Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Display results as :


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» New England April 2017
by Scorpio Rising Today at 7:03 pm

» Garlic Growing Lovers
by Scorpio Rising Today at 7:00 pm

» Zucchini Tower
by RC3291 Today at 6:56 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by newbeone Today at 3:39 pm

» Hello from SE Michigan
by SonSeeker Today at 3:27 pm

» Ants.
by SonSeeker Today at 3:18 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 3:12 pm

» Kombucha
by Turan Today at 2:43 pm

» N & C Midwest: April 2017!
by trolleydriver Today at 2:39 pm

» Ideas needed
by newbeone Today at 2:24 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by newbeone Today at 2:15 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver Today at 2:10 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2017?
by trolleydriver Today at 2:07 pm

» Mustard Greens
by sanderson Today at 2:06 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Today at 1:58 pm

» Amaranth
by sanderson Today at 1:37 pm

» Double summer squash flower
by Scorpio Rising Today at 12:20 pm

» Garden Progress in Georgia
by yolos Today at 12:10 pm

» who has chickens
by trolleydriver Today at 11:09 am

» Hello from Chino, CA (Zone 10a)
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 8:31 am

» EWWWWW.........bugs and stuff...good or not so good?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 8:23 am

» Carrot Week 2017!
by CapeCoddess Today at 8:17 am

» Sour Dough Starter
by CapeCoddess Today at 8:07 am

» Jaffa's garden - year one
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 7:58 am

» Feedback for my 2017 garden plan
by sanderson Today at 3:54 am

» garden ready need better weather
by sanderson Today at 3:44 am

» My first SFGs in 11 years
by sanderson Today at 2:55 am

» Getting Started--It's snowing here today :)
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 10:24 pm

» Spaghetti Squash Recipes
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:50 pm

» A spring day that was da pits.
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:28 pm


Search SFG Forum

Bird droppings

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Bird droppings

Post  laurainwinona on 10/9/2010, 10:28 am

I used to have a bird feeder in my flower bed. The birds would drop seed shells and poop, and I noticed that that end of the flower bed grew more lush. Now that I have a SFG and a compost pile, I was thinking about moving the bird feeder so that the seed shells and bird droppings fall into the compost pile. Any thoughts? Is this a good idea or a bad one?

Female Posts : 86
Join date : 2010-04-26
Age : 48
Location : Southeast MN, USA, zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Bird droppings

Post  boffer on 10/9/2010, 11:26 am

And there's also the problem of seeds dropping and sprouting. The resulting plants would be easier deal with in the compost pile. But, I know wild birds can spread disease in their droppings. I've PMed our resident animal expert, Odd Duck, a vet, to share her opinion.

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Bird droppings

Post  sceleste54 on 10/9/2010, 4:56 pm

Yeah.. my kids former pediatrician died of an atypical avian tuberculosis. He went home everyday from 11 to 2 and worked in his yard. Picked it up from northern blackbirds wintering in the area.


Female Posts : 383
Join date : 2010-04-08
Location : Florida Panhandle

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Bird droppings

Post  Odd Duck on 10/11/2010, 12:46 pm

Thanks for the alert, Boffer.

While there certainly is a small degree of risk from using droppings from wild birds, it is pretty small if the droppings are composted. The bigger risk would happen while you are messing about with droppings before they're composted. I worry less when people are using chicken droppings, because they are less likely to have hidden health problems - people tend to notice if the chickens, that they see everday, aren't acting right. Wild birds can absolutely be a source of a few sort-of nasty diseases and a very few, very nasty diseases.

Even though wild birds get blamed for atypical avian tuberculosis, recent studies don't really bear out the birds as the source. There are certainly cases in the literature, but new methods of typing the bacteria reveal that the people affected in modern cases actually caught it from another person. "Avian" TB may actually be mis-named, but it was first ID'd in a bird and "Avian TB" it will be forever more.

I probably would not seek out and deliberately put wild bird droppings in my compost, just to minimize the risk as much as possible, but I also don't panic if there is a bit here or there in the garden. I would absolutely recommend that you wear a dust mask when cleaning up any significant quantity of bird droppings if you are "dry" cleaning - just scooping up dried droppings, vs wet cleaning - rinsing it away with water. If you are using a super-powered sprayer that can get contaminated droplets aerosolized, wear a mask. Anything that can put microparticles into the air for you to breath, should trigger you to wear a mask (and this goes for pretty much anything, not just bird doodoo Smile ).

I am as guilty as the next person of not using protective gear (who wants to stop in the middle of what you're doing to go put on a hot dust mask just because you're stirring up a little dust?) I certainly don't and I know loads of things that you can get just from the soil, let alone from the organisms hidden in the soil. But we get away with it because of our immune system. Immune compromised individuals should be MUCH more aware of the possibility of problems and take appropriate measures.

Odd Duck

Female Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 54
Location : DFW, TX, Zone 7b/8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Glad I asked

Post  laurainwinona on 10/18/2010, 11:22 pm

Thanks, everybody who resonded. Wow, I'm glad I asked! I think I won't move the bird feeder after all, and find a source of "poop" that's less risky.

Female Posts : 86
Join date : 2010-04-26
Age : 48
Location : Southeast MN, USA, zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Bird droppings

Post  Megan on 10/19/2010, 8:20 pm

On a similar note.... I found a dead cooper's hawk on the sidewalk at work last week. I went to pick it up and chuck it in brush, but two thoughts stopped me. One, raptors are protected species and my understanding (perhaps wrong) is that you are not supposed to touch them, even to remove a dead one. And two,.... just, two. I called animal control instead, and they came and got it. That night I ran the whole thing past a friend of mine who is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. She was all "good job, now they can send if off to test for avian flu." I really hadn't thought of that, and kicked myself after the fact because I SHOULD have thought of that.

Anyway, I'm exposing my shame to the world here in hopes someone else may benefit from it. Embarassed

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 50
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

View user profile http://novasquarefootgardener.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Bird droppings

Post  Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum