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August 2012
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What are the differences between manure from different animals such as cow, pig, bull, etc?

• Most animal manure is feces.
• Common forms of animal manure include farmyard manure (FYM) or farm slurry (liquid manure).
• FYM also contains plant material (often straw), which has been used as bedding for animals.
• This material has absorbed the feces and urine.
• Agricultural manure in liquid form, known as slurry.
• Manure from different animals has different qualities and requires different application rates when used as fertilizer.
For example:
• horses
• cattle
• pigs
• sheep
• chickens
• turkeys
• rabbits
• humans (sewage)
• guano from seabirds and bats

All of them have different properties.
• Sheep manure is high in nitrogen and potash.
• Pig manure is relatively low in both.
• Horses mainly eat grass and a few weeds so horse manure can contain grass and weed seeds, as horses do not digest seeds the way that cattle do.
• Chicken litter, coming from a bird, is very concentrated in nitrogen and protein and is prized for both properties.
• Animal manures may be adulterated or contaminated with other animal products.

These products are such as:
– wool (shoddy and other hair)
– feathers
– blood
– bone
• Livestock feed can be mixed with the manure due to spillage.
• For example, chickens are often fed meat and bone meal, an animal product, which can end up becoming mixed with chicken litter.
• Cow manure and steer manure can both be used as soil amendments for a garden.
• Cattle manure is commonly sold as “cow manure”.

Different properties of Different Manure

1. Salt Content
• Steer manure may contain more salt than cow manure.
• All manure from domestic cattle can have a high salt content if the animals are given salt blocks to lick.
• These blocks contain other nutrients the animals need to stay healthy, but the salt attracts them.
• Steer manure may contain more salt because of the concentrated feed they are given.
• Too much salt can stunt or kill plants.

2. Weed Seeds
• Manure from any cattle grazing on pasture will contain weed seeds.
• This is because they eat the weeds along with the grass and pass the seeds through undigested.
• Dairy cows are more often pastured, while meat animals are penned up.
• Both are commonly fed silage, plant material that has been processed and stored under conditions that destroy weed seeds.

3. Other Manures
• Many domestic animal manures provide useful manures, including sheep, rabbits and poultry.
• Hog manure is used in liquid form, rather than dried.
• Even wild animal manure has been used in agriculture when available in quantity, such as guano from seabird roosts and bat caves.

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