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Will Chickens Eat Fertilizer? Secrets Uncovered.

Chickens are fascinating creatures that can eat a variety of food, but have you ever wondered if will chickens eat fertilizer?

In this article, I will explore the topic and uncover the secrets behind chickens and fertilizers.

If you want to learn more you can read my longer article about How Much Does Chickens Eat – A Comprehensive Guide

Will Chickens Eat Fertilizer?

will chickens eat fertilizer

Chickens can eat fertilizer, but it's important to understand the impact it may have on their health. While chickens are omnivores and will eat vegetable scraps and protein sources, feeding them fertilizer should be approached with caution.

Fertilizers can contain chemicals and additives that may be harmful to chickens. It’s best to avoid feeding chickens synthetic fertilizers and instead focus on organic options that are safe for consumption.

Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet for chickens, including quality chicken feed, is crucial for their health and egg production.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chickens can eat fertilizer, but it may have negative effects on their health.
  • Synthetic fertilizers should be avoided in favor of organic options that are safe for consumption.
  • A balanced diet, including quality chicken feed, is essential for chickens’ overall well-being.
  • Feeding chickens organic fertilizers and following proper composting practices ensures the safety and effectiveness of the fertilizer.
  • Providing chickens with a secure shelter, avoiding overcrowding, and promoting good hygiene are important considerations when keeping them in the garden.

The Benefits of Chickens in the Garden

Chickens can be a valuable asset in any garden, providing a range of benefits that can enhance the overall health and productivity of your plants.

Here are some key advantages of having chickens in the garden:

  1. Natural soil preparation: Chickens have a natural instinct to scratch and peck at the ground, which can help to aerate the soil and break up compacted areas. This activity helps to improve the soil structure, making it easier for plants to take root and access nutrients.
  2. Nutrient-rich fertilizer: Chicken manure, when properly composted, is a fantastic source of organic fertilizer for your garden. It is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are essential nutrients for plant growth. Just remember that fresh chicken manure can be too strong for plants and should be composted for several months before use.
  3. Pest control: Chickens are excellent natural pest controllers. They love to eat insects, grubs, slugs, and snails, helping to keep the population of these pests under control. By allowing chickens to forage in your garden, you can reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

While chickens can provide these benefits, it is important to be cautious about the type of fertilizer they consume.

Some fertilizers contain chemicals and additives that may be harmful to chickens, so it is best to use organic options that are safe for both your chickens and your plants.

Overall, the presence of chickens in your garden can create a symbiotic relationship between plants and animals, promoting a healthier and more sustainable environment.

chickens in the garden

Table: Comparing Different Fertilizers for Chickens

Fertilizer TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Organic compost– Provides essential nutrients
– Improves soil structure
– Requires time to compost
– Odor if not properly managed
Commercial chicken manure pellets– Convenient to use
– High nutrient content
– May contain synthetic additives
– Expensive
Worm castings– Rich in beneficial microorganisms
– Boosts soil fertility
– Can be expensive to purchase
– Requires time to produce
Seaweed extract– Provides trace minerals
– Stimulates plant growth
– Limited nutrient content
– Expensive for large areas

When choosing a fertilizer for your chickens, consider factors such as nutrient content, cost, availability, and any potential risks to their health.

Always follow proper composting and application practices to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the fertilizer.

What Not to Feed Chickens

When it comes to feeding chickens, it’s important to be aware of what foods can be harmful to their health.

While chickens are known for their ability to consume a wide variety of food, there are certain items that should be avoided to ensure their well-being.

Avocadoes, chocolate, citrus peelings, green potato skins, dry beans, junk food, and moldy or rotten food should not be fed to chickens.

These items can contain toxins or harmful substances that can have detrimental effects on their health.

feeding chickens organic fertilizer

To provide a balanced diet for chickens, it is essential to focus on nutritious chicken feed and organic options when it comes to fertilizers.

Opting for organic fertilizers ensures that chickens are not exposed to harmful chemicals that can be present in synthetic fertilizers.

Additionally, it is important to avoid feeding chickens high salt content items, as they can lead to deformities in eggshells over time.

Table: Foods to Avoid Feeding Chickens

Foods to Avoid
Citrus peelings
Green potato skins
Dry beans
Junk food
Moldy or rotten food

By being mindful of what you feed your chickens and providing them with a safe and nutritious diet, you can help ensure their overall health and well-being.

Protecting Garden Plants from Chickens

Chickens can be a great addition to the garden, but their scratching and pecking behavior can sometimes cause damage to plants.

To protect your garden plants from chickens, there are several effective methods you can use.

Using Cloches

Cloches, which are wire cages placed over plants, can help protect them from chickens as well as other pests.

The wire mesh allows sunlight and rain to reach the plants while preventing chickens from accessing them. Cloches can be easily moved around the garden as needed.

Creating Physical Barriers

Another option is to place rocks or large stones around the base of plants. This creates a physical barrier that deters chickens from scratching and damaging the roots.

Alternatively, you can use branches or twigs to create a barrier around plants. This not only protects the plants but also adds a natural aesthetic to the garden.

Using Protective Covers

Protective covers, such as flats or trays, can be used to cover freshly sown seeds. This prevents chickens from pecking at the seeds and disturbing their germination.

Additionally, laying wire fencing on the soil can protect germinating seeds and young plants from chicken damage.

Implementing Fences

In cases where chickens have unrestricted access to the garden, implementing physical fences can be an effective solution.

Fences can be made from materials such as chicken wire or wood and should be tall enough to prevent chickens from jumping over.

ClochesWire cages placed over plants to protect them from chickens and other pests.
Physical BarriersPlacing rocks, stones, or branches around plants to deter chickens from scratching and damaging the roots.
Protective CoversUsing flats or trays to cover freshly sown seeds and laying wire fencing on the soil to protect germinating seeds and young plants from chicken damage.
FencesCreating physical barriers around the garden area using chicken wire or wood to prevent chickens from accessing the plants.

By implementing these protective measures, you can enjoy the benefits of having chickens in your garden while ensuring your precious plants are well-protected.

Just remember to choose the method or combination of methods that works best for your specific garden layout and chicken setup.

Tips for Keeping Chickens in the Garden

When it comes to keeping chickens in the garden, there are several important factors to consider to ensure their safety and well-being.

Creating a secure shelter is essential to protect chickens from predators and provide them with a comfortable living environment.

Additionally, proper space allocation is crucial to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to aggression and health issues among chickens.

Designating an area with dirt for dust baths is also important, as it helps chickens maintain good hygiene and prevents parasite infestations.

Providing a varied and nutritious diet is essential for the overall health of chickens. This includes offering a mix of kitchen scraps, chicken feed, seeds, grains, and leafy greens.

However, it is important to be cautious when it comes to using fertilizers in the garden, as some can be harmful to chickens if ingested.

Fertilizer TypeSafe for Chickens
Scotts Turf BuilderNo

As shown in the table above, it is important to research and choose fertilizers that are safe for chickens. Scotts Turf Builder and urea should be avoided, as they are not safe for chickens to consume.

However, Milorganite is a safe option that can be used in the garden without posing any harm to chickens.

In conclusion, keeping chickens in the garden can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration.

By providing a secure shelter, allocating sufficient space, and offering a varied diet, you can ensure the well-being of your chickens.

Additionally, selecting safe fertilizers like Milorganite will help keep your chickens healthy and thriving in the garden environment.

chickens in the garden

Related Articles


Will chickens eat fertilizer? After exploring the topic of chickens and fertilizer, it is clear that while chickens can eat fertilizer, it is important to be cautious about the type they consume.

Feeding chickens synthetic fertilizers can be harmful to their health, so it is best to opt for organic options that are safe for consumption.

Providing chickens with a balanced diet that includes nutritious chicken feed is also essential for their well-being and egg production.

Incorporating chickens in the garden can bring many benefits, such as soil preparation, pest control, and natural fertilization.

However, it is crucial to be mindful of the fertilizers used and follow proper composting practices to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the fertilizer.

By using organic fertilizers that are safe for chickens and implementing protective measures like cloches, rocks, and fences, garden plants can be safeguarded from potential chicken damage.

In conclusion, by considering the type of fertilizer chickens consume and providing them with a balanced diet, we can successfully incorporate chickens into the garden and harness the advantages they bring.

With careful attention to their well-being and the use of organic fertilizers, feeding chickens fertilizer can be a safe and beneficial practice for both the chickens and the garden.