Chicken manure & what the chickens eat

Hi,

I'm pretty new here - and glad to be here. We are new to composting and are considering adding some chicken manure to heat things up. The source of the manure feeds his chickens some scratch made by Purina. I contacted Purina directly and there are GMO grains (no surprising) in the scratch.

So my question is, if the chicken eats the GMO grain, of course it's going to be in the poop.....once the poop is composted are there likely to be remnants of GMO in the compost.....that will then go into the garden....and then into our food....and then into us?

The whole point of organic gardening, other than the pleasure of doing it, is to have a source of clean food. Will using this chicken poop in the compost defeat that? We want to stay as far away from GMO as possible.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!!

Best Answer

Answers

  • crkeener
    crkeener Posts: 5 ✭✭✭

    Thanks! I thought so but I have naysayers who think I'm a little ummmm, over the top, shall we say. The chickens and their poo are not mine :-). But perhaps I can 'influence' the owner of the chickens to use a different scratch. The health of their beloved chickens, and the quality of their eggs are being compromised as well. If I had chickens of my own, I would definitely not feed them GMO food.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @crkeener I have dealt with chicken people who think the same. Very few think that GMO feed won't affect the eggs, poop, us. They won't see it as compromising anything. But, how can it not?

    Most likely, you won't be able to convince these folks otherwise. GMO makes for cheap protein, which makes for cheaper feed.

    My thoughts would be to find a producer that thinks as you do. GMO lovers don't seem to change their ways and would rather make fun of others rather than think & change.

  • crkeener
    crkeener Posts: 5 ✭✭✭

    I will look for another chicken farmer. But I was only talking about giving gentle feedback to the small farmer what we discovered about the scratch. I would never attempt to try to change Purina. I'm well aware that's impossible. Thanks

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    Trying to convince a large group of people that GMO products will not ever effect themselves, their family or even their livestock is one of the hardest principles to ever share I believe.

    After all, it is the same principle as religious faith. Convincing any edict that can not be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched is and will always be difficult. People just will not let their minds wrap around the common sense of the principle if they can not in any way see it manifesting any difference to their daily life.

    So you yourself have already taken the first and hardest step in your gardening endeavors. Yes it takes some time to research and find clean sources of "raw materials" which you can use for your garden but ultimately you are giving yourself and your family the greatest gift you can possibly ever supply them with.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @crkeener Oh, I didn't mean Purina! Haha I was just referring to the farmer themselves. It is, of course, best to approach it in a gentle manner as you said. If they have never considered looking closely at their feed, it might be good to let them know your discovery. Chances are that they will stick to whatever feed is cheapest to buy. It also depends on availability of alternatives.

    I found that soy caused issues in my birds (I had found soy meal in my chick starter...ditched that for a better choice). Soy also can make meats taste odd.

    As much as the only scratch that I have access to probably has GMO corn in it (I assume that as it isn't organic), hasn't shown up as an issue to date. My chickens are fed very little of it and only when temperatures dip into the -30°C to -45° and colder range, for the warmth. The scratch is composed of very little corn and no gmo grains otherwise. I like to see the grains in what I feed. Other than scratch, I use chili flakes for in cold weather. It is my main go-to.

    Wishing you well in finding another chicken farmer. 😊

  • crkeener
    crkeener Posts: 5 ✭✭✭

    @Laurie Thanks for your feedback. May I ask what scratch you do purchase? The 'farmer' I'm speaking of just has a small place with a few chickens, goats, and alpaca. Very small and more of a hobby, which is why we talked with them about getting the chicken poo. We thought it our best shot, with who we have current contact with, to get some clean stuff for composting. That said, I think they would be quite approachable if done in the right win/win way.

    We've been exploring alpaca poo too since learning that it's also available to us - for free - and it sounds like it's great for fertilizer, but not as much so for composting, as it does not heat up much. Some articles say that you can actually put it right in the garden. I'd prefer anyway to add it to the compost mix to enrich it, have it break down, and then put the compost into the garden soil. We are in Colorado, so while trying to keep our composting happening, we wanted the chicken poo to keep things hot. It also feels so great to have most kitchen scraps going to good use.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    It won't be a scratch available to you if you are in the US as it is not a huge brand name. I think you will have to research what is in your area. Try not only feed mills & farm supply places, but see if there is anyone somewhat local that might do custom mixes.

    Alpaca beans...like llama beans (they look like beans, lol) are such wonderful slow release fertilizer with no smell. We have had both, and you know that the grass grew great for 5 years in a spot where one escaped llama left his gifts. Llamas will protect their pile, I've heard. I don't know that alpacas have the same tendencies, but it is worth being aware of if you go disturb the pile.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @llvonn An excellent article!

    We planned to feed extra milk with grains to our birds...but sold the extra cow before we could do much. You need to use skimmed however, as cream can fatten them up & a fat hen won't lay eggs.

    I am planning to grow comfrey this year too.

    Again, an excellent article with a lot of wisdom! Thank you!

  • crkeener
    crkeener Posts: 5 ✭✭✭

    Thank you Laurie. It just so happens that in looking for chicken manure we located a good source for Alpaca manure. We researched it a bit and discovered that it about the most perfect manure fertilizer. Adds so much to the soil, while being mild enough that worry about burning is minimal if at all. We're having good luck so far. We're in Colorado, so our planting season has just begun, but what we do have coming up looks so healthy. Excited to be producing our own food and hope to have enough to share with our community as well.

    And llvonn, that you for the article. Good read! We don't have chicken's ourselves (yet) but will share with our friends who do!!

    Happy gardening everyone!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @crkeener Alpaca manure will be the same as llama "beans" as our family liked to call them. It is an amazing slow release fertilizer. We had a small pile in our yard from when our first llama got out, and that was the most healthy, greenest patch for 5 years. No burning, whatsoever.

    Supposedly, you can put a few beans in houseplant pots too, and it doesn't smell. I never tried that though.

  • Interesting. I had not given this much thought. I need to give this some thought and plan better. Thanks.