What is Manure?
• Manure is an excellent fertilizer and soil amendment.
• They are high in content of vegetable matter and relatively low levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
• Composting manure prior to use is recommended.
• This is particularly true on certain “hot” manures, such as horse manure, which may burn plants.
• The best way to use manure is as a compost ingredient.
• The heat generated during composting kills undesirable weed seeds.
• This also makes the nutrients easily available to plants growing in soil amended with it.
What is a Herbivore manure?
• Herbivore manure is manure that is made out of dung of herbivorous animals.
• This manure has a milder smell than the dung of carnivores or omnivores.
• For example, elephant dung is practically odorless.
• Herbivore slurry that has undergone anaerobic fermentation may develop more unpleasant odors.
• This can be a problem in some agricultural regions.
• Poultry droppings are harmful to plants when fresh.
• After a period of composting, they are valuable fertilizers.
• Animal dung has been used for centuries as a fertilizer for farming.
• This improves the soil structure (aggregation).
• It holds more nutrients and water and hence becomes more fertile.
• Animal manure also encourages soil microbial activity.
• This promotes the soil’s trace mineral supply thereby improving plant nutrition.
• It also contains some nitrogen and other nutrients that help the growth of plants.
• Manure generates heat as it decomposes.
• It is possible for manure to ignite spontaneously so it should be stored in a massive pile.
• Once such a large pile of manure is burning, it will foul the air over a very large area.
• This fire requires considerable effort to extinguish.
• Therefore, large feedlots must take care to ensure that piles of fresh manure (feces) do not get excessively large.
• There is no serious risk of spontaneous combustion in smaller operations.
• There is also a risk of insects carrying feces to food and water supplies.
• This makes the food and water unsuitable for human consumption.
• Herbivore manure-based fertilizers add valuable nutrients to garden soil.
• They improve the structure of soil.
• They also increase its capacity to retain moisture.
• This hence improves the overall plant health.
• Folks had a cows and a small flock of chickens in their yard in the earlier days.
• The animal droppings provided a constant, no-cost, renewable source of ready-made plant food that made crops grow better was the only known factor.
How to preparing a Herbivore Manure?
• Prepare the gardening site in the fall as usual.
• Measure the area that you plan to enrich with fresh manure.
• Calculate how much manure you’re going to need.
• This amount depends upon the animal species the manure was produced by.
• For every 100 square feet of garden, you’ll need:
- 8 to 10 lb. of poultry
- 45 to 50 lb. of cattle
- 45 lb. of horse
- 20 lb. of sheep manure
• Use a plastic 5-gallon bucket that holds about 25 pounds of fresh manure, as a rough measure.
• Add fresh unprocessed manure to the gardening site in the fall.
• Amend it into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil within 12 hours of application.
• Do not dump it and leave it.
• This will prevent loss of valuable soluble nitrogen into the atmosphere.
• Fall application will give the manure plenty of time to decompose into compost.
• This will give time to nourish the soil before being ready to plant in the spring.
• It will also allow hot manures to neutralize enough so that they won’t burn tender young seedlings.
• Sow seeds and plant seedlings in the spring.
• Apply a thick mat of organic mulch.
• Mulching helps to retain moisture and also discourage weed growth.
• Cattle, horse or sheep manure can evolve a certain amount of weed seeds to germinate.