How and why to use chicken droppings?
Chicken manure is considered one of the most valuable organic fertilizers, and when used correctly, it always helps to get a high and environmentally friendly crop. However, it is important to know that not all crops will benefit from chicken manure. And even those plants that will be glad to him, can very much suffer with the wrong dosages or methods of application. About how to apply chicken droppings in the beds and in the garden, about its advantages and disadvantages, this article.
The benefits of chicken droppings
When growing plants, it is impossible to do without fertilizers. As a result of their absence or even a lack in plants, the size of leaves decreases, a decrease in terry, color intensity and flower size is observed, the root system is weaker, and, as a result, low yields occur.
In order to consistently receive a good crop, it is necessary to systematically “replenish” the soil with nutrient reserves that are consumed by plants or leached from the soil.
Chicken manure is one of the most valuable and fast-acting organic fertilizers both in the content of useful substances and in their accessibility to the plants themselves.
The amount of nutrients contained in the litter varies depending on the time of year, the breed of chickens and their age, on the characteristics of the content of birds and the type of feed. But still, chicken manure is superior in quality to other organic fertilizers (with the exception of pigeon manure).
Chicken manure contains more phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and sulfur than manure of cows or pigs. According to the effect on crop yields, chicken droppings exceed manure by 10 times. Experts say that chicken manure can be brought in thirty times less than manure.
One of the advantages of fertilizers based on chicken manure is its ability to remain in the soil for a long period (up to 2–3 years). It does not decompose and wash out so quickly.
With proper introduction of chicken droppings, the soil in the garden and the garden is enriched with the necessary nutrients, becoming more water-intensive and friable. Plants, receiving additional nutrition, develop much faster and become less susceptible to diseases and “attacks” of pests. There is an opportunity to harvest earlier and in larger quantities.
After fertilizing based on chicken droppings, the first results of this feeding will be visible after a week. At a minimum, leaf blades will become more saturated in color.
Adverse properties of chicken droppings
Fresh chicken droppings can have unpleasant and even dangerous properties. It contains a large number of helminth eggs, larvae and eggs of insects, pathogens of infectious diseases (staphylococci, salmonella), seeds of weed plants.
Beds fertilized with droppings actively attract onion and carrot flies. It is in such a moist, “fragrant” soil that these small insects lay their eggs.
The main part of chicken manure nitrogen is in the form of uric acid, its increased content in the soil slows down the growth of seedlings and young plants and subsequently leads to the accumulation of nitrates in vegetables and fruits.
For many root crops (carrots, beets, potatoes), the potassium content in the litter is insufficient and this must be compensated for by the addition of, for example, potassium chloride.
Raw litter after a few days of storage acquires a sharp unpleasant odor.
For two months of storage of freshly collected chicken droppings, more than half of the nitrogen is lost. To avoid such losses, the litter is dried, or (in the winter) frozen.
Types of Chicken Litter
Depending on the conditions of keeping the chickens, as well as on the processing of the litter, they distinguish between natural, litter, dried or dried litter.
Natural droppings are obtained from chickens contained in cages; they are removed using special mechanisms or scrapers. This litter has a natural moisture content of 60%.
Natural liquid droppings, their humidity from 85 to 98%, are obtained by flushing the scraper systems or by diluting the droppings with water. The natural form of manure is used to prepare dried manure, liquid fertilizer and compost, and it is also applied to the soil in raw form.
They store natural liquid manure on farms in special storages, and in their households in well-closed containers.
When storing natural manure in open heaps (without the use of peat, straw, sawdust), it is very hot, which leads to nitrogen losses, which can be 50-60% of the total content in the manure for 2 months of storage.
In addition, the top layer of the heap dries up, turns into a crust, deep cracks appear, which enhances the loss of batteries from the surface and from deeper layers. A bunch of "surrounds" an unpleasant smell. The environment is polluted.
Litter litter is obtained by removing litter from straw, dry peat chips, sawdust from the chicken coop, along with litter. And if the chickens walk in the open air, then the litter is collected with a layer of land. This type of litter has a moisture content of 15 to 40%.
Dried litter is obtained mainly on large farms when keeping chickens in battery cells, and litter is collected on special tapes. The humidity of the dried litter is from 55 to 70%. But often on farms there is an additional air drying, and then they get dried litter with a low moisture content, in the range of 25–40%. Store dried droppings in well-ventilated enclosed spaces.
Dried litter is a loose powdery or granular highly concentrated organic fertilizer with a long shelf life. This dry fertilizer is obtained by drying fresh chicken manure in specially equipped plants at a temperature of flue gases from 600 to 800 ° C. The drying process takes approximately one hour. Humidity of dried chicken droppings is 15–20%.
Dry fertilizers are odorless, they are practically devoid of microorganisms. Disinfected dried manure is bagged. You can buy this fertilizer in garden centers and specialty stores.
In dry manure, the concentration of nutrients is 3 times higher than in raw manure. To get 300-350 kg use 1 ton of fresh litter.
After opening the package, the contents should be stored in a dry place in a tightly closed container. For this purpose, plastic barrels or boxes, glass jars, dense, waterproof bags and bags are suitable. Hermetically sealed packaging is stored for three years.
The chemical composition of chicken droppings
At 60% humidity, chicken droppings contain approximately:
- Nitrogen (N) 1.8-2.0%;
- Phosphorus oxide (P2O5) -1.5-1.8%;
- Potassium oxide (K2O) - 0.8-1.0%;
- Calcium oxide (CaO) - 2.4%;
- Magnesium oxide (MgO) - 0.7%;
- Sulfur oxide (SO2) - 0.4%.
One kilogram of dry matter of litter contains approximately:
- Manganese (Mn) - 90-160 mg;
- Zinc (Zn) - 65–90 mg;
- Cobalt (Co) - 5-7 mg;
- Copper (Cu) —12–18 mg;
- Bora (B) 50–75 mg;
- Gland (Fe) - 450-850 mg.
Dry chicken droppings contain:
- Organic matter — 80–85 %;
- Nitrogen (N) - 4.0-6%;
- Phosphorus oxide (P2O5) - 3.0-4.0%;
- Potassium oxide (K2O) - 2.0-2.5%;
- Calcium oxide (CaO) - 5.0-7%;
- Magnesium oxide (MgO) - 1.5-1.8%.
By its chemical composition, chicken droppings belong to nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizers and its use should be combined with the addition of potash fertilizers to the soil (especially for potatoes and carrots).
How to use chicken droppings
Pure chicken droppings cannot be used in their pure form due to the high content of uric acid. To improve the quality and composition of garden soil, separately prepared fertilizers are used from fresh or dried chicken droppings.
This type of fertilizer is prepared from fresh litter as follows. In a container, which can later be closed with a lid, place fresh chicken droppings and pour water (1: 1). The solution is left in a warm room for several days (5-7 days). To improve the fermentation process, the liquid is mixed daily.
Before you begin to apply fertilizer, this "concentrate" is diluted with water - 1 liter per 10 liters of water. Contribute at the rate of 1 liter per 1 square. m. This fertilizer is good to use a few months before planting. After applying it, the soil is lightly dug up and additionally watered.
Throughout the season, for different types of plants, single or repeated feeding is carried out, each time before its introduction and after it, abundant watering of plants is carried out. Wet ground will protect the root system of the plant from possible burns in contact with fertilizer. It is necessary to mulch the soil or dig lightly the places of irrigation so that the fertilizer does not remain on the soil surface.
Excessive application of liquid dressing leads to a rapid increase in the green mass of the plant, but not to the formation of buds and can result in an increased content of nitrates in the crop. In addition, it is imperative to remember that liquid top dressing may contain helminth eggs, insect larvae, and infectious disease pathogens. For this reason, this type of top dressing is not used during fruiting of vegetable and berry crops, for example, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers or for "salad" greens.
To reduce nitrogen loss during storage, fresh manure is composted.
For composting, a shady, not flooded place is allocated in the garden. Pits are not used for compost heaps, as with heavy rainfall, water will accumulate in them.
You can use a container or box with removable sides (1.5 m X 1.5 m). The bottom layer is laid out from peat (30 cm), straw or sawdust are also suitable. Fresh chicken litter, dried litter or litter with litter (layer 20-30 cm) is laid on top and covered with about the same volume of straw, weathered or cut grass.
Thus, the heap turns out "flaky". Although the highest quality litter composts are obtained when only peat and straw are used for layering. Often mixed phosphorite flour (2-4% of the composted material). It is also good to add catalyst plants — yarrow, hamemelyum (hamamelum) and comfrey to accelerate the process of decay. Heap height 1–1.5 m.
The compost heap should be better covered with a black film to reduce the access of oxygen and the effects of precipitation. Reliable shelter will reduce the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus, will necessarily reduce the smell of droppings and reduce environmental pollution.
After about six months, the ready-to-use compost has a fairly loose structure, a slightly alkaline environment and a high content of nutrients readily available to plants. Its humidity is approximately 70%. Properly prepared compost should not contain insect larvae, helminth eggs, weed seeds, and it does not smell of chicken droppings.
Composting can take place without drawers, especially since such structures do not always adorn the garden, especially if it is small. A familiar compost pile, at the base of which a film is spread and a thick layer of peat and straw is laid, and then layer by layer alternate chicken droppings with the usual “fillers”.
According to experts, no matter how correctly composting the litter is carried out, it leads to the inevitable loss of nutrients and organic substances.
It is convenient to make compost in the beds in spring, before planting seedlings and sowing seeds, as well as in late autumn, scattering it on the surface of the earth and digging it. In the absence of rains, it is necessary to water the dug up earth plentifully.
Using dry chicken droppings
Experts believe that the best way to store fresh litter is to dry it. Dry chicken droppings, in the form of granules or powder, are diluted with water (1:25) and insisted for one to three days. Before and after feeding, produce abundant watering.
The granules or powder themselves can be scattered around the plants (30-50 g per 1 sq. M), immediately mixed with soil and watered abundantly. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the granules or powder do not come into contact with plants and seeds.
Dry litter is an excellent fertilizer for autumn digging.
When working with granular or powdered fertilizers, gloves should be used, and people prone to allergic diseases should wear safety glasses and respirators. After finishing work, wash your hands with soap and wash.
Chicken dropping rates
In the spring before landing tomato approximately five liters of liquid fertilizer is applied per square meter of area. Dig and water abundantly. In five days it will be possible to plant seedlings.
Garden beds greens fertilize in the fall. For every square meter - four liters of liquid fertilizer.
Under cabbage during the season make two or three liquid top dressings. For each plant, about a liter of liquid fertilizer, and always good watering.
Under strawberries in autumn, dried chicken droppings are scattered between rows (50 g per 1 sq. m) and lightly digged. If the weather is dry, watering is necessary.
Under roses it is convenient to apply dry fertilizers in the fall, when the site for spring planting is just being prepared. Liquid dressing for roses is applied only the next year after planting, about 1 liter per bush.
For which plants chicken droppings are not suitable
Soil fertilized with chicken droppings is absolutely not suitable for growing many herbs and herbs. These include: medicinal hyssop, aromatic ruta, thyme, officinal sage, medicinal rosemary, balsamic tansy, narrow-leaved lavender, cypress santolina, mountain savory, purslane, pharmacy chamomile.
They do not need an abundance of nutrients. The consequence of this “overfeeding” will be enhanced growth and obviously weakened aroma, which is not typical for these plants, which means a decrease in the amount of essential oil in plants, and, therefore, a decrease in the plant’s “protection” from pests and diseases.
Fertilizer from chicken droppings of blueberries, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, heathers is completely unsuitable.