Stability and Maturity of Different Poultry Manures and Potential Utilization for Horticultural Production

  •  Mebelo Mataa    
  •  Namakau Manzi    
  •  Kalaluka Munyinda    


This study evaluated stability, maturity and the efficacy of different poultry litter for possible use in container plant production. Three types of poultry manure- Battery cage (BC), Deep litter (DL) and Free range (FR) were used, with Kraal manure (KM) as a comparison. The experiment was set up as a Split- split design with 6 replications. Composting period was main plot, poultry manure type the split plot and mixing ratio as the split- split plot. The litter was mixed with garden soil in 2 ratios (3:1 and 1:1 soil: manure ratio) and tested for up to 12 weeks. Rape (Brassica napus) was used as a bioassay for maturity, which was determined at 1 month, 2 months and 3 months. The pH declined slightly from 7 to about 6 for all treatments except for the kraal manure. Respiration trends were similar to electrical conductivity. Within 2 weeks of curing the respiration rate for all manures declined to below 4 mg CO2- C/ kg. At the end of 12 weeks curing Battery cage had highest total nitrogen (2.32 %), followed by Free range (1.25 %), Deep litter (0.73 %) and Kraal manure was lowest at 0.35 %). Maturity (rape survival) increased with compositing time. After 3 months of curing Kraal manure had highest survivability of rape. The DL at 1:1 ratio had the lowest survival of 67%. At 12 weeks except for BC at 3:1 all treatments had 100 % survival. The results showed that nitrogen rich manures (DL and BC) needed longer curing in order for them to reach maturity.

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