Chicken hay in garden

   / Chicken hay in garden #1  

JRobyn

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Hi gang. Wife has been at least temporarily piling "used" hay from the chicken coop cleanings in the raised garden bed. All the beneficial chicken poop has been rinsed off by now. Any reason to remove the loose hay, or should we just till it in as compost?
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #2  

bunyip

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I would just till it in but give it some time to breakdown, is it hay or straw, if hay there could be seeds which will generate some grass.
The manure if used too soon can burn some plants depending how much there was.
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #3  

EddieWalker

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I would never put anything out of the chicken coop into my vegetable garden. You have no idea what seeds are in there and for what little benefit you might get from the poo, you have created a lot more work weeding.
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #4  

ustmd

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Unless the hay has been composted, it will absorb N2 from the soil as it breaks down. I would remove it.
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #5  

BoylermanCT

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Let the chicken hay compost first, and then put the compost on the garden. My coop has cement floor, and I add hay once a week. I clean the coop 2X a year after the compacted hay is 8 inches thick or so. I remove the top 2-3 inches which is uncomposted poopy hay, and underneath it is 5 inches of dirt. I get 6-7 wheelbarrow loads of the composted dirt from the coop which goes on the gardens. I get the coop back to bare concrete and add hay and start the process over again. This is almost as valuable to my farm as the eggs!
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #6  

RalphVa

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I hope it's your own hay that you haven't treated with any kind of herbicide. If bought, I hope you know whether it has been treated or not.

We've had quit a few cases to the extension office having to do with deadly mulch or compost from cows or horses having eaten from grass that has been treated with herbicide. Same for hay being used on lawns where people have seeded but nothing coming up due to herbicide having been on the hay or straw. I, myself, tried straw bale vegetable gardening and had absolutely NOTHING come up in half the bales after 2 seedings. Bought the bales from Lowes with (of course) unknown provenance.

Unless you know where it came from, I'd dump it in the trash or burn it. Even if you know where it came from, I'd compost it first.

Ralph
 
   / Chicken hay in garden
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JRobyn

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The hay originally came from a local farmer who grows/bales/sells as animal feed, so we have negligible concern about any chemicals on it. And we have seen his fields in various stages of maturation - not saying there are no weed seeds, but they would be few. And would have had to survive 6 ravenous hens who LOVE any kind of seed/bug/greenery.
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #8  

quicksandfarmer

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If his hayfields are weed free, he's using herbicide.

The one you really have to watch out for is Grazon, it is incredibly persistent. It can travel through an animal's digestive system, compost for a while, and still kill broadleaf plants. Google it.
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #9  

fishheadbob

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The hay originally came from a local farmer who grows/bales/sells as animal feed, so we have negligible concern about any chemicals on it. And we have seen his fields in various stages of maturation - not saying there are no weed seeds, but they would be few. And would have had to survive 6 ravenous hens who LOVE any kind of seed/bug/greenery.

If you don't compost the hay you will have hay (weeds) growing in your garden. No, you haven't seen many "weeds" in his hay fields but I once had a professor say that a weed is any plant growing where you don't want it. Your garden might have a lovely stand of alfalfa, timothy, or some other hay competing with your tomatoes.
 
   / Chicken hay in garden #10  

RickB

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If his hayfields are weed free, he's using herbicide.

The one you really have to watch out for is Grazon, it is incredibly persistent. It can travel through an animal's digestive system, compost for a while, and still kill broadleaf plants. Google it.

You’re pretty talented. You know more about a Tennessee hay field than the guy next door. Here’s a tip; a well managed hay field can be weed free without herbicides.
 
 
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