Chicken Manure – Why Use It?

Q: In my county farmers put chicken manure on their pastures. Why do they do this? It really smells!

A: Farmers put chicken litter on pastures instead of having to buy and apply commercial fertilizer. Chicken litter is a good source of plant nutrients when managed properly. If you feel that the smell is a nuisance you can contact your county commissioners for a review of county regulations regarding litter application. Farmers don’t want to be bad neighbors, but they do want to save money by using litter. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate litter odors somewhat. I have two publications that go into detail about poultry litter management at

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