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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › running chickens in old potato patch

running chickens in old potato patch

alder
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 57
hi all, wondering if any of you can see a potential problem with this: we have 9 roosters who are soon due for the stew pot. i plan to keep them in a tractor for about a week before butchering to fatten them just a tad. i just dug my potatoes today and the plot is literally squirming with all kinds of insects (and slug eggs! gah). i was thinking it would be great to run them through there to get some extra protein, hopefully munch some slugs, and manure the patch because i plan to plant my garlic there in late october.

my question: do you think the manure will be sufficiently broken down by late oct so as not to cause trouble w/ the garlic? the birds will probably be on the patch for a max of 2 days, so it wouldn't be a huge buildup. i'm new to chickens as of this summer and really don't know how their manure affects things.

any other reason why this might not be such a good idea?

thanks,
katie
Beth
BethRich
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Post #: 15
Hi Katie-

I compost all of my manure from my chicken coop, but have let my hens run in the garden, dug in their manure and then planted garlic with great results -actually, I had the best garlic season ever this year and I credit it to the girls' manure. By the time the garlic sprouts in early spring, the manure will be fine - I have always found that the fresh manure hurts the green plants, but had no problem with garlic and shallots cloves. This is just anecdotal info, by the way- i am no expert...!

Beth
alder
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 60
hi beth, thanks for your feedback, i appreciate it.

i imagined the garlic sprouts would be fine in spring, but wasn't sure if the cloves could get "burnt" so to speak. but it makes sense that new green growth would be more affected than the cloves.

how exciting to see your garlic improve after the hens contributed!

katie
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