Cow manure compost

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by myrna, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. myrna

    myrna Member

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    I am an avid composter.

    I recently read that dry cow pies are better for a compost than fresh ones.

    Does anyone know why?

    Myrna Coburn
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2003
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I would say you may find ammonia and dissolved salts in fresher patties. Time drying would probably leach some of the possible noxious stuff away.
     
  3. One should be very careful when using any herbivore's excrament for compost. Unfortunately not all grazers are considerate enough to seperate the good (such as alphalfa) from the bad (weeds such as clover). The weeds that the grazers consume will pass into their droppings, just like nature intends, and end up in a new location, much like that of your lawn, beds, or planters. Some would say that this is no problem, just add some chemicals to the unwanted guests........... yes, foliar applications of Roundup Transorb would work, but if the initial goal was to use organic compost in order to be more environmentally friendly, then perhaps chemical applications are not feasible!

    In regards to fresh versus dried droppings................I would have to agree with 'jimmyq'. The initial emissions could potentially hinder the composting process...................not to mention, stick to your pitch fork! Plus, in actuality, most cow pies will have dried by the time you get them from the pasture/feedlot to your composte bin.

    T. Shane Freeman
     
  4. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    I have to giggle at this a bit.

    Fresh is messier, no doubt. But ammonia is nitrogen and nitrogen is a needed ingrediant in composting -- one reason we add manure to compost is to increase the rate of decay .. to improve upon the compost.

    Weed seed is true -- it is another way that nature spreads seeds. However, seed viability (humm is that the correct word?) decreases with time so old compost is less weedy. What is that old saying "one year if seeds is ten years of weeds"? But weed seed is a concern with either.

    One reason not to use fresh is that, well,it is fresh smelling. This may not be in fashion with one's nose. I think we are dalking weeks vs days. Week old has already composted some and has air out a bit so it may be more desirable ...

    I think the bottom like is either is good for the compost.
     
  5. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    One could expect more live bacteria in fresh, so a couple of shovelfuls could be useful in "jump starting" a new compost heap.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Also avoid manure from cows that have been dosed up with antibiotics, worming drugs, growth hormones, etc, etc.
     
  7. Dixon

    Dixon Member

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    This is to Myrna Coburn: I can't answer your question, but I did see another post that sounded reasonable. Something about leaching out harmful stuff.
    Your last name is interesting to me. I do genealogy, and have a long family tree for the name "Coulbourn." Maybe your family branched off of mine or vice-versa. One of my ancestors was William Colborne, born in 1495 in Wyeth Hill, England. If you're interested in looking for a connection, my family tree is at: <http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=dixon3026>. It's probably a long shot. Dixon Wall Coulbourn
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe if you click on the highlighted green "myrna" you can e-mail her directly through the site.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "I am particularly concerned with two classes of compost contaminants: pesticides and heavy metals.
    Recently, compost feed stocks east of the Cascades were found contaminated with clopyralid and
    picloram – two broadleaf herbicides. These relatively persistent herbicides have been found in hay and
    grain residues and the manure of chickens, cattle, and horses....

    The long-term impacts of these herbicides on human health are not yet
    known."

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda ...ltural Myths_files/Myths/Compost problems.pdf
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Newly registered people can't do this, if I remember rightly they have to have posted something like 10 or 20 posts and been a subscriber for a week or so (this restriction is to stop spammers from signing up and spamming everyone).
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It's not as bad as all that - 2 days + 3 posts is all that is necessary.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Softie!
     
  12. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Just a slightly different poo tale. My alpaca do nice long rows of the good stuff. Yipee down I go with shovel and wheelbarrow toss it all over freshly dug vegetable patch (autumn) come spring when I was ready for the turning over again I had the best crop of weeds :( amongst them sorrel. Not impressed. That will teach me to take short cuts. These days I stick to the goose and hen doings that are mixed with wood shavings and aged. Lovely composty manure.

    Liz
     
  13. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    One of the benefits of a properly constructed compost pile (or bin) is that it will reach and sustain some impressive internal temperatures, high enough to cook the many of the seeds. Direct spreading of any poop (goose included) will include viable seeds if they have been included in their feed or grazing.

    Ralph
     
  14. Dixon

    Dixon Member

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    Thanks, Ralph. We've got a new compost bin, and we're trying to get it going. In the past, we had good success in getting the compost in our earlier bin pretty hot. We had two insertion thermometers, that didn't agree, but it FELT hot. Dixon
     
  15. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Dixon;
    I think I remember that at about 155 degrees F. you start to kill your aerobic bacteria. Because of this, you are advised to turn the compost over with a pitchfork, hand crank, auger drill, or whatever your particular composter requires. In reality both aerobic and anaerobic critters are involved in the making of your compost.
     
  16. blackbeauty

    blackbeauty Active Member

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    Dried cow dropping is good, good for healthy plants. But it may cause yellow spot to your plant leaves. Mostly in rainy season because rain is going to turn soil become acid. I think u should consider of using compost if you can find any other organic fertilizers. But if you'd like using animal dropping, try goat. Sure it's not the fresh ones. But I crushed it first and dry fried before application. Or get ovened. Maybe you can try this for cow dropping.
     
  17. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Fresh manure is high in ammonium nitrates which are toxic to plants in large amounts. Adding this to your compost shouldn't make much difference other than the smell. That smell is nitrogen in the form of ammonium nitrate escaping back into the atmosphere, adding to green house gases. Some farmers who spread manure on their fields are now using rye as a cover crop to absorb some nitrates and prevent more from leaching into the ground water. If you want to get the most out of the manure you might want to mix in sawdust, woodchips or straw. Adding dry material to the mix will fix some of the nitrate and make more of the nitrates available to the plants. To learn more Google nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle.
     

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