Many farmers see chicken manure as a waste to eliminate. However, chicken manure contains the same nutrients that are found in other manures and is used to fertilize plant soil. This manure has added benefits over other fertilizers and is easier to bring to the market than other animal manures due to the lack of regulation.
Chicken manure can be used as a source of nutrients for plants. This manure is often used in combination with other fertilizer methods in order to fertilize soil more naturally. In order to know if the chicken manure will give a proper amount of nutrients, collect samples of the chicken manure and send to a nutrient analysis lab at a university or local county extension office to be tested.
Clemson University has reported that chicken manure serves as an alternative to lime. Therefore, chicken manure is especially valuable for soils that have low pH. Poultry manure raises pH because chicken feed contains calcium carbonate, which ends up in the chicken feces.
Chicken manure not only contains the nutrients that were not digested by the chickens but also contains feathers and undigested feed, according to Clemson University. Like with most manures, the value of the manure is partially dependent on moisture, the temperature of the manure, and whether there was soil mixed in with the manure.
The two types of chicken manure are broiler litter and caged layer manure, according to Clemson University. Chicken manure has a lot of liquid, so litter is often used to absorb the manure and reduce the amount of nutrients wasted.
Poultry manure that was bought at the store will contain the mean amounts of nutrients found in the chicken bag, so the gardener or farmer will be able to add appropriate amounts of the fertilizer. According to North Carolina State University, the only nutrient that usually varies in quantity in chicken manure is nitrogen. Broiled litter chicken manure is not regulated because only liquid fertilizers have to be regulated.
Areas that have a large number of chickens can experience over-fertilization. Also, chicken manure can seep into water supplies and contaminate them, making these water supplies less safe to drink and also creating algae blooms as the fertilizer feeds the rapid growth of algae, according to Clemson University. Over-fertilization can be prevented by adding only enough nutrients to keep plants well-nourished.