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Author Topic: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?  (Read 1749 times)

kernow64

  • Joined Dec 2016
  • Brecknockshire
Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« on: March 08, 2017, 09:25:32 am »
Hi,

Another daft question from a smallholding newbie.

We've recently taken on a smallholding which has been a bit neglected.

We are in the process of clearing out a polytunnel which has been used as a field shelter for alpacas with the intention of using it for horticulture - we are at 1100' in mid-Wales. The polytunnel has the more opaque cover which we understand is not ideal for growing but we will have to make do for this year at least.

The polytunnel has about a 2" deep layer of alpaca droppings (on top of rubber stable matting and plywood) which are probably at least 5 years old and very dry. The job today is to scrape it up and bag it.

Am I correct in assuming that as this is dry, it will need composting (how long?) before being used as fertiliser?

Many thanks for the (hopefully) polite replies.

Jerry

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 10:51:14 am »
Hi Jerry
I would have thought that by 5 years they would be composted? I may be wrong.
Welcome to the forum btw, it is always nice to see new faces on here :)
WBF
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 11:54:30 am »
The opaque tunnel covers are fine - most are like that now.  They seem to let through plenty of light.


For the dung it will be ok to use now, as long as it's dug well in.  If it's mixed with straw bedding, all well and good, but if the bedding was shavings and they are still visible, then I would stack it for a year or so, well moistened, until the shavings have rotted.


We use the dung and straw from our outdoor sheep shelters, Mantis-ed into the bottom of planting rows and holes.  I've never used alpaca dung  :poo:  but I can't see it would be so different.  Lucky you for having this ready supply of the brown gold  :garden:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 01:40:01 pm »
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/alpaca-manure-fertilizer.htm

It says alpaca manure doesn't need to be aged or composted. You can spread it on your plants fresh without burning them (same as rabbit or goat), because it is not high in nitrogen (unlike poultry).
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 03:04:17 pm »
........unless it has wood shavings in, in which case the wood takes nitrogen from the soil for its own decomposition.


As macgro7 says alpaca dung is low in nitrogen, then for many veg you'll need to add nitrogen in another form to the ground, to have a balanced soil.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 03:30:32 pm »
I'm not v familiar with alpaca poo but I do think if it has been sitting dry for a long time it will need to be composted with a lot of added waster before adding it to beds. We had a lot of pony poo that had been stored under cover when we took on our place and I composted for a year at which point it still wasn't fully broken down. It can take quite a lot of water to rewet.

kernow64

  • Joined Dec 2016
  • Brecknockshire
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2017, 03:36:13 pm »
Thanks for all the replies and the very helpful link.

I wasn't sure whether being dry rather than moist would have been an issue but if you can use it straight away, I'll just bag it up and put it to one side until the polytunnel is up and running.

No wood shavings or sawdust in there, just a bit of straw but mostly just pellets.

I had this down as a rainy day job but I need to crack on so although it's stayed dry despite forecast I've got about half of it in bags now, just stopped for a brew.

Thanks again all!  :thumbsup:

kernow64

  • Joined Dec 2016
  • Brecknockshire
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 08:55:15 pm »
As a postscript, I got about ten big sacks of fairly pure pellets which I will keep and use as is and a trailer load of mixed pellets and straw which I will compose.

Thanks again all!  :)

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Dessicated Alpaca Poo - Does it need Composting?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 10:19:28 am »
it's not a daft question at all ..not many folks will know that the nitrogen level of unadulterated Alpacca dung is low enough for you to use the dung direct from the source of the animals supply .  It will not " burn plants nor cause excessive greenery growth.

 Till it in & then water if needed .. you may find watering it will also help keep down red mite which thrive in hot dry conditions  .

 You ought to use a decent anti dust mask when sorting out such a dry manured area or perhaps give it a few sprays to damp every thing down to prevent you breathing in the dust .

« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 10:25:29 am by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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