ALPACA BEANS = ALPACA GOLD!
In Alpaca Beans, the nitrogen and potassium content is comparatively high, an indication of good fertilizer value. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the major plant nutrients. They are the similar to the familiar N-P-K for fertilizer, N-P-K=1.5-0.2-1.1
Phosphorus is relatively low as in most livestock manure. The Calcium and Magnesium content is average. For new plants, put beans in hole before planting.
For seedlings, or to fertilize plants from top-down, make an Alpaca Tea; mix a ratio of 1/3 alpaca beans with 2/3 water, and let it sit over night. Alpaca tea appears to be an effective deer repellent also! Even deer don't like the smell, however to humans it is almost odorless.
We harvest alpaca beans weekly. If you would like to pick up your own beans, there is no charge! Just contact us to let us know when you'd like to come to the farm. We encourage you to bring your own 5 gallon buckets, or even empty pet food bags.
Willow City Farm also sells alpaca beans in 2#, 20#, and 50# bags. Click here to purchase.
ALPACA BEANS AS FERTILIZER
Alpaca beans are always available at the farm! One 5 gallon bucket (about 25lbs) is $5.00, and we're happy to give you a brief education on the best ways to apply the fertilizer depending on your certain needs.
If you would like to collect the beans yourself, just let us know. All you need to bring is a 5 gallon bucket, and they're free of charge. We will supply the shovel and the pasture entertainment. Just contact us to schedule an appointment.
Although lower in organic matter than other traditional manures, alpaca manure has a lot of value in the garden. In fact, many gardeners find this type of manure to be an excellent source of nutrients for optimal soil and plant health.
Is Alpaca Manure Good Fertilizer?
Using alpaca manure as fertilizer is beneficial. Even with its lower organic content, alpaca manure is considered a rich soil conditioner. Alpaca fertilizer improves the soil quality and its ability to retain water. It is also good for plants, providing a fair amount of nitrogen and potassium and about average levels of phosphorus. Since alpaca manure is mostly found in pellet form and doesn’t have the same components as other livestock feeders, like cows and horses, it does not need to be aged or composted before use. You can spread it directly onto garden plants without burning them. Best of all, it does not contain any weed seeds so there’s no worry about plucking sprouts from the garden following application, as with some types of manure.
How Do I Use Alpaca Manure as Fertilizer?
Generally, you can find bags of alpaca manure available from online retailers or alpaca farmers. Those raising alpacas can even obtain it straight from the source. When using alpaca fertilizer, you can put it on top of the garden soil and then water it or wait and let the rain help soak it in. For those in colder climates, you can also spread the manure over snow-filled garden beds and allow it to soak into the soil as the snow melts. Either way, alpaca manure breaks down rather quickly.
Whether you add alpaca manure directly to the garden, make manure tea, or use alpaca manure compost, your plants will thrive. In addition, the nearly odorless alpaca fertilizer may even help deter deer pests, as they find its aroma offensive.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Using Composted Alpaca Manure In The Garden https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/alpaca-manure-fertilizer.htm
For seedlings make an "Alpaca Tea".
Mix 1/3 cup alpaca pellets with 2/3 cup water and let sit 3 -24 hours. Within 24 hours of the first application you will see a noticeable change in your seedlings. By the end of the first week the seedlings will have started to grow considerably.
Weekly Tea for all other plants: Mix 1 cup paca pellets to a 5 gallon bucket. Let sit until a rich, brown color. Water plants with the tea.
Mix up some Alpaca Tea to deter deer from your garden! It is said to be a very effective deer repellent, however to us it is almost odorless with no lingering unpleasant smell.
Alpaca Manure Vs. Others an Alpaca Manure Comparison:
There is a large range of natural fertilizers available on the market today.
Try not to be misled by the N-P-K numbers that suggest manure is less powerful than chemicals. Values of manure and organic fertilizers in general, are often based on the relative amount of nitrogen (N), phosphoric acid (P) and potash (K) they contain. While these are important elements, it is misleading to make a direct comparison between farm manures and chemical fertilizers on the simple basis of the relative amounts of N-P-K.
Alpaca Manure (1.7-.69-1.2) Alpaca Compost has the highest N-P-K of any natural fertilizer. It is lower in organic matter content than the manure from most other barnyard livestock (cows, horses, goats and sheep) creating a higher concentration of nutrients as well as improves soil texture and water-holding capacity. This lower organic content allows alpaca manure to be spread directly onto plants without burning them. It is the decomposition of organic matter content of the manure that indicates their efficient digestion system. The nitrogen and potassium content of alpaca dung is comparatively high, an indication of good fertilizer value.
Other Natural Fertilizers:
Bird Manures - Bird manures tend to be "hotter", where the plants can be burned easily if overused. Overall they are much richer in many nutrients, especially nitrogen, which marijuana plants require in their veg phase in copious amounts. But not the flower phase, thus this type of fertilizer use is limited.
Chicken Manure (1.1-1.4-0.6) - is common among farmers. It's high in nitrogen, (great for vegging plants not flowering), but can easily burn plants unless composted first. A small amount of dried chicken manure can be mixed in small concentrations directly into soil. Chicken manure is also a common ingredient in some mushroom compost recipes. One potential concern for the budding organic farmer, is the large amount of antibiotics fed to domestic fowl in large production facilities. It is also suggested that some caution should be used when handling chicken droppings, whether fresh or dried.
Poultry Manures (1.1-1.4-0.6) - are often simply chicken droppings mixed with the droppings of other domesticated birds including duck, pigeon, and turkey. They are "hotter" than most animal droppings, and in general they can be treated like chicken manure. Animal Manures vary by species, and also depending of how the animals are kept and manures are collected. Urine contains a large percentage of nitrogen and potassium. This means that animals boarded in a fashion where urine is absorbed with their feces (by straw or other similar bedding), can produce organic compost that is richer in nutrients.
Cattle Manure (0.6-0.2-0.5) - Steer manure is one of the old standbys, but it's not the most beloved because it often contains unwanted salts and weed seeds. It is considered "cold" manure since it is moister and less concentrated than most other animal manure. It breaks down and gives off nutrients fairly slowly. It can be an especially good source of beneficial bacteria, because of the complex bovine digestive system. Recent expansion in the use of bovine growth hormones to increase milk production certainly could become a concern for organic farmers trying to source safe cattle manures. The healthier the cow, and the healthier the cow's diet, the more nutrients its manure will carry.
Goat Manure (0.7-0.3-0.9) - can be treated in a similar fashion to sheep dung or horse manure. It is usually fairly dry and rich and is a "hot" manure (therefore best composted before use).
Horse Manure (0.7-0.3-0.6) - Horse manure is about half as rich as chicken manure, but richer in nitrogen than cow manure. And, like chicken droppings, it's considered "hot". Horse manure often contains a lot of weed seeds, which means it's a good idea to compost it using a hot composting method. Some sources of mushroom compost contain large quantities of horse manure and bedding in their mix. So from one standpoint, horses manure use in herb growing is already fairly well documented.
Pig Manure (0.5-0.3-0.5) - is highly concentrated or "hot" manure. It is less rich in nitrogen than horse or bird crap, but stronger than many of the other animal manures. Pig manure is best used when mixed and composted with other manures and/or large quantities of vegetable matter.
Rabbit Manure (2.4-1.4-0.6) - is the hottest of the animal manures. It may even be higher in nitrogen than some poultry manures. As an added bonus it also contains fairly high percentages of phosphates. Because of it's high nitrogen content, rabbit crap is best used in small quantities lightly mixed into soil or composted before use.
Sheep Manure (0.7-0.3-0.9) - is another "hot" manure. It is somewhat dry and very rich. Manure from sheep fed hay and grain will be more potent than manure from animals that live on pasture.
** Livestock information provided by Alpacas of Montana