I started with only 3 alpacas in 1994. Today, my herd numbers 150, and I breed, raise, and sell alpacas as a business. The alpaca lifestyle is totally gratifying, but like most farmers, I need to use all possible by-products for commercial purposes. The alpaca poop business is a natural offshoot. It didn’t take long to see the difference in the grassy areas chosen by the alpaca as “poop piles” in the pastures. Lush and dark green.
So we thought, what about the houseplants that we have? Alpaca farms regularly advertise the sale or availability of raw manure, but what about a household product? Suppose we use ONLY the manure from my lovely alpacas? Testing for over 4 years, my sister Anna and I have managed to grow the best violets, orchids, gardenias – you name it – simply fabulous plants by watering with composted alpaca poop.
But, it was a messy proposition, and I wasn’t thrilled about loose poop in the kitchen. Biodegradable bags were the answer. And, to brew my mix faster and more thoroughly, double-grind the composted piles, allowing more surface area to come in contact with the water.
Heads up here: since I started testing my herd for pathogens myself, I have found some startling things. Strange critters live in manure and will not die off on their own. Clever little bugs. My sincere advice to the gardener, indoor and out, is NEVER use any organics that have not been properly composted.
We invested in a proprietary system of forced aeration that heats the manure to a consistent 135-155 degrees for 5 days. An additional 5 months of cure, followed by grinding – the result is perfect Poop, perfectly balanced for the earth and plants and NO pathogens harmful to humans, NO weed seeds, a fresh earthy smell. All natural, 100% organic.