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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by valsey, Jun 3, 2006.
Can you compost cat poo for the garden?
Can you feed cat food to chickens?
Yes you can compost it, but it's very hot so you need to mix it with LOTS of low-nitrogen stuff, like leaves, grass clippings, or straw.
And yes you can feed cat food to chickens. Lots of people do, they seem to lay and grow better with a little cat food added to their regular food.
Fantastic - thank you!
I'd say that your chickens would love some cat food as a treat. Its really high in protein so I wouldn't use it as their sole source of food.
I would say no to composting cat poo, mainly because it contains some nasty bacteria, one being toxoplasmosis, which can affect a pregnant woman. There are some articles on composting it, but personally I'd rather be on the cautious side.
oh - well that's no good. I thought I'd just put the poo in the manure pile.
As far as the cat food - just thought that if there was any unfinished wet food in the cat's bowls I'd give it to the hens. It wouldn't be really, really fresh tho.
I wouldn't worry too much about toxoplasmosis, as you are much more likely to get it from undercooked meat than you are from your cat, especially if your cat is primarily indoors (which I'm assuming if you have access to it's left-overs LOL) The frequency of toxo is a very common misconception. It's true that toxo infection can be harmful to a fetus, but that's if the woman was infected for the first time while pregnant. If you have always had cats, you are more than likely immune to it. If you like, I can try to find you a link for this info, but I also have it from every midwife I've used and a family doctor, plus every vet I've ever worked for (I've been a vet tech for 12+ years).
If in doubt, don't do it.
You stand a higher chance of getting toxoplasmosis from eating a rare steak than you do from handling cat dook. And the population of concern for toxo is gestating females, as it is teratogenic.
I don't understand getting all excited about cat poo. If you have cats roaming your area, they're already leaving their calling cards hither and yon. It's just part of the Circle of Stuff.
You can compost cat and dog manure and put it at the base of shrubs and trees. You would not want it in your garden or anyplace you will be digging with your hands tho.
...not to mention the cat poo!
If there is NO chance that I will get pregnant, what's the difference if it's in my garden, or I go near the poo? Or can it also be harmful to a pregnant goat as well? And how does this happen? Does the animal need to eat the poo to get toxoplasmosis? Or what?
I'm probably taking my life and the lives of those I love into my hands, but c'mon! Compost is compost!
I use the animal manure of all available animals.
I would wager that the dog and cats from whom I get manure have fewer chemicals in their manure than some of the cows and other animals who contribute their dung to the bagged compost you get at the store.
Run a hot pile, if you're really concerned compost it for a couple of years, and use the stuff. Everything breaks down.
Okay, here's what I've found: toxoplasmosis is found in just about every warm-blooded animal. Cats get it from eating infected rats and birds. Other animals get it from drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated veggies. People get it primarily from eating undercooked meat (so always thoroughly cook your meat), but can also get it from coming in direct contact with contaminated cat feces or from digging in dirt contaminated with cat feces. Most of the time the infection is mild, cold or flu like in people, with the exception of those with weak immune systems and fetuses. I did find that in some types of livestock, including goats, sheep and pigs, it can cause spontaneous abortion or neurologic disorders in the newborns.
Here's a quote from one site on human prevention:
There are no drugs that can eliminate T. gondii cysts in animal or human tissues. Humans can reduce their risks of developing toxoplasmosis by practicing the following:
* freezing (to 10.4Â°F/-12Â°C) and cooking foods to an internal temperature of 152Â°F/67Â°C will kill the cyst
* practicing sanitary kitchen techniques, such as washing utensils and cutting boards that come into contact with raw meat
* keeping pregnant women and children away from household cats and cat litter
* disposing of cat feces daily, because the oocysts do not become infective until after 24 hours
* helping cats to remain free of infection by feeding them dry, canned, or boiled food and by discouraging hunting and scavenging
* washing hands after outdoor activities involving soil contact and wearing gloves when gardening"
Sorry I couldn't find more for you about goat infection. I will keep looking and let you know if I find anything else.
Overall, if you don't think your cat could be infected with toxo, you can go ahead and compost his poo. If you're not sure, then don't. If it were me, I would compost my kitties' waste (if I had a compost bin going), 'cause there ain't no way they could have gotten infected. You can always look into getting him tested by the vet, but the test can be very expensive, and if I recall correctly, unless they've changed the testing protocol, the test has a high false-positive rate. (It's been a loooong time since I've had to test a cat - it just isn't recommended by vets)
Sorry for the novel - got carried away with the research.
Hope it helps!
my old cats make their deposits all over the garden, anywhere there is loose soil really.
Wow - thank you. and i thought i was tenacious when it came to research. Seems to me the risk is low. if my goats get pregnant then MAYBE i wouldn't want to feed them anything from my garden if it has cat poo compost in it, but otherwise i think it sounds pretty safe. it seems better to dig the stuff deep into the manure pile rather than continually loading up the landfills. Granted - I use a wheat litter, but still - I have to put it in a plastic bag. ultimatly i would prefer to let the cats out, but that poses a whole different set of problems.
thanks for all your help - let me know if you find out anything more - appreciate it!
I've been told not to compost carnivore poop, but that herbivore poop is just fine.
Your eggs might taste somewhat of cat food.
I've never noticed our eggs tasting like anything but eggs. Our chickens get all of our kitchen scraps including smelly stuff.
I compost dog doo from 7 raw fed dogs. I mention raw fed because the doo is different from kibble fed dogs. Breaks down quickly into white ash (bone meal, perhaps?). Haven't died yet, and I have plenty of material to work with.
I've never noticed, either, but that's what my Mom said, and she has an amazing sense of smell and taste. If you've ever read the book 'Perfume', the character could tell which cow gave which milk, by the taste, and what the cows had been eating....come to think of it, when I was breastfeeding, mine never liked it, when I'd been eating onions or garlic.
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED that book!