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Discussion Starter #1
Why do some people strongly discourage composting pet manner while others strongly recommend composting animal manner? Some people say add manure from cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, etc. while others say don’t add dog, cat, rabbit manure. I understand that animals can carry diseases. But why would dog, cat, or rabbit manure be worse then horse, cow, goat, sheep, chicken, etc.? There is obviously a contradiction unless I’m missing some information. I always understood that adding any manure would help promote the breakdown of other composting matter. What’s your take on the situation?
 

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The heat from proper composting of manure is supposed to kill off the weed seeds that you would find in field fed animal wastes.
 

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My experience is that it does not matter what you put in there as long as it was once alive. Scat included. Everything in, even roadkill.



mc
 

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Unregistered said:
But why would dog, cat, or rabbit manure be worse then horse, cow, goat, sheep, chicken, etc.?
I don't classify rabbit manure in with dog & cat manure.

I don't put meat, meat scraps or doopah from meat eaters in my compost. don't have a concrete 'why', it was the way I was taught.
 
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So that means you would not compost in popularly sold bat guano or chicken guano? They both eat insects (meat) and chickens will eat just about any meat they can’t get to. It seams very odd to me. People rant and rave over the quality of bat guano.
 

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I've always been told not to use dog or cat manure, but I don't remember why! As for rabbit manure, it is a great fertilizer! We used to raise little Dutch rabbits, and the manure could even be used green. The grass where we kept the hutches is still the nicest in the yard, and we got rid of the bunnies 2 years ago! I'm not sure the composting process is as delicate as some books would have you believe. It seems to turn no matter how many rules you break.
 

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Unregistered said:
you would not compost in popularly sold bat guano or chicken guano?
I don't compost in anything I have to buy! I have enough cow/horse/hog/chicken/geese/turkey/rabbit manure to last a lot of gardens a lot of years. Shoot, we even added bee doopah to the ranks of manure around here this year!


Unregistered said:
chickens will eat just about any meat they can’t get to.
Well, yes they do, don't they?? All our birds are free ranged and eat plenty of insects during the year.
 

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I think the reason that advice is given is because most people asking the questions are beginners and have not figured out how to compost yet. Once you get going with composting and can maintain a hot pile indefinitely, you can compost anything that once lived. I buried my Golden Retriever in my pile about 2 weeks ago. I'm not going to go looking for him, but in a hot pile it usually takes about 4 days (yes days) for an entire animal to decompose completely (bones, teeth, hair, hooves, everything). Before I buried my dog, the largest animals I had composted were squirrels and possums as my dog would deliver them to me. A local composting giant takes in road kill deer as well as dead livestock at a rate of about 8-10 a month. If you bury the animal or manure deep enough, the smells never escape and are completely captured in the compost filter. Remember that every escaping smell marks the loss of some valuable nutrient.

If your compost pile has some density and some heat to it, you can go ahead and try composting meats and animal manures. If your pile looks more open like tree branches with some loose grass clippings in it, then you need to wait before moving to the more advanced composting experiments. My pile is entirely oak leaves and horse manure with alfalfa hay.
 

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My pile is entirely oak leaves and horse manure with alfalfa hay.

errr.... and the dog....... :eek:

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Can you compost oleander leaves and clippings? These are considered poisonous so I don't have a clue how safe they are.
 

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You don't compost dog or cat manure because of worms. Certain worms that dogs and cats carry are transmissable to humans, so if there are worm eggs in the poop and the compost doesn't heat enough to kill them, then you put it round your veggies, then you don't wash them good enough then voila you got a bad case of a worm that can migrate to your eyes and affect your sight. It's the same reason you don't eat under cooked pork- Trichinosis. Caused by roundworms. That's also why you shouldn't let dogs and cats lick your face and you should keep your dogs and cats wormed.

Carol
 

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So that means you would not compost in popularly sold bat guano or chicken guano? They both eat insects (meat) and chickens will eat just about any meat they can’t get to.
Bugs are different. Carnivores (as in meat eaters) can carry parisites. They also don't have the fiber in their poop that makes things fluffy. Also, meat having less (or no) fiber, has more of it's nutrients absorbed. Greens are full of fiber, and alot of nutrients are left in it after it is digested. This helps all the little soil critters live. I mean, dung beetles don't care much for carnivore poo, for a reason. It's the very end of the food chain, it's just icky, look at it!
 

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DOOWHATT?????? Where have ya'll been hearin' this?

It's not only a matter of proper management(keeping it HOT), sure theres worms in that dead skunk I put in there yesterday, but if the heat don't get them the BIGGER WORMS/BUGS will. If you don't have the bio-diversity(and no I'm not trying to be pc) you will have problems. Theres no harm in fire ants and what not in the compost heap.



mc
 

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Bailey, you can compost anything you want, as long as it was alive at some point. ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MINERAL.

Remember that and the three S's and you will be on your way to being the ultimate homesteader! Just keep the compost pile in mind on the second 'S'!!! :haha:




mc
 
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Discussion Starter #15
"You don't compost dog or cat manure because of worms. Certain worms that dogs and cats carry are transmissable to humans, so if there are worm eggs in the poop and the compost doesn't heat enough to kill them, then you put it round your veggies, then you don't wash them good enough then voila you got a bad case of a worm that can migrate to your eyes and affect your sight."

Well, I only through my Labrador’s excrement in the compost pile not the cats (and the rabbit’s as well). My dog is healthy and has regular visits to the vet. I’m also in south Florida, and as you know we get plenty of heat. The compost pile is in the sun as well. I think I’ll be ok. But at least I understand the argument now.I figured it must have had something to do with specific diseases, parasites, germs, or something that were able to transfer from dogs and cats to humans. That was the only thing logical, but oddly no one ever mentioned it until you. They just said, “you don’t do that” and gave no explanation why. Thanks for all the replies.
 

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Unregistered said:
Why do some people strongly discourage composting pet manner while others strongly recommend composting animal manner? Some people say add manure from cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, etc. while others say don’t add dog, cat, rabbit manure. I understand that animals can carry diseases. But why would dog, cat, or rabbit manure be worse then horse, cow, goat, sheep, chicken, etc.? There is obviously a contradiction unless I’m missing some information. I always understood that adding any manure would help promote the breakdown of other composting matter. What’s your take on the situation?
I have no clear idea as to why, but I follow my Grandmother's advice on this one:

As a general rule - if it eats meat as its primary source of protein, I don't use it - dog, cat, human - whatever. However, if it is properly composted, (and for me that means at high heat for a VERY long time) I wouldn't worry about it. I never compost the dog or cat manure, which goes into the septic with 'other' waste. However, I put rabbit manure straight into the garden both as a soil amendment and as a top dressing.

I also never dump bones or blood straight into the garden. The bones get baked until dry, then powdered, and the blood goes into a special compost pile so it doesn't get used for a couple years. I never have 'leftovers' of any kind, because heck - what my husband doesn't take to work for lunch and the dogs, cats and rabbits don't eat usually feeds crows and coons.

Sue
 

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southerngurl said:
Bugs are different. Carnivores (as in meat eaters) can carry parisites. They also don't have the fiber in their poop that makes things fluffy. Also, meat having less (or no) fiber, has more of it's nutrients absorbed. Greens are full of fiber, and alot of nutrients are left in it after it is digested. This helps all the little soil critters live. I mean, dung beetles don't care much for carnivore poo, for a reason. It's the very end of the food chain, it's just icky, look at it!
Bugs are not different. Many carry parasites which rely on a mammal as a host for part of their life cycle. In addition, many organic insect controls rely on bug parasites for the killing mechanism.

Have you looked at the ingredients in dog food lately? The bagged stuff has almost no animal products in it. LOTS of fiber, though, and no source for parasites.

As a matter of fact, there are several species of dung beetles for carnivores and omnivores (cats are true carnivores while dogs are omnivores). You might not see them because many of them are killed by the heartworm and flea medicine, but they are there. There is a researcher at the University of Texas doing that research as we speak.

My dog's poop lasts about 4 days in my turf. [stand by for a graphic description] The first day it looks like a normal dog pile. The second day it is usually covered with tiny flies and pill bugs. By the end of 48 hours it is clearly losing its form and shape. By the end of the third day it is more of a flattened blob, which, if you happen to step on it, does NOT stick to your bare feet (eeewww! -or your shoes). On the fourth day you have to pry apart the grass blades to find the remains of the pile. And other than the tiny flies on the poop, I don't have flies around the yard or house. I do believe it makes a difference that I am an organic gardener.
 
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