Scientific research

The use of poultry dung as type of organic fertilizers (an alternative to manure)

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Various methods of processing poultry dung allow to convert it into a valuable and highly-nutritional fertilizer that can be used under any crops both as a main fertilizer and as extranutrition.

Brief summary of technology:

Poultry dung is a strong and fast-response organic fertilizer, which is highly toxic when fresh and can cause burns and death in plants. Raw chicken dung contains 1.5-2.5% of nitrogen, 1-2% of phosphorus and about 1% of potassium. By chemical composition, it is 3-4 times richer than cattle manure.

An effect of the poultry dung is close to that of mineral fertilizers, but because of the high concentration of organic components and their gradual release, the effect on crop yields can be traced

during the next 2-3 years. High cost of mineral fertilizers and lack of manure, which is often used as fuel rather than fertilizer in rural areas, poultry dung can serve as an alternative to a manure.

In many districts of Tajikistan poultry farming is restored after 15-16 years of inactivity. During the 5-6 years of effective performance of the poultry farms sufficient quantities of poultry dung were accumulated (one chicken gives 6-7 kg of dung a year, a duck – 7-9 kg and goose – 10-12 kg).

Many farmers do not apply this dung because of the lack of knowledge how to properly used it as fertilizer. When stored in large piles poultry dung warms up and emits ammonia, which quickly disappears. Within 2-3 months losses of nitrogen may reach 30-50%. To reduce loss of nutrients during storage of the manure, different processing methods are used.


Dung is mixed with straw or peat and during warm weather decays already within one or one and half months. Autumn is the best time to prepare such compost. Application of dung during early spring causes a risk to enhance the growth of the vegetative mass at the expense of the formation of the reproductive organs in plants.

Application of additions during storage:

Chopped straw or sawdust from industrial factories can be a reliable technique of nitrogen conservation in manure. Addition of the 6-10% of superphosphate or about 20-30% of the earth to the manure before storing allows to prevent the loss of nitrogen. It should be kept in a dry place to reduce losses.


Poultry dung is used as a main fertilizer and as an extranutrition. The application rate of raw dung in the main fertilizer is 4-10 t/ha, underlying manure (or compost) - 10-20  t/ha. Main fertilizer is applied in the fall, uniformly distributed within a field and immediately buried in the soil to avoid nitrogen losses. Liquid extranutrition is carried out during the crop growing season immediately after the appearance of leaves (except for root vegetables) directly to the holes or furrows in the early morning or evening.

Location: Fayzabad district, Central Tajikistan.

Area of technology application: 1 hа.

Stage of intervention: alleviation / reduction of land degradation and restoration of fertility.

Extract for extranutrition:

1 kg of dung is mixed with 10 liters of water and left for 5 days for fermentation while occasionally stirring. Fermented infusion is diluted with water (10 liters of water into 1 liter of infusion).

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

Reduction and depletion of soil fertility and crop yields due to improper land management. Inadequate use of fertilizers to replenish soil nutrients elements removed from the soil with crop yields.

Main technical features of technology:

- increasing organic matter contents and nutrients;

- increasing biomass (yields);

- improving physical-chemical soil properties (improving soil structure, increasing moisture holding

capacity, humus contents, etc).

Type of land use Conservation measures

Arable land.

Cultivation of annual agricultural crops - Во(Ca).

Mixed type land use.

Agroforestry - Сл(Mf).

Agronomic measures:

А2: Organic matter / soil fertility.


Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall: 800 mm and more.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 400-2000 m.

Landscape: plains, valley mountainous and piedmont slopes.

Slope (%): 0-16%.

Soil fertility: low and average.

Humus content in arable horizon: <1%, 1-3%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: average.

Size of land area (ha): 0.5 till 50 ha..

Landholder: individual households, small, medium and large size land users.

Land ownership: long term lease from the government.

Water use rights: by contact with government.

Market orientation: mixed farming (subsistence and commercial).


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- fully organic fertilizer not inferior to mineral fertilizers by nutritional contents;

- ecologically clean, easily accessible in every farm (or poultry farms), inexpensive fertilizer.

Main disadvantages:

- the use without special preparation and treatment can harm (cause burns and even death of plants);

- application in a raw form under potato and other root vegetables can deteriorate flavor. It is better to apply it in autumn in the form of compost.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: This is a moderate tendency to accept this technology and its large scale implementation mainly in arable land under grain and tilled crops. It is necessary to raise awareness and knowledge of land users.

Reference(s): Personal communications with farmers, and online resource -;

Name of person(s) collected this description: Dr. Gulniso Nekushoeva, Soil Research Institute, TAAS. Address: 21, Rudaki avenue, Dushanbe, Tajiksitan. Tel.: +992 919009246.





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