top 5 ways to prep your gardenPoultry manure is the best!  Really?   Really!  First of all back in the 50’s and 60’s farmers had the fortune of having a plethora of manure choices.  Our farm had chickens, pigs, horses and cows.  The fields and gardens prospered from the natural fertilizers. Each natural fertilizer has merit and is helpful to quality soils and potential plant growth.

We also had chemical fertilizers.  Chemical fertilizers are generally absorbed by plants easier than natural fertilizers.  However, if used in excess they can have negative effects to soil quality.  And they are not natural.  #Organic fertilizer is essential to organic gardening.  My Parents  did not use chemical fertilizers in the fields but not in our gardens. My vote would be to use natural fertilizers over chemical fertilizers in my garden.

Speckled chicken

photo credit: Chickens! via photopin (license)

Why use poultry manure over the other natural fertilizers? Pigs, horses and cows are mammals.  Their dung has less liquid and many believe has less nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. These are key chemical elements to quality plant growth.

Red chicken

photo credit: B'gak! One chicken is named Henrietta. via photopin (license) Poultry produce about twice as much fresh dropping (on a wet-weight basis) than the fuel they eat.  The typical hen consumes twice as much liquid as feed.  This liquid will increase the nitrogen content of poultry manures. Caution:  Poultry manure when fresh can damage the plants.   Be sure the manure has had time to age and shows sign of breaking down.  It will have a mulch appearance. My experience through farm and garden production has demonstrated that poultry manure has helped produce strong plants.

Tgiving Giving Thanks Reminder,  just in case you know little about poultry, they include chickens (chicks, hens and roosters), turkeys (chicks to the large gobbler), ducks (all) and geese of all sizes. Utilize the one that is physically easiest to obtain.  A turkey farm or poultry farm near by, for example. I hunted around a bit and found a large turkey farm (40,000 turkeys yearly).   I asked for the manures that were left to decompose six months ago or more.  Good quality AND safe commercial manure fertilizer is also available in most commercial garden establishments.

Giants 6 I will have future posts reviewing the merits of the other natural manures.  All are excellent and good organic fertilizer BUT if you have a choice, choose poultry for that extra "organic punch"!