The wonders of llama poop

Having a herd of llamas, we produce approximately a pick-up load of manure each week. We currently offer it free to anyone who wants to come and haul it away! This year, due to demand, we are working on a waiting list.

After many asking the question, “Is llama manure high in nitrogen?” and with my reply being, “Not sure,” I decided to find out the properties of our llama manure!

After many phone calls, I discovered that the University of Idaho would be willing to solve this mystery for me. I Ziploc®-ed a sampling of llama beans from multiple piles and mailed it off to the University of Idaho Analytical Sciences Laboratory, in Moscow, Idaho. Steve McGeehan was my contact and was very helpful. The process took two weeks and the results follows:

Nitrogen

Less than 2%

Available phosphorus

Less than 1%

Water soluble potassium

Less than 1%

Electrical Conductivity

4.6% (Which is borderline for salt content – meaning: Be careful with direct root contact with salt sensitive plants.)


The bottom line is that llama manure is more of a soil conditioner/enhancer than a fertilizer. And since our Northwest soil is acidic, llama manure is a great additive. While Steve and I were discussing the results, he said, “I wish I had a truck load for my Garden!”

We feed our llamas a mix of alfalfa, timothy hay, and orchard grass. They have minimal pasture and have access to mineral salts with selenium.

Animal manure comparisons

Animal Type

Nitrogen
(N) (%)

Phosphorus
(P) (%)

Potassium
(K) (%)

Llama*

1.7

0.69

0.66

Chicken

1.0

0.8

0.4

Horse

0.7

0.25

0.55

Sheep

0.95

0.35

1.0

Cow

0.6

0.15

0.45

Pig

0.5

0.35

0.4

 

*Llama manure can be applied directly to plants. (Will Not Burn)
-Animal manures are best used as mulches or as soil conditioners.
-Unit of measure shown above is in micrograms/gram

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