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Chicken Feed as Fertilizer
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Author:  bobgilbert56 [ Thu May 12, 2011 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Does anyone use chicken feed as an organic fertilizer?
It is small enough to go through a spreader. The 20% protein versions have 3-4% nitrogen and there are versions that do not contain medicines. It is also half the price per nitrogen unit than typical "Organic" fertilizers.
A typical 28% protein (4-5% N) feed:
Crude Protein (Min) — 28%
Lysine (Min) — 1.60%
Methionine (Min) — .55%
Crude Fat (Min) — 2.0%
Crude Fiber (Max) — 5.0%
Calcium (Ca) (Min) — .90%
Calcium (Ca) (Max) — 1.25%
Phosphorus (P) (Min) — .80%
Salt (NaCl) (Min) — .20%
Salt (NaCl) (Max) — .50%
Sodium (Na) (Min) — .20%
Sodium (Na) (Max) — .50%


Ingredients: Plant protein products, grain products, processed grain byproducts, animal protein products (fishmeal), calcium carbonate, monocalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, molasses products, salt choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, ferrous carbonate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, zinc sulfate, copper oxide, cobalt carbonate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide.

Author:  Love My Garden! [ Fri May 13, 2011 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

I'm curious why you're asking about it. Do you just happen to have some, or can you get some on the cheap?

I didn't research any of the ingredients, but my knee-jerk reaction to it is -- for my yard and garden -- to steer clear of it. There are other products, all with recognizable and pronounceable ingredients, that can be applied with a spreader.

You can apply dry molasses, feed grade molasses (which is corn coated with dried liquid molasses), alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, worm castings, corn gluten meal, and more. One note about corn gluten meal: I found it drifted less when I applied it by spreader along with my rock powders. (More on rock powders in the linked article below).

I'm guessing you're familiar with organics since you're on this forum, but maybe you haven't had opportunity to check out the Natural Organic Library (http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/faq/). Lots of good info in the Library, including acceptable fertilizers for a 100% organic program.

Check out this article on fertilizing: http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... ion/id/71/

There are several other articles under "Organic Fertilizer".

Happy Gardening! :wink:

Author:  user_48634 [ Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Chicken feed is perfect as an organic fertilizer. The only hesitation I would have would be if it had a lot of preservatives in it. It does have some, but I would go ahead and use it if the price was better than Purina rabbit chow.

Author:  bob gilbert [ Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

One of the major complaints on organic fertilizer is cost.
Looking for alternatives to the synthetic options, I am using chicken feed that contains a high percent of protein. Protein is typically 5-6% nitrogen so my 24% protein feed contains 4.2% nitrogen.
Costing out the price per lb of nitrogen:
Synthetic 16-16-16 at $12/50lb bag is $1.50/lb nitrogen
Corn Gluten 9-0-0 at $26/40lb is $7.22/lb
Natures Guide Fall 3-0-5 at $14/40lb is $15.55/lb
Rabbit Feed 16% protein at $16/50lb is $9.33/lb
Chicken Feed 24% protein at $17/50lb is $8.50/lb

The advantage of chicken feed is it is crumbles and goes through a spreader easier.
As Howard states too much nitrogen is used by Neil and the Syn's so I apply at the same spreader setting as the old synthetic recommendations for 15-5-10. The theoretical quantity of nitrogen applied is then 4 times less.

Author:  sandih [ Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

It certainly doesn't seem to be a balanced fertilizer though and there's a lot of sodium which the soil doesn't need.

Author:  bob gilbert [ Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Hi Sandi,
You are kidding aren't you??

Did you review closely the major ingredients?
96% of the ingredients are:
Plant protein products, grain products, processed grain byproducts, animal protein products (fishmeal)
You can not get more organic or balanced than that!
Salt? lost in the first rain.

Author:  bob gilbert [ Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

January 28, 2012
Now's the time to apply organic fertilizer everywhere.
I plan to apply 20 lbs of chicken feed and 20 lbs of corn gluten meal per 1000 sq ft on everything this week.

Author:  cookieknits [ Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Bob, you do understand that all protein is not the same, and they do not break down at the same rate, or even at all under certain circumstances. I know this from dealing with animals with digestive difficulties. I am sure it also translates to soils, too.
I think that is what Sandi meant.
I will stick with corn gluten and molasses. It has the added benefit of giving my dogs something to do, licking it all up until I yell at them and make them come in. "But, Mom. The yard is full of treats!" ^-^

Author:  northwesterner [ Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Bob, as Howard says, "You're in charge of that research." Keep notes, take photos. And you might set aside a control area just to see how it compares.

Author:  bobgilbert56 [ Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Hi Cookie,
Breaking down at different rates may be a good thing for the protein, slow feeding!
Speaking of feeding the dogs, I learned I cannot use bone meal under my plants or my Golden will dig them up. I lost half my pansies this fall!

Author:  bobgilbert56 [ Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Hi Northwesterner,
Unfortunately, I have used the chicken feed on my whole yard and garden since last summer. No "control" area available unless you compare my yard to the rest of the neighborhood. I have the greenest yard on the block now.
Arguably some may say it is full of grassy weeds but I feel anything green is good. No weedkiller on my yard since we purchased it 2 years ago.
I must confess I have replaced the corn gluten with molasses because I bought a big bag with about 20 lbs remaining at a garage sale for $2.
Can I load photos on this site? I see file addition option below. Does this include photos?

Author:  northwesterner [ Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Not all of the forum pages are quite the same, but if you can see a place for loading photos (upload attachment), you can do it. Keep in mind a full-sized photo is going to be a monster on the page, so if you have software to reduce it to about 800 - 1000px wide you'll spare your page readers from needing to scroll sideways.

As an example I've uploaded a cardinal photo from last winter that I just saved to a small size for posting here.

You can also save photos to someplace like flickr or photobucket or picasa and link to it. Use the Img link at the top of the page and you can post a link for people to follow.

Attachments:
File comment: Example of a photo 800 x 526 pixels in size.
CharismaticCardinal-2b.jpg
CharismaticCardinal-2b.jpg [ 186.69 KiB | Viewed 15176 times ]

Author:  bobgilbert56 [ Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Attachment:
Patio under the Oak resized.jpg
Patio under the Oak resized.jpg [ 193 KiB | Viewed 15069 times ]

Here is the yard fed with chicken feed for 12 months.

Author:  bobgilbert56 [ Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

Here are updated June 2 pictures of my yard fertilized with chicken feed.

Attachments:
Backyard June 2 (600x450).jpg
Backyard June 2 (600x450).jpg [ 246.79 KiB | Viewed 14948 times ]
Frontyard June 2 (600x429).jpg
Frontyard June 2 (600x429).jpg [ 222.09 KiB | Viewed 14947 times ]

Author:  bobgilbert56 [ Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken Feed as Fertilizer

I have applied my second round of chicken fertilizer this week.

I also researched the chemical ingredients of chicken manure. Chicken manure is the active ingredient in Medina's Growin Green Lawn Fertilizer which sells at this site's Natural Organic Warehouse for $23.87/40lb bag or $15.00/lb of Nitrogen.
My Chicken feed was $11.50/50lb bag or $5.75/lb of Nitrogen.

Salt content in feed:
http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0244/
This site above indicated chicken manure has up to 0.25% sodium in the wet form so dried would contain even higher contents. My chicken feed is at 0.2% sodium.
Medina advertises its fertilizer is "Low salt index" without giving a value. Interesting!

One other concern expressed in this forum is the "other" ingredients in chicken feed. These are critical vitamins and minerals a chicken needs and is also needed for all living organisms including all those living in our soils. I can guarantee you when a chicken eats this feed he does not utilize 100% of these ingredients and the remaining unused are excreted in the manure that is then processed and sold at overpriced rates. Just because chicken manure based fertilizer is not legally required to list ingredients or composition does not mean it does not contain every ingredient that the chicken has consumed in the feed. Refer back to the article above to see the trace minerals present, similar to the chicken feed because that is where they are coming from.

The bottom line is why wait for the chicken to pass the feed through his body before we pay for it when we can use the feed at almost 1/3 the manure based fertilizer price??
By the way, the manure based fertilizer has to be heated to be Pasteurized so now you are adding pollution and using energy to produce this compared to chicken feed!

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