Chicken Entrails in the Garden

We have been asked to present the process we used after butchering 116 Chantecler chickens last November.  We did this in one day with the expert services of Martin Sawmilling & Poultry Processing  

We keep and eat the offal (hearts, livers, gizzards, necks & feet).  That left the entrails from 116 birds to go into a Squash Mound !  We figure a mound will work for 2 years before we need to dig it up and redo. Next year we will run a parallel mound to this year’s  and then rework back and forth.

Chicken entrails in the Garden 1

First we dug an 8-10 foot trench that was 12-18 inches deep.  Looks like Mark did all the digging as I stepped aside to take the picture!  I will gladly give him the credit, he was a big help!

Chicken entrails in the Garden 2

Two large bags of entrails were spread in the bottom of the trench. You will notice a few necks that were discarded before we requested that they be kept.  116 Chantecler chickens create a lot of entrails!

Chicken entrails in the Garden 3

Next layer is all the feathers (great nitrogen source).  They are spread over the entrails.

Chicken entrails in the Garden 4

The feathers are covered with a nice 6-8″ of composted chicken manure.

Chicken entrails in the Garden 5

The last step before covering for winter is to mound the garden soil from the trench over the composted chicken manure.

Chicken entrails in the Garden 6

The last step is to cover the mound with black plastic and weight it down. We used bricks and a board across the top.  This serves two purposes.  It keeps animals from digging it up and amplifies the heat of the sun to slow freezing and allow the trench to “cook”.

In the Spring we will remove the black plastic cover and plant squash. There is enough space around the mound to allow squash vines to ramble.

2 Responses to Chicken Entrails in the Garden

  1. Walter Jeffries February 7, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    No carbon? We compost offal and dead animals, up to 1,700 lb ones, in large piles laying down a layer of carbon such as branches, wood shavings, wood chips, mulch hay, etc. Then we put on the carcass and again cover with more carbon. Some people turn their piles a lot, I tend to leave them static. I have dug into them to check the progress. After about three months things are pretty broken down – the pile is steaming hot. In not too long there is only a grey stain. I use the pile then to start the next pile or to build weed free garden beds or fertilize the orchards and fields. I find that adding carbon layers below and above makes for better composting and nutrient recovery. Otherwise there is the chance for the pile to go anaerobic and not break down very well. The smell is distinctly bad in that case.

  2. James Trundy Verrill February 7, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Thanks Walter! We will this layer next year. Live and Learn:)

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