Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

David Foster


The purpose of this study was to determine the viability of growing potatoes hydroponically with chicken waste as an alternative, more sustainable nutrient source in substitute of fish waste in an aquaponics system. Hydroponics is a growing form of sustainable agriculture which utilizes a water-based method to deliver nutrients to plants. Hydroponics is a preferable alternative as it uses 90% less water than traditional agriculture, and does not contribute to common agricultural issues such as land degradation. A popular form of hydroponics is aquaponics, which combines hydroponic technology with aquaculture. The fish waste in this system is the sole source of nutrients for the plants. The cost and difficulty of maintaining the fish in this system can be an obstacle to farming communities, however. A proposed alternative to the use of aquaculture is the use of chicken waste as a nutrient source. Chicken waste is a much cheaper and more accessible resource for less developed farming communities. It is also not as high maintenance as aquaculture, and contains a high content of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Potatoes are the crop of choice for this study due to their relatively high nutrient content, making it a popular staple crop in less developed countries. If chicken waste proves to be an effective nutrient source for staple crops such as potatoes in a hydroponic system, it may be a viable option for less developed farming communities who are in need of sustainable alternatives to traditional farming practices.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License