I had heard that chicken poop can be used as manure in compost. I was curious to know more about this and whether any bird poop could be beneficial for plants. I’ve written all my research about bird poop and plants in the post below.
Bird poop is good for plants as it’s a great source of material for compost and makes for excellent natural fertilizer. But you do need to use it correctly and you need to be careful which birds are the source for the poop.
In this article, we will discuss how beneficial bird poop is to plants and how to use it. So keep reading to learn about this natural fertilizer and its benefits for your own plants.
Is Bird Poop Good for Plants?
Bird poop is a natural fertilizer that has been used for decades, both intentionally and unintentionally. Manure has been around for centuries as a natural fertilizer from many different animals, and birds are not exempt.
Each animal’s dung has its benefits and advantages, including excrement from birds. Farmers realized how valuable bird poop was for agriculture when harvests began to flourish increasingly well after using it for their crops.
Bird poop from seabirds, also known as guano, was prevalent in the 19th century as an agricultural fertilizer. The history of bird poop as fertilizer is a lucrative one, causing ships to sail around the world in treacherous weather to provide mined guano for farmers in the United States.
The differences between types of birds will affect the excrement. The average parking lot pigeon droppings will not be as successful in your garden like composted chicken waste will be. It is important to note that you should not start collecting bird droppings and throw them into your garden, hoping it acts as an effective fertilizer.
Which Bird Poop Works Best For Plants?
When exploring the option to utilize bird poop in your garden as fertilizer, using domesticated bird manure is best. Bird excrement is full of healthy nutrients and phosphorus, and when used properly, help the soil hold moisture naturally.
If you already have pet birds or raise different types of foul for breeding or meat purposes, using their droppings can benefit your home garden as well. By utilizing their waste, you are not only cutting down on the carbon footprint of the birds but also providing much-needed essential nutrients for your plants.
The chemical makeup of domesticated bird poop, such as chickens, is very beneficial for fruit growth and flowering plant development. This advantage is from the high concentration of phosphorus more than any other animal manures, like horses or cows.
This short video gives you an idea of how to use fresh chicken manure for creating organic garden fertilizer. If you have access to domestic chickens, you can also make this highly beneficial natural fertilizer for your plants:
How to Use Bird Poop As Fertilizer
There are steps to ensure that the bird poop does not damage your vegetation. Bird droppings can be quite acidic and need a cooling down period before you add them to your soil. If added too early, this fertilizer can burn your plant stems and roots, creating damage rather than helping your vegetation.
You can include different species of bird droppings in your compost, and eventually in your garden soil to act as a fertilizer. An essential factor in using bird poop for fertilizer is letting it break down first, to lower the acidity and nitrogen levels. This process should be in a compost bin, along with the bedding used for the birds, and other compost materials.
If you are new to composting, add the bird poop to your bin at a rate of 1:4, where one part is bird excrement and four parts other compostable products. Ensure that you mix the compost well to aid the breakdown process. You must always use gloves when handling bird manure and a mask if there is any risk of inhalation.
When composting bird manure to prepare for your garden or yard vegetation, keep an eye on the moisture level. The compost mixture should be damp, but not wet. If the compost mixture is too dry, it will need a longer time to break down. If your compost is too saturated, you could risk a smelly bin and attract pests or other undesirables, like mold or fungus.
Which Bird Poop Is Not Good For Plants?
There are clear distinctions between domesticated and wild birds when it comes to using droppings as fertilizer. The variances that are included in the excrement when examining wild birds with their domesticated counterparts is evident. By understanding which bird poop is bad for your plants, you can keep your vegetation healthy and happy.
Feral bird poop, from wild pigeons, for example, can be quite acidic if coming into contact with trees or shrubs directly. This acidity has disastrous effects, including lowering the pH level of the soil the plant is living in. While some trees, like Cypress and Maple, can withstand acidic soil, other plants prefer soil that is more alkaline and will suffer if faced with an abundance of bird droppings.
Wild bird droppings can carry a host of bacteria and other undesirable fungi items that you do not want for your health or your garden soil. Three of these health-related issues include:
- Histoplasmosis: This disease is carried by the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus and causes flu-like symptoms, which could cause pneumonia and death.
- Cryptococcosis: This disease is an infection of the lungs that can spread to the skin and central nervous system, originating from the Cryptococcus neoformans fungus in pigeon droppings.
- Candidiasis: Known for being spread through pigeons, this causes an overgrowth of yeast or fungus in individuals. Candidiasis is highly contagious. It can affect many areas, including the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines, and the urogenital tract.
Handling animal manure should be treated with caution any time, regardless if it is from domesticated or wild birds. Even though bird poop can be very beneficial for your garden, a great deal of care is still needed when handling any excrement.
Precautions When Using Bird Poop
Even though some bird poop is quite helpful to plant growth, there needs to be some regulation in place to avoid causing more damage than benefits.
If you dump a large amount of bird manure into your garden or around your yard vegetation, you will quickly see how harmful it will be. The high amounts of acidity will burn tender stems and roots of young plants or foliage and can carry unsafe pathogens, like Salmonella and E.coli.
Do not handle bird manure without gloves or some form of personal protection equipment. If there is a risk of airborne mold spores, do not disturb any amount of bird poop without a face mask to protect yourself from inhaling these potentially dangerous microorganisms.
So bird poop is good for your plants as long as use it from domestic birds. You need to compost the manure before you can use it in the garden.
You can use bird poop to provide nutrition to your many garden vegetables and foliage around your yard. If you raise domestic birds, you should explore the option of using the discarded manure for your benefit. Just because it is called waste, does not mean it should go to waste.
Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.
Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.
Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.
Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.
Trowel – Garden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers
Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.
To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.
Kevin is the founder of Gardening Mentor, a website that aims to teach people to grow their own food in a limited space. As a self-taught gardener, Kevin has spent several years growing plants and creating gardening content on the website. He is certified in Home Horticulture and Organic Gardening by expert gardeners from Oregon State University.