Chicken manure is the richest animal manure--so rich that it must be composted before being applied. The amount of nutrients it contains varies according to the type of chicken, the feed used and whether or not litter is included.
Chicken manure is highest in nitrogen, and therefore most useful in promoting leafy growth. Bagged manure may state the nitrogen level (the first number of the three on the bag) as 1.1 to 1.8 percent.
Phosphorus can vary from 0.5 to 0.8 percent or more. If used in vegetable gardens or other beds where you want flowers or fruit, you may need supplement with a fertilizer higher in this element.
Potassium levels can vary from 0.5 to 1.5 percent and may also need to be supplemented for flowers and fruit.
Chicken manures, like most organic materials, have a wide variety of micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium, iron, sulfur and zinc.
Effect on pH
Chicken manure tends to be alkaline, of a pH between 6.7 and 8.0, and so should not be applied to acid-loving plants such as blueberries, strawberries, rhododendrons and heather.
- Poultry Manure As A Fertilizer Source
- Manure Matters: How Manures Measure Up
- Royal Horticultural Society: Poultry Manure
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About this Author
Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany.