Mineral Risks with Chicken Manure

Making the most of your backyard chicken coop and recycling the manure as a free form of fertilizer for your vegetable garden may seem like a great idea, but don't try it without learning the right way. Spreading fresh chicken manure on your garden is a good way to kill off your garden and get left with nothing more than a stinky brown field. The problem lies in the fact that fresh chicken manure may be too mineral rich for your garden.


Many types of legumes can help fix nitrogen in the soil and leave a good nitrogen-rich soil for your corn and other nitrogen-leeching crops. So it may seem like adding nitrogen-rich fertilizer like chicken manure might do the same thing, only faster and better. Wrong! Fresh chicken manure is so nitrogen rich that it can lead to nitrogen burn on your plants, detroying the root systems and your garden. Be sure to age the chicken manure for a season or send it through your compost bin before using it as fertilizer.


Fresh chicken manure has high levels of potash as well. Potash can make the soil more rich in potassium but it can also leach off salt and other damaging minerals into the soil. Futhermore, some forms of potash can damage the healthy bacteria in your soil.


Ammonium, a mixture of nitrogen and ammonia, is highly concentrated in chicken manure and can raise the acidity level of your soil and impact the health of your plants. Highly acidic soils may even contribute to acidity in the produce.

Keywords: chicken manure fertilizer, age fertilizer, manure fertilizer

About this Author

Lucinda Gunnin is a trained and experienced print reporter with almost two decades of experience in the media business. She holds a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and undergraduate degrees from Adams State College in Colorado. Gunnin has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines and has her fiction published in the anthology "Elements of the Soul."