Manure as fertilizer ...................

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I live in the middle of pasture land. Lots of free cow patties. My wife seems to think that this would make good fertilizer, or at least good mulch if tilled in.
Other than using fresh dung for the production of food, are there any downsides to using manure? I believe I once read that stall manure had high levels of urea, and would not be good to put on plants. This is pasture manure, so it would not have as high urine level as stall manure.
Yeah, I know I can go buy fertilizer, too. But I can also take the money I save and go fishing a few times.
Tips and caveats on manure use? Good/bad for flowers or areas where I am going to put lawn?
Thanks.
Steve
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I use horse shit every Spring and have great results with my plants.

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SteveB wrote:

A furphy, urea is good fertiliser.

Why not use it if its free and save the petrochemicals that typically go into synthetic fertiliser.

Cow pats are good for gardens. Cow and horse manure both provide beneficial organic matter and nutrients. There is little in the way of harmful pathogens in them and once dried out or composted briefly they are fairly inoffensive. I would say go for it, there is much to gain and little to lose.
David
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What about pigeon poop?
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Look at chicken info here Išd hazard a guess it is hot aka rich in N2 which can burn plants. That is why aged and composting is the way to go. 1-1-1 or close to it.
<http://the-compost-gardening-guy.com/article-on-manures.html
<http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/components/7401_02 .html>
Bill
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Dan Listermann wrote:

It's excellent but more as a source of nutrients than organic matter. It is quite high in nitrogen, especially when fresh, so it should be mixed in with other material, or added to compost, or risk burning your plants.
David
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I've been told that cow manure is full of seed ready to sprout wherever you use it. Horse manure is a better solution.
Chicken manure is okay if you leave it exposed to the weather for one season, and use it where the soil is high on the alkaline side. An easy route to this is use of range chickens (not stuck in a coop all the time). Confine them in an area to range, then move the ranging area to some other location the followiing season.
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Dioclese wrote:

Some of the nutrients in fresh chicken manure are quite volatile and others are very soluble in water. Leaving it out exposed will release these into the environment, which will indeed reduce the chance of burning plants due to excess. However these useful substances will be wasted, unless you want the grass downhill from the heap to be nice and green. A better solution is to mix it in with compost where at least some of the nutrients will be absorbed, or dig it in when preparing a bed and leave it a couple of weeks before planting.
I am not sure why you are saying to use it where the soil is too alkaline. I cannot see that you would be adding enough to alter the pH of soil very much (especially clay-based soil) and I would expect it to raise rather than lower pH.
David
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My parents turned virtually all-caliche soil to something viable for St. Augustine grass that thrived on it by using the rotation method I mentioned. Exposed to weather/sun chicken feces tends to stay put unless there's a downpour from my own observations. The chickens tend to spread the fresher stuff around as well while ranging. (ever get any animal poop between your toes?). Beneath the soil surface, earthworms abound on the stuff and break up the soil. Earthworms don't normally inhabit this type of caliche. The type of caliche they had was the virtually bright while and color, and you could draw on the sidewalk with it. At least that' what we saw. Regardless, I can't argue the results with "science" as the results speak for themselves.
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Dave

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Dioclese wrote:

I would not dispute the result that you observed - in science evidence always trumps theory. It may be though that the method added organic matter and nutrients which over time improved the texture and growing properties of the soil not a change in pH. But not having worked with caliche that is just a theory :-)
David
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All ruminant animal manures are very good organic sources of plant nutrients. But with very few exceptions, they should never be used fresh. They need to be aged at least 6 months or preferrably, properly composted. This will allow the high concentrations of ammonium (urine) to volatize and dissipate and reduce most weed and pathogen issues. Once they achieve this state (proper aging or composting), they can be applied as a mulch over any garden area or worked into the soil.
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gardengal wrote:

I think this is going too far, I use horse after a week or two with no ill effects, it isn't really very strong.

I am not trying to be cantankerous but there isn't any urine in ruminant manure. They do it separately unlike birds. There may be urine in straw that has been used as bedding but that is another matter.

There is not much volatile material in ruminant manure and why waste it? To get rid of weed seeds you would need to compost it or turn it so that the seeds are killed by heat or germinate and die in the heap.
David
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And I've used it fresh and steaming straight from the horse's bum.
It really is just all about 'where' you use it. If it's still steaming, ya don't put it on seedlings, but a fully grown bush doesn't care two hoots about how fresh it is as long as the steaming poop isn't laid on 6 inches deep and right up to the trunk of the bush.

I read something about the difference between cow and bull poop once. Apparently cow poop is 'richer' (for want of a better description) than bull poop because of the differing physiology of the animals. Cows can pee right onto their plop, whereas bulls/steers can't. Made sense to me having watched then doing their business quite often - only trouble is, I can't recall now what ingredient it was in the cow poop that made it 'richer' but it would make sense if it was more ammonia maybe. and how do people likeyou and I segregate our poops. Do I go round asking the bulls/steers to put tags on their poops or to only poop in a particular spot?

I'm with you. Put the nutrients where they should be and don't waste them in a pile becoming 'well rotted manure' (a ridiculous phrase that).
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"FarmI" wrote

You can always give it a little taste. LOL
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How would you characterize the difference in taste and texture? LOL
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Billy
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wrote:

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I guess I could ask then, why is it in your mouth?
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Billy
There are no lobbyists for cover crops and crop rotation. Why?
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wrote:

Heh heh heh......
Nice catch, Old Trout! ;-)
Charlie, envirowacko
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http://www.plantea.com/manure.htm
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Billy
Democrat and Republican Leaders Behind Bars
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everyone's basic information is spot on. I continually went "cow pie pickin'" when I had a pasture right next door just over the electric wire off my driveway at the former Faerie Holler. I loaded up a 5 gallon bucket, and carried it to my two wheel garden cart until it was heaped up with both dry pats and fresh ones. No weed seeds because cow heats up better than horse. Horse is weedier. I got to where I could tell the bull's pats because they were clumps and balls of black manure, and the girls were patties. If the pats weren't dried out and not spanking fresh, I would find beautiful fat red worms just writhing underneath all that poop. wonderful!! bonus worms to work my manure pile! I'd dump the whole 6 cubic foot cart into the space beside the working compost pile and then put two bags of scrounged leaves from curbs on top and water the leaves in. The pile would heat up. I added fresh if there were more pies to gather. I never turned it. It worked better if I did this in fall and had fresh usable manure for spring top dressing. We actually looked at a house yesterday and I was thrilled to see cows across the lane and fresh pies in the narrow pasture......alas, we are still looking. it WAS a perfect place. THere will be others.
maddie (madgardener) gardening in the green bowl surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest and Appalachian Mountains zone 7a, Sunset zone 36 where those mountains are picturesque with snow on them right now.........
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