Chicken Manure And Lawns, A Good Idea?

Chicken manure is one of the best natural fertilizers there is. Derived from actual chicken poop, it’s a sustainable way to fertilize your lawn or garden without the use of a synthetic fertilizer. All in all, it’s a more natural way to fertilizer with positive NPK measurements that are beneficial to both immediate plant growth and improvement of overall soil health.

Chicken manure, in it’s pure, pelleted form can be OMRI listed (our bulk chicken manure pellets are) and approved for organic use. While we do not sell anything less than 25 tons at a time, the chicken manure we’ve linked below is very close to the same stuff. We’re talking about animal waste, after all. While not all manure is the same, the two sources of chicken manure we’ve linked below are nearly identical to the chicken manure pellets we sell. Which, having used them ourselves, we can say with confidence that it’s an excellent lawn fertilizer.

Chicken manure is one of the best natural fertilizers there is for grass and lawns. It provides benefits right away, as well as down the road with things such as a 2nd year credit and other beneficial inputs for better soil health and growing conditions.

Is using chicken manure for lawns a good idea? 

We get this question all the time. Each year, we sell thousands of tons of chicken manure fertilizer. We work with large organic farms all over the United States and Canada, and believe it or not, we’re not actually equipped to sell small bags of chicken manure pellets. So, we figured rather than taking phone calls on the topic, we’d answer it here on our blog.

Chicken manure for lawn fertilization is an excellent way to feed your lawn naturally. Chicken manure, when applied in the correct amounts, will not burn your lawn and it will fertilize it for up to two years.

So, can you use chicken manure for lawn fertilizer?

Absolutely. Other than the fact that your lawn may stink a bit (yes, even if you use pellets), chicken manure is one of the best organic fertilizers in the world. I’ve personally used it on my lawn, we have a Cokato lawn care company here locally that uses the product with a few of their customers, it’s a tremendous source of nitrogen and micronutrients that your lawn will love.

Will you guys sell me manure for my lawn?

We wrote this guide on how to use chicken manure for your lawn as a tool for the folks that do not want to buy bulk chicken manure. We only sell chicken manure in 25 ton truck loads, so for most folks who aren’t a farmer, it’s way to much. We wrote this guide and tested the products we’re recommending to try saving us both a little time.

Take a look at our DIY Lawn Fertilizing guide using chicken or poultry manure below!

How to fertilize your lawn with chicken manure

The first step is getting your hands on some of the product. We sell pelleted chicken manure ourselves, so naturally, we think that’s the best stuff. That being said, you can use raw chicken manure. I wouldn’t, just because it’s going to be a mess, but it can be done.

  1. Obtain chicken manure (preferably pellets or crushed manure, it’s easier to spread)
  2. Select your spreader, a push type is best to control rates
  3. Spread manure
  4. Water

Step 1: Obtain chicken manure for your lawn

Crop Fertility Services only sells pelleted chicken manure by the semi load. This article is written to help those customers who do not need 25 tons or more of manure, but rather a small quantity for lawn fertilization. Some brands advertise their chicken manure pellets as dehydrated manure pellets. Be sure to check the analysis of your chicken manure first, it should measure somewhere around a 5-3-2 NPK (NPK explained in this guide) or a 4-3-2 NPK. This can vary depending on the type of chicken your manure is coming, what form it is in, or how wet it was when it was collected.

Quick note on that, any poultry manure in a pelleted form is dehydrated. As part of the drying process prior to being run through a pellet mill, the manure is dried to a certain percentage to ensure it remains in a pellet form until it’s spread.

Manure Pellet Option A – Good Goods

The Good Goods manure pellet is nearly identical to the manure pellets we sell, at a similar analysis. With chicken manure, having nothing additional added to the pellet the analysis will almost always be a 4-3-2. It can vary as high as a 5-4-2, but rarely will it exceed these numbers simply by pelletizing raw manure.

Good Goods sells a 5 lb bag and a 15 lb bag, both available on Amazon.

Manure Pellet Option B – Fancy Chicken

These chicken manure pellets are OMRI listed and may even be our own (we sell to a number of suppliers who bag our product and re-sell it). These pellets are listed as a 4-2.5-2 analysis. They come in a 15 lb bag and it’s available on Amazon.

Manure Pellet Option C – Flosage Pellets

These are the most expensive product on Amazon in the manure pellets category. I wouldn’t recommend them, especially when you can buy Fancy Chicken, Good Goods, or even Espoma for cheaper.

Why didn’t we recommend Espoma Chicken Manure?

Depending on what you’re buying, Espoma chicken manure isn’t actually a chicken manure pellet. While it’s derived from the same thing, they actually sell more of a crumbled product than a pelleted product. It will work just the same, it just doesn’t handle as easily as pellets do.

Step 2: Select your spreader for spreading chicken manure on your lawn

Any push type spreader available at your local home improvement store will work. When I’ve done this on my own lawn, I’ve used a Scott’s brand spreader. They’re cheap, they allow you to adjust the rate you’ll be spreading at and they get the job done. Multiple uses, for spreading in the garden as well.

One tip on using a push type spreader, get one with wheels. A hand spreader is more challenging due to the weight of the product, it’ll get on your clothes, etc. Not worth it, spend the extra couple bucks and just buy the spreader with wheels. You can use it for over-seeding your lawn later on down the road.

Step 3: spread the chicken manure on your lawn

For our organic farming customers, we typically spread anywhere from 2-4 tons of chicken manure per acre. For a lawn, we recommend spreading the equivalent of 1-2 tons per acre, but feel free to go a little heavy. In comparison, if you buy any of the weed and feed non organic options at Home Depot / Lowe’s you’re probably looking at an analysis much higher. Grass is one of the toughest plants there is, it can take quite a bit of fertilizer.

Scott’s Lawn Fertilizer carries an analysis of 32-0-4. It packs a punch. Remember, though, if you use something like this you’re putting pure chemical on your lawn. For folks with kids or dogs who want a natural lawn fertilization option, chicken manure is as natural as it gets.

If you’re one of those folks who needs to get scientific, the size of 1 acre is 43,560 square feet. 2 tons per acre is 4,000 lbs every 43,560 square feet.

The very first time I used chicken manure on my lawn, I spread a rate of around 4,000 lbs per acre. Of course, that’s excessive. For your average lawn in a city, 2-4 bags will likely suffice. If you have extra in your spreader afterwards, save it or spread it in the other direction. It’s unlikely that your lawn will burn. If it does burn, grass is highly resilient and it should end up coming back quickly. Start small, go up from there.

Step 4: water your lawn

This is an optional step, as chicken manure will start to break down naturally with or without watering. With that being said, the best time to water your lawn is right after spreading. This will help the manure start to break down, especially if it’s in pellet form. Chicken manure will not release all at once, so the quicker you can start the process the better.

How to make chicken manure more effective as lawn fertilizer

Fertilizing your lawn with chicken manure is a longer term strategy to improving your overall soil health. If you’re conscious about what you’re spreading on your lawn currently and do not want to add more chemicals than we already have to the ground, it’s an excellent option. Not only is it better for the soil, chicken manure provides a ton of extra micronutrients that improve soil biology, giving your grass extra nutrient credits in year two.

Take it from the folks who work with this stuff every day, there are a few things you can do to make your chicken manure lawn fertilizing more effective. 

  1. Spread it in the spring or fall and aerate your lawn afterward.
  2. Water prior to spreading manure so that the breakdown happens immediately.

For the organic farmers that use our manure pellets on acres of ground, we always try to find some way to incorporate the manure before it begins to leach. Leaching happens when soil temperatures rise to a certain degree and the manure isn’t releasing fast enough. In farming, this is a huge deal. In the world of lawn and landscape, it’s not such a big deal. You’re giving your lawn the food it needs and probably haven’t done a ton of it in the past, anything is better than nothing.

By aerating your lawn after spreading the manure, you’re incorporating the chicken manure into the soil as best as possible without tearing the entire lawn up. It’s worth noting, however, that this is not a required step. I use chicken manure as grass fertilizer several times a year and do not always aerate.

FAQs about using chicken manure to fertilize lawns

Will raw chicken manure burn my lawn?

Raw chicken manure can burn your lawn, but unless you pile it several inches thick, your grass will bounce back within a week. To burn your lawn, you’d have to spread at a rate of greater than 4 tons to the acre.

Chicken manure doesn’t burn your lawn like it can burn crops. Ever see a chicken tractor? Basically, a house full of chickens that’s portable. Getting to my point, these chickens are in a confined area on a section of your lawn for a day or two. By the time they move, the grass is scorched down to the ground. Within a week, it bounces back. Every time.

For the naysayers out there saying you can’t use chicken manure on your lawn.. you’re incorrect. You can. It’s a great product for a lawn.

Does chicken manure kill grass?

If you apply the chicken manure in the correct amounts, you won’t kill your grass or burn it. In fact, your grass will thank you! Expect to see a darker green lawn, thicker grass, and overall healthier growing surface. Having used this stuff in the spring and fall for years on my own lawn, I can tell you that it’s one of the quickest to turn green in the spring and gets much thicker faster than any of the neighbors.



Get A No Hassle Quote

Get a quick, no-hassle quote on anything delivered to your farm. We pride ourselves on an unmatched level of service from start to finish and deliver anywhere in the United States. Try us, I dare you.

Get a Quote

The Minimum Pellet order is 25 Tons (one semi-load) – Fill this out, we’ll be in touch!