Where can I get chicken manure in large quantities?
We need to fertilize our vegetable gardens/hay fields. Is there a source for getting chicken manure in large quantities, delivered to Freeport? Are there any restrictions for having large quantities of manure stockpiled? We are thinking that the only way to get it is in big loads! Also, are there any sources that also will spread it on fields?
Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties
For your vegetable gardens, I recommend a composted manure, particularly if you are applying it this spring. Bulletin #2510, Guidelines for Using Manure on Vegetable Gardens outlines best practices for using composted manure in food gardens. Some farms offer this and you can also get it through local garden centers.
For your hay fields, fresh manure is allowed. Stockpiling (or stacking) is regulated, so if you expect to have more delivered than you can apply, you will need to meet some requirements to prevent runoff. Additionally, it is important to know the regulations for spreading fresh manure in order to protect water quality. They include setbacks that are: 25 feet from intermittent and perennial streams and rivers; 100 feet from lakes, ponds, and marine water bodies; 100 feet from private wells and springs; 300 feet from public wells; 35 feet from diversions, drainage ditches, gullies, non-vegetated swales and ravines; and 25 feet from property lines. I recommend reading more about manure utilization guidelines (PDF) for application and stacking before making any arrangements to have manure spread and/or stored on your property. Your local Soil and Water Conservation District is a great place to start to be sure you are meeting the regulations on your property.
Once you have made sure your plan meets soil and water quality standards, you’ll be ready to locate a supplier. Your best bet is to reach out directly to local farms. Extension does not maintain a list of farms who offer raw manure spreading or delivery, but the closer to your location, the more economical it will likely be.