Wildlife pooping is nature’s fertilizer, the foods that wildlife eats are broken down and converted into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that plants can use.
Tortoises can produce copious amounts of manure, and some believe that this waste product can be used as fertilizer.
So the question you might be asking is
Is Tortoise Poop Good Fertilizer?
Animal manure fertilizers are preferred and used by a lot of people because they are sustainable, easy to use, inexpensive, and are a great way to dispose of your animals’ waste.
A tortoise poop can provide nutrients to plants, but this type of fertilizer can also cause harm to the environment.
Herbivorous tortoises produce much higher levels of nitrogen than do omnivores or carnivores.
The feces of herbivorous tortoises do not carry any pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.
Another downside of using the feces of a vegetarian tortoise is that it requires mixing with chicken manure and straw to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth.
If you’re using the poop of a carnivore or omnivore tortoise, and the poop isn’t being properly managed, it can hurt you and/or your plants.
Considerations when using tortoise poop as a fertilizer
It harbors salmonella
Salmonella bacteria live inside eggs.
It has been linked to foodborne illness.
Tortoises can eat both plants and meat, but they usually prefer eating meat.
Their feces contain a lot of bacteria called salmonella.
If you come across a tortoise pooping near its burrow, wash your hands thoroughly before handling any part of the animal.
If you come into contact with salmonella bacteria from your pet’s feces, symptoms include stomach cramps, fever, and diarrhea.
High In ammonia
Tortoise poops are quite high in ammonia.
Tortoises produce feces, urine, and urines, and these waste materials sometimes come out all at once.
Urate is a natural fertilizer that helps feed your garden.
Urate is also known as uric acid, which is a waste product of our bodies.
This waste product is naturally occurring in soil and water.
If you don’t want the tortoise poop to burn your plants, you’d have to age the poop well, aging the poop allows the ammonia to break down into nitrogen.
When the ammonium nitrate is decomposed by bacteria, it becomes harmless Nitrogen gas.
This gas can be applied directly to plant roots without causing any harm.
It takes time to prepare
If you want to use this poop as fertilizer, but do not want to expose yourself to salmonella, or have the fertilizer burn your plants, then you would need to compost the poop.
It takes a lot of work to compost the poop before using it.
It does take a lot of labor
To get rid of turtle poop, you’d need to dig a compost pit in your yard, toss the feces in it, along with leaves and other organic matter, and wait until it breaks down over several months.
Composting will kill off the salmonella pathogens in the poop, that is, if the temperatures inside the compost manage to reach high enough levels to eliminate the pathogens in the poop.
Composting will also reduce the amount of ammonia present in the feces.
Why do tortoises poop in the water?
Tortoises appear to defecate whenever they step in water.
So when you bath a tortoise, he/she almost immediately poop in the tub.
You then need to empty the tub and refill it because you don’t want any bacteria getting into its skin.
It can be a little irritating but i guess it is what it is!
Is tortoise poop toxic?
When reptiles, including turtles, excrete feces, it’s often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Even if you never handle your turtle and never come in contact with its feces, you can still get sick.
Is tortoise Pee harmful to humans?
Yes! Turtles’ urine contains high amounts of urea, which can be harmful for humans if ingested or come in direct contact with the skin.
Urine also carries bacteria that can cause illness if not properly cleaned after coming in contact with humans.
With this in mind, it is clear that there are several good reasons why you would want to use turtle poop as a fertilizer but there are also some good reasons why you shouldn’t use it as fertilizer.
There are many better, and safer, options to choose from when looking to use an animal manure for your plants