Cow manure is probably the most frequently used of the above manures. Cow dung is high in organic materials and rich in nutrients. Composting the manure before use reduces or
eliminates the release of ammonia and pathogens (such. as E. coli or Salmonella). Hot composting will reduce or eliminates weed seeds and kill their roots. Using composted cow manure produces about a third less greenhouse gases than using
raw manure to fertilise the soil.
Warning: 2009/10 following problems products containing aminopyralid were temporarily withdrawn from supply, sale and use
follow damage to crops grown following treatment with contaminate manure. Following investigation, new approvals were given by the HSE. Measures have been taken to ensure the risk of contaminated manure becoming available to gardeners have been reduced. The
advice is that manure should not be accepted from sources that cannot give assurances that the manure has not come from animals fed on grass or forage treated with persistent hormonal weed killers, especially aminopyralid products.
Horse manure has a higher nitrogen content than other farm animal manures making it more valuable to the composter but the concern over pesticide contamination may have added a concern over its use. Manures high in nitrogen rich
Greens are prone to fermentation and may be referred to as hot manures whereas those wetter manures with a lower nitrogen content which ferment more slowly may be referred to as cold manures. Manure is from horses usually contains viable
weed seeds, to avoid the seeds surviving the composting process hot composting of horse manure is recommended. If cool composting must be used the ground where the compost is spread may need additional hoeing.
manure composts easily, provided it does not dry out. If using a hot composting system where, tuning is a necessary to the composting process, wetting the material when aerating is advised. Ideally based on a scrunch test or moisture level
reading. If taken from the stable the manure may include significant amounts of wood chips and straw (browns) as well as urine.
A three or four bin system is probably advisable if horses are kept on the
property as each horse will produce approximately 22kg of manure and about 34litre of urine per day to which must be added the bedding. This will enable hot composting of the manure .
Sheep produce a relatively rich dry manure that has the advantage not being as smelly as some other manures. The same composting techniques can be used for Composting Sheep Manure as for cow manure.
Goat manure can be composted as with other manures and can also be used as mulch. manure from cows or horses. Like sheep manure goat manure is low odour
and some gardeners broadcast pellets directly onto the soil.
The goat dung can be added as a layer in a pallet bin or added and mixed with other materials in a Dalek bin. The pelleted manure aids airflow
within the bin as does not form a matt as cow dung can.
Alpaca & Llama manure
Alpaca and llama manure is lower in organic matter content than the manure from most other
farm animals and the pellets can be spread directly onto the soil without burning the plants. However, in my view it is best allowed to mature and then composted.
If composting, in an entry level bin, such as a dalek, are best mixed
with other organic material to improve porosity and air flow. Small quantities of pellets can be added to the contents already in the bin and mixed with an aerator or hand fork. If significant quantities are to be added it is best to mix them with
a bulking agent before adding to the bin. This can easily be done on a sheet of tarpaulin.
If operating on a larger scale using a layered composting system e.g., in a pallet or other wooden bin, the alpaca pellets
can be added as one or more separate layers between other greens and browns.
When I was a boy in Sussex in the 1950s it was not unusual for a householder to keep
a pig in their garden as an additional source of meat. The manure was not usually composted but was dug into the garden soil in the autumn to decompose over the winter for the next spring’s crops. Pin manure is best hot
composted in systems that are turned regularly during the early stages.
Hens may be kept on the allotment and at home making a regular supply
of fresh manure readily available to the home composter. Chicken manure (usually including woodchip or sawdust and/or straw from the bedding) can be used in a layered composting system such as the Indore method or as a layer into
a Dalek or tumbler bin which can then be mixed with the other content.
Chicken manure is high in nitrogen and also contains a good amount of phosphorus potassium. It has had a bad reputation in the past as if applied
fresh it would burn plants compost overcomes that problem at it should be recognised by the home composter as a valuable resource. It also had a reputation of smelling and while this may be true of deep litter chicken houses in which the build-up of faeces
and bedding led to high levels of ammonia. It will not be true of small garden and allotment chicken houses which will be cleaned out much more frequently with the manure being covered when stored and being composted
and Guinea pig, Gerbil, and hamster manure.
The manure from small domestic vegetarian pets can be added to the compost heap in the same way as with other herbivore manures although there is likely to significantly
less manure. However, the bedding should be compostable and while there may be insufficient bedding and faeces to make frequent manure layers in a New Zealand or pallet bin it can be added to another manure layer mixed with greens .
The material can be added and mixed with the normal waste in a Dalek type bin. of manure layer in a pallet bin.
It is not generally recommended
to home compost faecal waste from meat eating animals e.g. from cats, dogs and snakes is may contain potentially pathogen organisms but there are some methods available that can be used . For more details click the link Dog & Cat Poo