I recently watched an old Gardening Australia show on TV. One of the presenters was passing down some of his grandfathers’ gardening tips. He declared that poultry manure was one of the best all-round fertilisers (my chickens can be proud of their work in this department). The suggestion for a good way to get this into your garden it to make a tea.
Here’s the recipe for Chicken Manure Tea Fertiliser:
1) Put 1/2 kilo of chicken manure into a porous bag – I’m using a chicken feed bag. I used about 1 kilo because mine was fresh and therefore wet. I figured that was similar to 1/2 kilo of dry manure – and I doubt it’s a very particular ratio. Basically that was 3 days of collection. Below you can see a standard morning collection.
2) Tie up bag and hang in 24 litres of water for a few days. (That was his ratio – 1/2 kilo manure to 24 kilo water. I used about a kilo of fresh manure and put it in my 70 litre bin of water. I realise I’m varying from his ratios – over time I imagine I’ll continue to vary it and it will continue to benefit my garden. I would think the only risk of getting it wrong is getting it too strong and burning your plants.) I used the rainwater collected from my chicken coop roof. Those chickens even provide their own water for the tea. What superstars!
3) When it’s steeped (I let it sit for about 5 days), there is enough liquid fertiliser to do 20 sqm of veggies and several trees. I just watered it straight onto my plants. It does have a bit of a pong, but the smell vanishes almost immediately.
4) Dump what’s left in your bag into your compost – refill and start the process from the beginning.
How simple is that? I’m going to start using this every couple of weeks. I currently have maybe 15-20 sqm of veggies so one batch about does the lot. If I keep the process going, refilling my tea bag when it’s empty, I should be fertilising most of my plants about once every 2 weeks – perfect. I’m sure my fruit trees will love this water as well.
Those chickens just keep on givin’.