Having animals in your garden can be a nice thing, but you also want to know the possible drawbacks! When it comes to ducks, is their poop good fertilizer, or does it hurt your grass?
Duck poop is an excellent fertilizer for your garden. It doesn’t hurt your grass either. Duck poop provides good nutrients since it is high in phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. Being a natural fertilizer, you don’t need to fear the consequences of it going into nearby water sources.
In this post, we will discuss all you need to know about duck fertilizer and its use in your garden, including the plants they are best for. You will also learn how to handle duck poop in ponds, which is a constant problem duck rearers face.
Duck poop is a great fertilizer and it doesn’t hurt your grass!
Duck poop is a fantastic natural fertilizer. It naturally contains a high concentration of the nutrients that practically all plants need to grow, namely nitrogen (N), potassium (P) and phosphorus (K). Together, these components are popularly called NPK.
The NPK ratio in duck poop averages 2.8:2.3:1.7, making it one of the most nutrient-filled natural fertilizers. However, you should also know that having more than sufficient amounts of these materials can be harmful.
Some duck poops often contain exceedingly high contents of nitrogen, which experts have noted to be acidic. This acidity can increase the number of toxic elements such as manganese and aluminium in plants, making them harmful. Thankfully, mixing it with compost can reduce these levels (more below!).
However, you need to be careful! While young plants desire lots of nitrogen, an excess can poison them. For this reason, you need to do a lot of composting when applying duck poop to grass so that it regulates nitrogen levels.
Plants that use up nitrogen more than phosphorus and potassium will suffer from a lack of established roots. Too rapid and extensive growth without proper rooting will hurt your grass.
Duck poop is great for grass. Grass generally needs lots of nitrogen to achieve growth, especially in the growth phase between infancy and maturity. What’s more, the demand for nitrogen is highest during the spring and summer because they provide the perfect weather to sustain growth.
While chicken poop can scorch grass, you are usually safe from duck poop doing so. Duck poop is more liquid than chicken poop which means there are fewer chances of it scorching the grass and plants to which it is applied.
What Plants is it Best for?
Duck poop contains a high degree of nitrogen content, which is highly useful for plant growth. Nitrogen keeps plants hungry and helps to facilitate faster growth for plants at earlier stages. This enables the plants to become established in the soil quickly.
Then, as they establish roots, these plants can grow out other parts, including fruit and foliage.
However, you may want to know if the poop applies to all plants. Duck poop is great for almost all plants, without any tangible exceptions. In fact, experts have proven that it is better than the manure you get from chicken poop.
While duck poop can do amazing work across all classes of plants, there are certain types of plants for which it is best suited. Applying duck poop to these plants will yield potentially bountiful outcomes:
- Young and tender plants
- Aquatic plants
One of the habitats that ducks desire is the water environment. Unsurprisingly, a symbiotic relationship exists between the water ecosystem and the ducks that play around them. For example, the nitrogen in duck poops helps such aquatic plants as seaweeds and algae achieve faster growth in short periods.
By nature, vegetables are a class of plants that need to grow rapidly and develop lots of leaves. When this is the case, we can say the vegetable grows healthily.
The nitrogen that duck poop offers helps to achieve this. Also, vegetables belong to that class of tender plants, which typically do well with duck poop.
Is the Poop of all Breeds Good Fertilizer?
The poop of all duck breeds should do a good job of providing quality manure. Of course, this also applies to ducks reared for meat and egg purposes. What actually affects the poop more than the breed includes:
- The duck’s feeding
- Diseases and general health
If these are in order, then the duck poop should be a healthy fertilizer for your garden and plants. You may have issues if you fail to raise the ducks properly through good feeding and appropriate health management.
How does the feed affect poop quality?
Just as with humans, the quality of food the duck consumes will affect everything about it, including the poop it releases.
Poor nutrition on the part of the duck can lead to an insufficient supply of the right nutrients needed in the duck poop. Also, badly planned diets may facilitate the excessive build-up of some nutrients over the others, leading to oversupply, which can harm plants in the garden.
To ensure that your duck maintains top-quality poop, feed them with feeds and supplements high in fibre and vitamin A.
Can You Mix Duck Poop with Compost?
Yes, you can. In fact, it is best to mix your duck poop with other materials to form compost. Above, we mentioned that duck poop can be very acidic, and mixing it with compost can lower the acidity of the poop, making it better for your garden!
Duck poop tends to produce high concentrations of nitrogen, which can be harmful. To balance the nutrient content, mix them with other materials such as dry hay, vegetable trimmings, eggshells, decaying fruit, and general non-animal food wastes.
Does Duck Poop Hurt the Water of a Pond? Can You Use that for Watering Plants?
Ducks love to play around in watery surroundings, including ponds. Unfortunately, they often release poop into the stagnant reservoir in the process.
The duck poop will provide the water with lots of nutrients. However, if there is a high quantity of poop, you can have issues with too much density of components like nitrogen.
You can use the water from the pond for watering plants, as the liquid will have diluted the nutrients a bit. However, you should add other materials such as decaying leaves and plant parts, fruits, and eggshells for ideal results. Ensure they dilute in the water.
What are the Best Ways to Collect Duck Poop to Use in the Desired Area?
Now that you know the benefits of duck poop, the next thing is to collect them and start applying them to your garden.
If the ducks are free to move around the garden
This can be a bit more stressful, but it is doable. Simply put on only gloves, grab a shovel and walk the garden’s perimeter looking for droppings.
Anywhere you find them, use your shovel to scoop them and pour them into a container, avoiding as much soil as possible.
If they are in their pens
This is better. You can grab scraping material to gather the duck poop into a container. Then, you can compost it and apply it to the garden.
Duck poop is a great yet cheap manure source for your garden or farm.
But you need to be careful! It is best to mix other materials with the duck poop in the form of compost to avoid the downsides of nitrogen concentration.