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Is poultry litter a good fertilizer or a good soil amendment?

 As poultry industry getting too much commercial and every person making business on it thinking to get great returns in less time with minimal loss. Hence some of them are going in a route which is harmful to environment. let us look is the poultry manure purchased from a commercial poultry farmer.

This waste is possibly significant for land application as a natural compost due to its moderately high supplement content particularly nitrogen(ammonia), owing to characteristically elevated levels of protein and amino acids . Chicken litter is a aggregate of fowl feces, feathers, bedding substances and split feeds, medicines, and water and so forth. 

Is also contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms which includes micro organism, fungi, viruses and parasitic protozoa, and helminthes; antibiotics and pathogenic microbes with antibiotic-resistant genes; heavy metals; increase and intercourse hormones together with estrogen, mainly 17 beta estradiol, and testosterone; and insecticides which include dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Antibiotics in fowl litter:
The presence of antibiotics, in particular those who kill pathogens in fowl litter and are huge spectrum, may distort foremost biological techniques in soil upon utility of the litter, which include improvement of antibiotic resistance, that can affect humans, livestock, fish, and flora and fauna .
Some antibiotics which include chlortetracycline are adsorbed onto vegetable plants (green onion and cabbage) and corn in stages increasing with soil contamination .
Upon land utility of antibiotics-loaded chicken clutter, a number of the antibiotics are leached via the soil to groundwater and adjacent water sources, thereby affecting other living beings.


Pesticides in poultry litter:
infused in poultry diets to destroy bugs at their larval stage in chicken sheet material have additionally been identified in broiler litter in focuses expanding with the chemical amounts,retention and stability and composting stage of the litter significance it can likewise enter the water bodies.

Heavy metals in poultry litter:
In poultry production, heavy metals are added to feeds in the form of minerals such as zinc oxide and manganese oxide in various formulations for disease prevention and feed conversion efficiency for the purpose of improving weight gain and egg production . To maximize gains poultry farmers commonly feed birds, especially broilers, on higher levels of the elements which are toxic to plants and humans especially arsenic (As), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn).
The presence of heavy metals in chicken litter required for plant growth could make chicken litter a rich source of micro-nutrients. However, the high concentrations of toxic metals pose serious health risks to animals, plants, and environmental health.Land application of heavy-metal-contaminated chicken litter in large quantities, or repeatedly, may exacerbate heavy metal pollution.

Growth hormones in poultry litter :
In chicken litter, there are also hormones such as estrogen, specifically 17 beta estradiol and testosterone, excreted through chicken urine and feces, with a negative effect on reproduction in aquatic organisms such as fish .


Points to take care:

Minimize the usage or better don't use.

Restrict land application of dry chicken litter at least 100 feet from a bore well, water source etc.

Keep dry chicken litter stockpiles at least 100 feet from a stream, water body, or bore well .

Do not leave dry chicken litter stockpiles uncovered for more than 15 days.

Do not apply dry chicken litter on land that is flooded .

Do not apply dry chicken litter to land during precipitation events.

Apply dry chicken litter at no greater than agronomic rates.

check your nitrogen application rates on crops because poultry litter has exceeded levels of nitrogen.
Ensure that soil pH is maintained in a range right for crop production.

There should not be any potential for spills or runoff into surface waters when applying dry chicken litter Therefore, it is advisable to maintain some field buffers between litter application areas and streams or other surface waters.

Conclusion: If you trust that poultry farm maintaining good standards in utilizing medicines, nutrients and hormones for growth of birds and using that poultry manure is safe, then you can choose to use in your farm to build soil biology. 


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