There’s no deep dark secret surrounding the magic of chicken manure. It’s quite simple. You feed your chickens, they process what they eat and then they poop all over your yard. You shovel up the droppings, add water, and presto -- free renewable fertilizer. With just a little fuss and muss, you can make your own chicken manure tea. The complete plant food will be ready to dilute and use immediately after curing. As long as you have access to chickens, you’ll never have to buy fertilizer again.
Shovel about 20 pounds of chicken manure into an old pillowcase or burlap bag. Add a brick or large rock to give it some weight so that it won’t float.
Move a 35-gallon trash can into a sunny spot where it will be out of your way for about a month. Toss the bag of manure into it.
Fill the trash can with water to about 4 to 6 inches from the top. Do not cover it. As the manure tea begins to brew, gases will be released. Steep the chicken manure tea for four weeks and stir it well once or twice daily.
Haul the bag of manure out of the water. Squeeze it to remove all the excess liquid. Stir the tea well and check to see if any solids escaped into it. If so, just strain it through another pillowcase into 5-gallon buckets.
Pour all the strained chicken manure tea back into the trash can. Stir in about 1 cup of Epsom salts if you intend to use it to fertilize plants such as roses, which like extra sulfur and magnesium.
Use the tea fertilizer by diluting it 4:1 with water. The finished solution should have the color of iced tea that’s been watered down.
Apply the homemade product to your plants as you would any other fertilizer. Use about a pint for smaller plants, 2 pints for medium specimens.