes are  growing on the vine.