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Horn shavings are one of the most important organic garden fertilizers. You can buy them in the garden shop in pure form and as part of organic whole fertilizer. Horn shavings are made from the hooves and horns of slaughter cattle. Most of them come from South America, as the local animals are mostly dehorned as young calves.
In dogs, the protein-rich granules are also extremely popular: If you have fresh horn shavings or hornspänehaltige garden fertilizer applied, steer the four-legged friends in the garden often straight to the bed and patiently eat the scattered crumbs - and many garden owners ask themselves: "May this?"
The answer is: Basically yes, because pure horn shavings are not toxic to dogs. The fact that dog owners still discredit the fertilizer is due to another substance that was sometimes mixed with horn shavings in the past and was also popular as an ingredient in whole organic fertilizers: castor meal.
Castor shot contains a strong poison
The castor meal is the so-called press cake, which results from the extraction of castor oil. The oil is an important raw material for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic production and is obtained from the seeds of the tropical Wunderbaums (Rizinus communis). They contain the highly toxic ricin that is left behind in the oil cake in the press cake because it is not fat-soluble. The protein-rich residues must be heated after pressing for a certain time, so that the poison decomposes. Subsequently, they are processed into animal feed or organic fertilizers.
The prickly fruits of the Wunderbaum (Rizinus communis) contain the poisonous seeds. For the extraction of oil, castor oil is cultivated mainly in Asia, with us, the miracle tree is popular as a one-year bedding plant
Brand fertilizers are free of castor meal
Despite the problem, there is no reason, even as a dog owner, to forego organic fertilizers in the garden - especially as mineral products in larger quantities are also harmful to dogs. German brand manufacturers such as Neudorff and Oscorna have been dispensing with castor meal for many years due to the high risk potential. However, in contrast to Switzerland, the raw material is not prohibited as a fertilizer in Germany. Therefore, as a dog owner, you should not rely on low-priced noname garden fertilizers and horn shavings being free from toxic castor meal, and in case of doubt prefer to resort to a branded product.