Feather Meal, like blood meal, assays to about 13 percent nitrogen, but it is derived from a very different form of protein than blood. Keratin, a protein that occurs in hair, hoofs, horns and feathers, is very indigestible when fed to animals as protein or introduced to the soil as fertilizer. The structure of keratin is very tight and not easily broken down by soil or gut bacteria. This attribute makes feathers an excellent long-term source of nitrogen but not always appropriate for the plant’s immediate needs.
Many companies provide preliminary hydrolysis (i.e. decomposition) of feathers by autoclaving, a process that cooks the feathers with steam and pressure. This step requires energy and raises the cost, while providing a disproportionate improvement in nitrogen availability. The microorganisms that seem to be most adept at degrading feathers are often found in the bird’s manure. Therefore, a mixture of feathers and poultry litter typically improve availability without significantly increasing costs . Applying Feather Meal along with Cheep Cheep will likely increase the efficiency of nitrogen in both materials.
Our Feather meal is pelletized for dust reduction and ease of handling. It will dispense through most modern spreading equipment.
For more information, download the product label pdf.