Animal manures have been composted for use in agriculture since the early days of farming using dung from whatever animals were being farmed. Manure from a farmyard or animal pens will also include urine, which has a high nitrogen content, and the soiled carbon rich. bedding e.g. straw. Incorporating manure into the soil is an effective way of replenishing the organic content and creating humus. Adding manure, or other humus rich organic material such as garden compost to the soil increases the biodiversity, and nutrients trace elements help improve the soil structure. This is as important as the provision of N-P-K to the soil but is often overlooked.
According to the Rodale Guide to Composting (1979) manure was considered to be the most important single ingredient in the compost heap, and few heaps did not include at least a layer of manure. The use of manure has fallen out of fashion in home composting possibly as result of concerns relating to pathogens but also as the emphasis of domestic composting has moved from converting garden waste, from a large garden or allotment, producing a soil enhancer to composting household, kitchen and waste from much smaller gardens garden for environmental reasons such as reducing waste sent to landfill or reducing greenhouse gases.
A new page has been added to www.carryoncomposting.com (http://www.carryoncomposting.com/443725801) looking at the different animal manures that can be used and how they can be incorporated to make the composting hotter and quicker.