cooked shrimp shell for compost/ fertilizing?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Helen Leung, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Helen Leung

    Helen Leung Active Member 10 Years

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    It's spot prawn season here in BC. I've been bbq-ing them with the shell on and just eating them plain like that. No salt or seasoning.

    I was wondering how / if I can compost these shell? It seem such a waste to throw the shell in the garbage. Could I maybe put the shells in a blender, blend them and use the liquid like I would fish emulsion? Does it work this way? Or is there no nutrients left after the shells have been cooked? DH thinks it would attract rats and racoons. What do you think?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You could use it as a fertiliser, but it is (a) likely to smell awful, and (b) is likely to attract rats, etc.
     
  3. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member

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    I would bury the shrimp shells at least 12" deep. I wouldn't leave them inthe compost. Or if you have a blender try chopping the shells fine and work the finely ground shells in the surface - preferrably at the back lane or away from your house and patio. I'd be concerned about curious critters checking out the smell.
     
  4. Gardenfever

    Gardenfever Active Member

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    Hi Helen,

    I've dug mine and just buried mine without even chopping them.

    put my tomato plants on top of them and they seem quite happy. no smell. no critters.

    karen
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Are these shrimp on the safe list? Most seafoods are no longer considered really suitable for consumption due to pollution. If there is mercury or another contaminant in the shrimp then the shells should not be put where food plants are to be grown.

    And you should think about no longer eating them.

    Marine scientists predict a future with invertebrate seafoods being all there is, due to the oceans having turned into a foul soup. Populations of jellyfish etc. are already increasing markedly.
     
  6. cowboy

    cowboy Active Member

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    Yes you can easily and safely compost these shells. In fact I just added some uncooked shells this morning. They do have a strong odor but only for a short period and only if you get really close. Cooked shells should be even less odiferous.

    To keep animals out the bin needs to have a lid. Also the floor needs be raised off the ground to prevent rats from digging into the pile. Alberta is the only rat free area in the New World so rats are not much of a concern but I still use bins that have a raised floor. Mice of course cannot be kept out.

    Compost bins.

    What is a spot season?
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  8. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Interesting site Ron, wish the gov't here would acknowledge the health and environmental benefits of wild salmon, rather than promoting and subsidizing Atlantic salmon farming that destroys them. We, British Columbians, sadly must be the laughing stock of the world when it comes to managing what were until recently some healthy wild salmon stocks, considering the overwhelming evidence of salmon farmings negative impacts. Good for the Alaskans. I'd be reluctant to add any waste from farmed seafood to the soil, given the wide use of antibiotics and pesticides used to feed the product. Then there is the practice of labelling farmed products as wild to command a better price or more sales volume.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  9. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    Spot prawns are a large type of local prawns here. They're caught commercially only for a few weeks around this time of the year. That's why locals are so excited when they're available. Nothing better than fresh seafood (or any food for that matter).
     
  10. Helen Leung

    Helen Leung Active Member 10 Years

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    Couldn't agree with you more, Mister Green. There's nothing better then harvest fresh out of your backyard. These prawns are really sweet!

    Back to the topic, I ended up blending all the shell with a bit of water and pour it into a 12" deep hole next to my cabbages and tomatoes. We'll see if the liquid will help. I'm gonna experiment and not fertilize those plants anymore this season vs. the other ones I feed with kelp and used coffee ground.
     
  11. bjo

    bjo Active Member

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    Hi,

    the main organic ingredient of crustacean shell is chitin. It is recognised as having several benefits as a soil amendment. Amongst other things, it encourages the growth of beneficial soil micro-organisms and reduces the number of plant pathogenic nematodes.

    A quick google on 'chitin + soil' should throw up information on this.

    I would definitely bury it to avoid problems with vermin. [BTW the ants here love cooked prawn shell above all else]

    Ciao
    Brian
     

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