Pigeon guano as a fertilizer?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Darren in TN, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    Hi, everybody.

    I've been chasing pigeons out of my barn ever since we moved to our farm, but I'm beginning to think I should leave them alone. They have produced a huge pile of guano (i.e., poo) that'll probably end up measuring about half a cubic yard, maybe more. Has anyone used guano (bird or bat) for fertilizer before, and are there any problems with doing so? I can't think of anything-- folks used to mine the caves in our area (corner or TN/AL/GA) for guano for use in fertilizers and explosives.

    Thanks,
    Darren
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Pigeon guano indeed is good fertilizer. In fact, its use pre-dates written history. In the Middle East, where many of our vegetables have their origins, pigeons were called gleaner birds. Elaborate and huge dovecotes were built for the pigeons to live in and deposit their droppings. Since they very rarely pass their droppings in flight, everything is brought back to be deposited where they roost. Pigeon guano is especially good for any green vegetable such as chard and spinach. Our lofts are in two different locations and although my son now manages both flocks, an agreement between us is that the droppings from my lofts remain for use in my gardens.

    Martin
     

  3. RANDEL

    RANDEL Well-Known Member

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    darren, count your blessings! i wish i had some of that guano.

    i wouldnt use it directly on my garden. if i did id use it very sparingly. but itd be better to layer it with maybe ten times its volume in a dry fibrous hay or straw and compost it. (you'd want to thoroughly moisten the pile of course) sure does a garden good.
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Guano = bat poo :)

    Why do bats have a special word for their poo?

    Only other creature I can think of like that would be dragons. Their poo is fewmets.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Rose, it may surprise you to learn that bat manure is NOT guano! That word is one of few that has been incorporated into our language directly from the Incas in South America. Incas were using seabird guano for many centuries before Europeans even knew that it existed. The word later spread to include all manure accumulations of roosting birds as well as bat droppings. Therefore, if you see something mentioned as simply "guano", it is from birds. If it is from bats, it must be called "bat guano".

    Pigeon guano does not have to be used sparingly despite its high nitrogen content. There is little free urea in their manure as would be with chicken or turkey manure. The nitrogen is slower to be released than other poultry manures.

    Check out this site for analysis of various manures:

    http://www.garden-services.com/fertanal.html

    Martin
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A NOTE OF CAUTION:
    Exposure to Pigeon guano can cause human illness. It's especially dangerous if you stir it up and breathe it. Protect yourself. Wear rubber gloves and cover your mucus membranes - eyes, nose, and mouth. Use a respirator and goggles or a face mask. I have a list of some 60 diseases caused by or related to breathing pigeon guano, including legionaires disease, pulmonary thrombosis, et al. gobug
     
  7. Uncle P

    Uncle P Guest

    I have a couple hundred guineas, that roost indoors. Their droppings are much dryer than chicken's. I've never seen a mention of using this anywhere. I use it mostly as side dressing or in preparing new beds.....Any comments ?? Thanks....Uncle P
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Guinea manure would be closer to turkey manure for analysis. It's also great for fertilizer.

    As for fear of working with pigeon manure, any respiratory ailment that may be picked up from pigeon manure can also be present in any poultry manure. The most common fear is histoplasmosis and incidence in humans is rare. Precautions should be taken when working with ANY poultry manure in unventilated spaces.

    http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/histopla.html

    Martin
     
  9. superduperchickenman

    superduperchickenman Well-Known Member

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    we eat the eggs and squabs, don't chase away a free source of protien! :)