Common Softscape Elements for Your Chicken-Friendly Garden

Compost

By composting, you’re practicing proper manure management, controlling flies, creating a dark nutrient-rich humus material, and returning it back into your soil.

Compost is a recipe. Take equal parts of brown ingredients and green ingredients — from your kitchen, chicken coop, and garden — and add enough water to be moist but not wet, and then mix and turn on a regular basis to aerate. Composting with chicken manure and chicken coop bedding gives you a natural combination of green and brown ingredients. Microorganisms are key to this transformation, working their magic over time

Chickens love the compost pile. They can help turn it for you and benefit the aeration process. Simply give them ground access to the compost pile by removing the stacks, pallets, or wiring, and so forth that your compost is contained in. Perhaps you have one large informal mound of compost, create two piles and allow your chickens access to these piles to mix, turnover, and aerate the pile.

When you add chicken manure to a compost pile on a daily basis, it’s considered a green ingredient. Fresh chicken manure is considered hot manure, and it needs at least two months to compost and cure before you mix large amounts into your soil, plants, and flowerbeds.

Compost pros and cons: You have everything to gain by composting — from dramatically increasing the health of your soil and saving you money to practicing sustainability and effectively managing your chicken manure. If there are any cons, they include having the discipline to compost regularly, and having the brute strength to turn over your compost pile periodically, wheelbarrow it around your garden, and finally mixing it into the soil.

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