Chicken Manure Tea Fertiliser

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.

Chicken Manure 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’.

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
This entry was posted in Chickens, Garden, Recipe and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Chicken Manure Tea Fertiliser

  1. Maybe your chickens have sweet smelling poo, but every time I try this (or my neighbour) it smells for days. My hubby has threatened to move out because of chook poo….

    • Well, my chicken are certainly sweeties – but what comes out of their back end isn’t always. Maybe it’s because I use their overnight droppings. I’ve noticed they do not have ceacal poo overnight and that’s the stinky stuff.

      It could also be because I made a pretty low intensity mixture. Maybe if I’d double the dropping/water ratio the smell would be overpowering. But I’m not sure why I’d do that.

      Just to be sure I’m not nuts, I asked my husband if he agreed that the smell was not an issue. He reassured me that my tea is hardly a noticeable smell and that it vanishes as soon as it’s used.

  2. Max says:

    Good Idea,I think I’m gonna have to make poop boards then try brewing up a batch in the surge tank for my greywater system.

  3. We just add our chicken poo to the compost heap, along with the used straw and sawdust and eventually it all inter mingles and breaks down to make really good compost.

    • We also add our chicken poo to the compost heap – the amount that infuses our tea is a small amount of our girls impressive production! It all makes it into the garden eventually but this tea is a bit of a tonic to boost the plants when they’re growing. Or that’s the theory anyway.

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  5. Maggie says:

    We let our girls free range in our orchard. They love to pick up fallen apples, mulberries and plums, and catch leaf hoppers and other pests on the citrus trees. They also love to dustbathe under the citrus trees and the citrus has never looked better with all that raking and scratching of chicken feet around their roots! I am also goimg to collect the poop from under the roosts for making tea.

    • Our chickens scratch under everything – they seem to prefer banana to citrus though which is a shame because I think the citrus would like the soil over its roots to get a good massage now and then.

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  9. One more reason to consider raising chickens.

  10. I love my chooks, all 8 of them! They’re our pest-control & fertilising system in the nursery 🙂

    • They’re great at both, as long as they aren’t anywhere near seedlings or tender plants that can be dug up. Boy can they clear out a veggie patch!

      • Oh yes, i certainly learned that one the hard way…. I’m very lucky to have the veg patch fenced off now 😊

        • I went so far as to plant un-yummy plants (like chillies) around the inside of my veg patch fence because I was horrified at how far in my chooks could reach when sticking their necks through the chicken wire. A cabbage plant isn’t safe within 1/2 metre of the fence line!

  11. Peste says:

    Hi Laura, is there any similar way to enrich 100 sq.acre orchard with chicken manuer tea ?That is impossible to feed a big garden with a bag and bin …

    • Yeah, I can see the problem with a bag and bin for 100 acres :-p

      Being a backyard gardener I honestly have no idea what equipment might be available for farmers to spread liquid manure but I bet there’s some. And vats to mix water and poo. But it would be a stinky mess on a large scale.

      How about starting up a side business in free range eggs? You need a few movable houses to drag through the orchard (chickens won’t find their roost if you move it too far) to keep your girls moving but they’ll certainly distribute their “fertiliser” everywhere and the rain will make it into tea! Add a couple of Marema’s (livestock guardian dogs), a LOT of chicken wire to circle your orchard (assuming it’s unfenced now) and you have a viable second income plus a free fertiliser spreading system.

      • Peste says:

        Thanks for your reply.My cretria issue is “how” manuer convert to tea in huge scale ,no on produce manuer…or chicken nursery…l can buy egg layer chicken manuer …and my main problem is “how” provide tea and charge to lareral and drippers….

  12. bibo says:

    mixed with water and use spray to fertilize your plants

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