Friday, June 1, 2012

Let's talk about poo..., let's talk about you an' me, let's talk about all the good things an' the bad things that may be...

(This post brought to you by Salt'n'Pepa and the color three.)

I had a call from a client the other morning who wanted to know about chicken poo.  Specifically he wanted to know what the best thing is to do with it once you have it, but I'll get back to that in a moment. 

First I want to share this lovely page all about chicken poo.  If you aren't sure what normal chicken poo is supposed to look like, in comparison with non-normal poo that might indicate some illness or other issue, check out that page for reference.  Thanks to the My Pet Chicken newsletter for that marvelous little link.

And now back to the issue at hand - whatever to do with the poo.

The answer: COMPOST! 

This, ahem, "$hit", is like GOLD to a gardener.  If you don't garden (though if you have chickens it's probably likely you do), then find yourself some folks who do and offer to have them come pick up your dirty laundry (...bedding)(...from your chicken coop) on cleaning day.  Make sure you let them know if it's fresh manure or has already been composted - fresh manure is too rich for most plants to handle, and you don't want to put it on anything edible.  Once it's been composted it's fine to use anywhere.

If you do garden, just toss your poo-laden shavings into either an open pile (my preferred method) or compost bin and leave 'em for about 6 mos and voila!  You have free-and-fantastic compost for your garden.  The mix of bedding (carbon-ilicious"brown" matter) and poo (nitrogen-rich "green" matter) is already very well balanced to make good compost, and you get the bonus of a great place to toss your kitchen and yard scraps too.  If you'd like more info, there are a bunch of great websites on the hows and whys of composting your chicken waste (like this one), and of course you're always welcome to send me a note or comment! 

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