Chicken manure as an orchard and garden fertilizer

The plan is to try to be organic. We shall see once the apple maggot and codling moth pressure sets in if I can get any fruit without nuking the place!

Took this picture Sunday. I’ve been putting my 8 layers in the tractor and dragging it around the orchard. I figure the small amount of manure will be good for the trees and the chickens get the fresh grass.



How many eggs do they drop each day?

Right now I’m getting between three and seven per day. We keep them unwashed on the counter, labeled with a sharpie. This morning we had around 30 eggs waiting to be eaten. I have been making homemade whole wheat English muffins and I will cook 4 eggs on a cast iron pan and serve me and my wife an English muffin with 2 fried egg topped with broccoli sprouts (home grown off course) for breakfast most days. The kids get scrambled eggs.


My chickens are doing the same. Cant have any mulch to speak of. It gets thrown around and I am constantly raking it back up. My solution was comfrey on the base of the tree outside of a center in which I have pea gravel. The comfrey is amazing. Prolific, nitrogen fixer, competes successfully with weeds, provides enough to cover the ground and then some. I do a chop and drop when it gets too high. The chickens scatter that a bit but not like the mulch. We have a new run, but I still let them roam and forage. They dont realize how good they have it!


Chicken manure is a great hot garden fertilizer. I used it frequently when i kept chickens. Im going to link this post Does anyone else grow and produce cackle fruit? because i think there is some good information on chickens in that post. No doubt the same people interested in one post find the other fascinating. This is another similar older post Get your wife some chickens - #12 by clarkinks . I briefly discuss manure here Understanding Plant Nutrition but all manures have different nutrient content. Chicken manure specifically was discussed here Fresh Chicken Manure on Apple Trees?. Im afraid to post the number of times chicken manure has been brought up through the years but i saw a full page with the search " chicken manure" Search results for 'Chicken' - Growing Fruit manure&skip_context=true


I’m planning eventually get all my mulch around my plants covered with fruiting and medicinal ground covers like arctic raspberry and creeping thyme. then ill let the chics in there to do their thing. i too tried free ranging them in my food forest. i had all my wood chip mulch scattered in 1 day!


Your tree floors look amazing, well mulched, no weeds. I read something interesting recently regarding tree supports, of which I have many. It said that anything over a whip should not be attached to a post or support because it denys the tree trunk the ability to grow stronger with wind sway. This is not where I read the original information, but does speak to it. Do you think there is truth in this? I have trees staked to straighten their unwieldy shape. Perhaps I should just accept how they are.


Dwarf apples probably require staking. Some simi-dwarfs.

But, I can vouch for the case of NOT staking unless you NEED to. The tree trunk will be tougher. (You have a staked tree for a few years and remove the stake, the odds of damage or blowing over in a windstorm increase verses a tree that was never staked.)

Many dwarfing rootstocks of fruit have such small root systems…that the first year you have a big crop, the tree will probably flop to the ground with half of the root popped completely out of the ground! (And in the summer time, that usually means loss of the tree.)

If I were planting maple tree, either container or balled and burlapped….I wouldn’t stake it. One of a dozen might blow crooked in a storm, and I would generally just straighten it up.
(And add a stake at that time if I thought it was required.) I planted over 300 trees at a new Walmart store one time, none were staked. And none ever leaned over enough to be a problem.

But, genetically dwarf roots supporting a big crop of fruit…best have it staked BEFORE it blows over.


they say if you stake, stake it in the lower half of the tree allowing the top some movement to toughen it up to wind.


Another example…you have a forest…and trees seldom blow over.
You remove all the big trees in logging.
Then, a big storm comes through and many of the ones that were left get blown over, broken, or become crooked.
The were not used to the full force of nature when supported.


I have experienced this myself when a large area was cleared for a new driveway. Trees that remained were originally quite upright and became swayed over time. I had not remembered that, but it makes sense. I think I will remove some stakes for trees which should not have them.

Thanks for the insight


I tried staking one dwarf Enterprise tree several years ago after feeling like it was a “loose tooth.” The string broke last year so now none of my trees are really staked. I do stake a cage around them to keep the deer off for the first few years and I feel this helps somehow. Thanks for the compliments. Just keep adding woodchips!

esp. true with our thin rocky soil here


I’ve been thinking about adding some chickens and was wanting to know if the CM is the only fertilizer I would need for blackberries, fig, apple, muscadine and a fruit cocktail tree?

I also have a oak leaf pile that’s 2 years old.

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Yes more or less nothing else is needed. When i kept chickens i mixed the manure with woodchips, grasses, weeds, leaves etc. to make compost. Chicken manure can be used directly but stay back from plants a ways when you apply it and dont overdue it.


Image 11-14-22 at 8.51 AM

I love my chickens. I only have 6 and they are not even a year old. Started with 7 but ‘Large Marge’ turned out to be a rooster. (He went to live across the street.)
I find chickens to be so entertaining and I love the little noises they make - very calming.
But then . . . not only am I a Crazy Chicken Lady . . . I’m just a Crazy Animal Lady, in general.

I worry about Hawks. We have some that hang around . . . just waiting for an opportunity.
I know it’s inevitable, but I’d hate to see ‘somebody’ get carried away by a predator. We don’t let the chickens roam all day. The hawks seem to be present in the morning more than any other time of day. So I wait till around 2-3pm to open the coop door. Maybe they’ll live to see their first Christmas!

Love the eggs. :heavy_heart_exclamation: Love the manure factor. :heavy_heart_exclamation: Only thing I don’t like about chickens is the fact that they wreak havoc in my flower beds. Oh . . . and of course - Poopy Shoes. :poop:
I keep 3 or 4 pairs of boots and easy-on-and-off shoes by my back door. A must.

Well . . . and I need to mention ‘one other problem’ with keeping chickens. :rat: :rat: :rat:
RATS! The 2 seem to go hand in hand . . .


Can you get sick if you inhale chicken poop dust? I have some bat guano but I’m scared to get around it. The local bat experts said here in Florida not much to worry about but to wear a face mask when around it.

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Yes, you can get histoplasmosis. When you clean your coop or run, always wear a respirator. I learned the hard way.


Somewhere I saw a study that kids growing up playing in the mud (and other ‘natural’ stuff) are far more resistant to infections and colds than city kids. Sorry, don’t have it handy to post here.