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Turkey Time

Turkey Farm“The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure.” – D. H. Lawrence

Did you know that turkey manure is one hot fertilizer with slightly more nitrogen (PDF) than chicken manure? Though the difference is slight — and actually disputed by the University of Minnesota — one thing’s clear. Turkey manure, like other poultry manure, is a valuable source of phosphorus, potassium, and, yes, nitrogen. It also contains other valuable nutrients and microbes that your plants will appreciate.

If you’re lucky enough to have your own little homestead with a turkey or three trotting about — we’re told they make acceptable country pets and a single male strutting around can be as decorative as a peacock — or live near (but not too near) a source of good organic turkey manure, take advantage. Most likely, it will be available as “litter,” mixed in with sawdust, straw, feed and other components to be swept or shoveled off the coop floor (wear a mask). No matter how your turkey droppings come, you’ll want to compost the manure before using it in gardens.

Like all manures, turkey droppings fresh from the farm may be too hot for your plants. Fresh manure may also contain pathogens. Composting manure — or the manure mixed in with litter — to a temperature of 131 degrees or more, and held there for a couple weeks, will take care of the pathogens. And the composting process will make what nitrogen’s left — and there’ll be plenty — more accessible when it’s worked into your soil. Here’s a testimonial to the power of turkey manure that was posted on the University of British Columbia Botanical Gardens Forum. Sounds like your garden will gobble it up.

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Eric Vinje founded Planet Natural with his father Wayne in 1991, originally running it as a grasshopper bait mail-order business out of a garage.

Eric is now retired, but is still a renowned gardener known for his expertise in composting, organic gardening and pest control, utilizing pesticide-free options, such as beneficial insects.

Eric believes when you do something good for the environment, the effects will benefit generations to come.

3 Responses to “Turkey Time”

  1. Freda A Thurlkill on March 5th, 2018 at 11:47 pm #

    I’ve been looking for turkey manure for my fruit trees, I live in the mountains at about 2600 elevation. We have used Turkey manure many times before but can’t seem to find a truckload that will deliver it, or even find it. Can you help me? I live in Volcano Ca.

    • maryann on June 11th, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

      hello we have turkeys and the building they are in needs to be clean…if you drive out to pick up the turkey droppings mixed with saw dust and pine shavings it would be helpful for us… this has been sitting around for about a year to present… i keep adding ontop of it to keep a clean layer… i would charge you $100 if you want to bring a wheel barrel and shovel and you can fill a pick up truck load…or garbage bags …we could do $5 per garbage bag… we are in foresthill ca about a 2 hour drive from you… let me know at playfulpapillons@hotmail.com … we also have peacocks and guinea fowl that do their thing in this barn too… so you will have alot to use… i was going to use it in my yard…just not sure i want to wheel barrel it a long ways and walk… but i may start using it… this article sounds really promising my cell if you want to text is 707-496-2421 thanks

  2. Kannmacher on April 8th, 2019 at 5:56 am #

    We have a turkey farm of 30,000 turkey’s and have PLENTY of manure we are wanting to compost into fertilizer, if you give me an email I’m sure we could work something out on delivering some out to you. Thanks!