Alpaca Poo Manure Fertiliser
Alpaca Shop at Hensting Alpacas
Alpaca Poo – Nuggets of Black Gold
One of the amazing by-products of keeping alpacas is their poo. We can judge the health of our alpacas by the poo they pass, what we are hoping to see is little black nuggets.
We must collect the poo from the fields on a regular basis, for several reasons; it keeps the paddocks clean, by removing the unsightly middens, therefore making more grazing available. More importantly it helps to reduce the spreading of parasites to the herd. Fortunately, alpacas have communal latrines, meaning they will all use one area for ‘doing their business’, making it easier for us to clear up.
Alpaca manure is an excellent fertiliser for both indoor and outdoor plants and can be used at any time of year. Use of the fertiliser can contribute to the development of strong stems, leaves flowers in virtually any plants.
Alpaca manure is lower in organic matter than other farmyard animals (cows, sheep, goats, horses etc.), but is high in Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous as well as other micro-nutrients. The efficiency of the alpaca’s complex digestive system gives a high level of decomposition to the organic matter. There is no need to rot the manure before use giving an added advantage over other types of farm animal manure. It can be collected from the field and applied straight to the garden.
Alpaca manure has been found to have the highest levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium of any natural fertiliser and is almost completely odourless. It also has the amazing benefit of not containing any weed seeds, so unlike many farmyard manures, there will not be any unexpected plants germinating after applying the manure.
Fresh manure can be spread directly onto the garden and either dug in, watered in or left for the rain to do the work. Alternatively, it can be used to make liquid feed, often referred to as a ‘tea’. Simply mix approx. one cup of manure to two cups of water and allow to stand for at least 24 hours. The liquid can then be used to water the plants. This can be useful for giving seedlings a head start. (warning…. This will be smelly!).
We began by bagging and selling fresh manure, then thanks to the creative skills of our dear Friend Jo, we are now able to offer two more options. Jo developed a method of drying and shredding hand-picked poo and preparing a liquid (tea) feed.
Sadly, Jo lost a long battle with cancer in August 2019. We are delighted to be able to continue processing poo in her memory.
Alpaca Manure Compost.
Although it is not necessary to compost alpaca manure before use, this can offer additional benefits too. Simply add alpaca manure to your compost heap, mixing it in well with other organic materials. The best compost piles are created by layering alternately greens; kitchen vegetable scraps, fruit peelings and eggshells, and browns; woody material, such as small garden debris, hedge cuttings and leaves along with the alpaca manure. This should be turned occasionally and kept moist but not wet.
Composting can take anything from a few weeks to a year. The addition of composting worms to the pile will speed the process, while adding their own nutritional benefit. Composting worms, often referred to as red or tiger worms, can be purchased. However, an open compost pile will naturally attract them.
Once complete the compost will be dark brown to black in colour and will have a pleasant earthy odour. The compost can then be added to the soil to help promote healthy plant growth and increased crop yields.
Whichever method you choose for using alpaca manure, applying fresh directly to the garden, dried, liquid or composted, your plants will benefit. Additionally, it has been suggested that, although nearly odourless, alpaca manure may also deter deer as they find the smell unpleasant.
For further information visit Alpaca Manure Compost - How Do I Use Alpaca Manure As Fertilizer
Fertiliser Instructions HERE