Horse manure, cow dung as fertilizer

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Horse manure, cow dung as fertilizer: dung

Experts assume that up to 15 million tons of horse manure a year are produced in Germany. The amount of cow dung produced annually is even higher. The daily output per cow is between 15 and 20 kilograms.

Crap is not the same crap

Depending on the type of farming, litter, feeding, storage and manure, the composition and nutrient content of the animal excretion products varies. The distinctive digestive systems of horses and cattle, these are ruminants, also produce different manure. Thus, the horse manure is characterized by a high nitrogen content. It has many undigested plant components such as seeds and is mixed with litter and straw.
The mineral ratio of bovine manure is more balanced than that of horse manure. It contains a lot of potassium. If he comes from stables with factory farming, however, he may have residues of drugs or other chemicals.

Where to go with the crap?

  • Both horse and cow dung are suitable for use in the garden.
  • However, the hobby gardener should never apply the fertilizer fresh, but only compost.
Mineral fertilizers dissolve in the water. In contrast, organic fertilizers only require decomposition by the microorganisms in the soil. Although this process is lengthy, it also reduces the risk of over-fertilization. During storage, for. In a manure pit, the strawy parts disintegrate. If the straw components and manure on the compost are indistinguishable, it is well seasoned and ready for application.
  • Fresh cow manure is not only too hot for plants, but it also creates a lot of heat in its decomposition.
  • In horse manure, the heat is particularly large. This makes it the ideal fertilizer for cold frames.
He lays over the bed like a warm blanket. So that he can develop his warming effect, one should store the horse manure in winter airy. This delays the decomposition process and thus the release of heat. The natural heating based on horse manure then runs only when spreading to the cold frame. However, too much heat can destroy the roots of the plants.

Which fertilizer for which plant?

If you want to grow cabbage, tomatoes or cucumbers in the cold frame, you should choose the "heated" horse manure. The heat from its rotting supports plant growth. Likewise, radishes, lettuce and spinach and even strawberries with horse manure grow well. As with the plants from the Frühbeet, the gardener resorts better to stored horse manure or manure than to fresh horse-strawberries. Even rose and orchid breeders appreciate horse manure. The nutrients in the horse dung fuel the growth and flowering power of the flowers. In addition to the minerals, the manure provides the plants with fungi, bacteria and hormones.
Bovine manure is a general purpose fertilizer and can be used anywhere. It is well received by almost all soils and plants. Its effect is long-lasting and does not stop like the horse manure after a few weeks. Cow dung binds loose sandy soil and loosens clay soil. In marl and limestone soils, it has a cooling effect.
Since soil and plants need different nutrients, many gardeners mix several types of dung. If there is a high level of potash and nitrogen in addition to the heat supply, horse dung can be mixed well with the manure of sheep, goats and rabbits. The addition of poultry manure increases the proportion of phosphorus and trace elements.

Use horse manure and cow manure correctly

When spreading animal manure in your home garden, pay attention to the following:
  • Use only seasoned, composted animal manure.
  • Always work the dung on the beds into the soil. The undermining reduces the odor nuisance on the one hand.
  • However, much more important from the gardener's point of view is that the microorganisms in the soil are better at getting to the dung.
  • If you opt for storage on the ground, a 5 cm thick manure blanket is stacked on the bed.
  • Never cover sprouts and leaves with manure!
  • Do not give fertilizer directly into the planting hole. This is especially true for trees and shrubs.
  • Swap the manure in cold frames every spring.
The trade now offers animal dung in dried form. The storage and handling of these pellets is very simple and described in detail on the packaging.
At the time of the optimal fertilization - whether before the winter or in the spring - the spirits divorced. For a spreading of the fertilizer before winter speaks mainly its frost-protecting effect. In addition, it can consistently deliver nutrients to the soil throughout the winter months. To start the growth phase, the soil is then optimally prepared. On the other hand speaks that over winter the nutrients of the dung - which are actually important for the growth phase - wash out by snow and rain. In addition, the warming effect is usually limited to a few weeks.


If you want to spread your dung extensively on fields or pastures, you can not do so at your discretion as in your own garden, but you have to observe the Fertilizer Ordinance. It determines which nutrient quantities are allowed per hector.
For farmers who want to sell too much to manure, the regulations on the marketing of fertilizers are binding. From the type of fertilizer on the net weight, the composition to the origin and date of the seller must label the manure in detail and recorded on a delivery note.

Natural benefits for the garden

Animal manure is a renewable resource. It naturally supplies the soil with nutrients and organic substances. Over-fertilization or damage to the soil and plants is hardly possible when applying deposited cow dung and horse manure. On the contrary: Organic fertilizers maintain and improve soil fertility.
The recycling of manure in the garden or on the field is effective and inexpensive. It also reduces the garbage problem. Admittedly, the composting and application of the fertilizer is time consuming and labor intensive. Those who shy away from this effort, can fall back on industrially produced dry pellets. They are also less odoriferous.

Worth knowing about horse and cow dung in short

  • Horse dung is the excrement of horses mixed with straw. Cow dung is the excrement of cattle.
  • If the weather is wet, the cow dung will decompose in a period of about two to three months.
  • Kuhdung provides a habitat for numerous insects. To such a cow dung around it comes to an over-fertilization.
  • The result is that the grass in the places where the cows have left their excrement in the pasture, then grows particularly lush.
  • If the weather is dry, cow patties can also dry out. These can then be used as fuel, for example.
Even today cow patties still have considerable economic importance in numerous high mountain regions in India, Turkey and Tibet, but also in different regions of the Alps and are used dried as heating material.
Many, especially organic gardeners, are looking for alternative methods of fertilization, so-called bio-fertilizers. This includes horse manure and cow manure. Horse manure is relatively easy to obtain, because in agriculture and riding stables fall in the course of a year usually huge amounts of horse manure. The amount of manure produced in agriculture over the course of a year - caused by horses, pigs and cows - can sometimes be a problem, because not all the accumulated manure can be used by the farmers themselves for the fertilization, although horse manure and Kuhdung as Fertilizer is widely used in agriculture.
In addition, many small and home gardeners are now taking advantage of the offer of some farmers and make use of the dung heap around the corner. Horse manure is according to expert opinion the best manure, which one can use for the fertilization, whereby fresh horse manure still very high Ammoniakanteile has, in contrast to already partly rotted horse manure.

Video Board: The power of Horse manure.

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