Deer poop

tomtuxman(6bNY)March 28, 2014

A brief reconnaissance of my yard this a.m. revealed much interesting where the snow had receded. Specifically, piles of deer poop.

I've raked/swept this up in the past and added to my compost pile and left it to rot.

Question: can this be added directly to planting beds or is it too hot and must be composted first? I vaguely recall a discussion that rabbit poop was OK to add directly to planting beds. Bunnies are deer are both vegetarians, does that make a difference?

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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

Are you talking vegetable planting beds or flowers? I would feel comfortable spreading it thinly directly near ornamentals, but if for edibles I would compost it first to reduce pathogenic organism risk.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Rabbits usually pee where they poop. Therefore it is almost always mixed with urine and is actually quite high in ammonia that can burn plants.
Don't know about deer poop though.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:12PM
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cold_weather_is_evil(9)

According to the Colorado State University extension service, deer manure is particularly high in E Coli, which in turn is perhaps the hardiest (time-wise) of manure pathogens. Cryptosporidium and Giardia are also biggies with deer and they take a very long time to be destroyed without actively managed composting.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:41PM
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david52_gw

You might be more exposed to any pathogens by raking up and handling the pellets then just leaving them where they are.

I routinely have deer in my vegetable garden over the winter, gnawing on anything left they find edible, and there are probably 50 piles of pellets in the beds and on the paths. I just leave 'em - with the worms, other bugs and water, they disintegrate very quickly.

As for worrying about any pathogens, wash or cook your food. We live in a bacterial soup - that fly that just landed on your tomato -- where was he before he showed up?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:09PM
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avgusta_gw

Why is a deer not dead itself because of having E.coli bacteria?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:34PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Escherichia coli is a normal inhabitant of mammal intestines that usually is not harmful, and in fact can be beneficial.

There are some pathogenic strains that cause disease but the presence of E. coli doesn't mean that the animal is diseased.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:36PM
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avgusta_gw

Why should it be harmful for a human in that case?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:43PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

It depends on which E. coli strains are present in the deer - the particular strains may or may not be harmful for humans, but you're better off assuming there may be pathogenic organisms present and take precautions.

david52 said "As for worrying about any pathogens, wash or cook your food. We live in a bacterial soup - that fly that just landed on your tomato -- where was he before he showed up? "

Claire

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 8:11PM
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