Are There Health Hazards With The Use of Chicken Manure for Fertilizer?

Written by thomas urbauer
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Are There Health Hazards With The Use of Chicken Manure for Fertilizer?
Chickens provide a nutrient-rich source of fertiliser. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Chicken manure, or the combination of chicken manure with bedding and feathers---known as litter---provides superior performance as a fertiliser. There were no restrictions against its use as of October 2009, despite ongoing safety concerns, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

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Types

Chicken manure is available as fresh or composted material. Composted chicken manure may pose an increased risk of crop contamination, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Covering the manure with polythene mulch or mixing it into the soil increases the risk.

Warning

Animal manure contains bacteria harmful to humans, such as E. coli and salmonella. When it is used as pond fertiliser, plants and animals in the area are contaminated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Considerations

Chicken manure offers several benefits, including high nutrient content and lower fertilisation costs. Proper use actually reduces the chances of water contamination, because the product is not concentrated in only one area where the risk of runoff is increased.

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