“Composted” chicken litter is not compost or a fertilizer. It is a toxic waste product from a horrible industrial process known as commercial chicken houses. The small and poisons create ill feelings with neighbors and it pollutes the land and water, besides the air. The only place it should be spread is on the heads of those who profit from the broiler industry, but they live in other countries.
We’ve been making compost for the 2011 crop. The ground is still a little cold for planting most vegetables, so we are holding back. There will be plenty of time for gardening.
Setting the bucket perfectly level, I inch forward into a spot where cows have fed. Lifting it up, I break the hay apart. Once it’s down to ground level, I start to make the pile.
Usually there is some compost left over from last year. This is full of microbes that will help break down the new pile. I try to get black humus interspersed throughout the fresh manure and hay.
Fluffing it up with a front-end loader is not easy. It is packed in tightly from the cows. But as I work the hay feeding spot the pile soon forms. I want plenty of air so the microbes can breathe.
Antibiotics, and the other medications, in the feed for commercial chicken houses kill the beneficial microbes. What’s left are the bad ones. You can tell by the odor. Evacuate your homes if this toxic waste is spread nearby, especially if you have children. It has long term detrimental health effects on lungs, and often causes headaches and nausea right away.
I make our piles about five feet tall, ten feet wide out the base, and as long as need be. Sprinkling soil in helps it to decompose properly. A slight indentation at the top allows rainwater to soak in, which is important for the microbes.
The pile will have a slight ammonia smell for a day or two , which an be avoided by a covering of leaf mold or rotten wood chips, which soak up the excess nitrogen. We don’t spread it on the fields until a full year, or more, has passed. By then it smells like rich, woodsy soil.
I was offered a manure pile, but I smelled something toxic. This time it was herbicides. I can hardly believe it is still legal in our country to spray herbicides, which contain some of the most deadly, cancer causing chemicals ever invented. Do not believe that herbicides are safe, they really hurt you and the land. I could not use this manure, it was poisoned by the herbicides, which are more chemical waste products.
Compost heals the earth. It needs to come from a healthy farm. Please be careful with toxic substances, they affect you, your health and your neighbor.