Does Cow Manure Need to be Composted? Now Answered

Does Cow Manure Need to be Composted? Now Answered

Cow manure can only have or contain better nutrients only when the cow eats well and it’s healthy. Cow dung is very common among animal manures used by gardeners or farmers for decades, and up till this modern time.

It generally enhances crop quality, boosts your garden, fertilize the soil, as well as helping the environment to clear up animal wastes.

In spite of these, it will be non-beneficial to just take this fresh dung and spread it all over your soil; hence your cow dung or manure has to be composted before you can use it for all its beneficial reasons especially as a fertilizer.

Is Cow Manure Compostable?

With obvious reasons surrounding the need to compost cow manure as you will be seeing in this article, its still important to know if it’s really compostable.

Cows from which we got the manure happens to be herbivorous animal, just like other plant-eating animals whose manures are compostable and been used as fertilizers.

Unlike manures from carnivores like pig, dog or cat whose wastes aren’t compostable, hosting and spreading harmful pathogens that infect human.

Read also: How Long Does It Take Cow Manure To Compost?

Why Can’t You Use Fresh Cow Manure Directly?

Many problems surround the use of fresh cow manure directly as fertilizer to your plants. Some of them are;

High Volume of Nitrogen and Ammonia

Fresh cow dung typically has high amount of soluble nitrogen, thereby adding it to the soil will make it become very excessive in the soil.

Too much of nitrogen over-fertilize the soil, create nutrient imbalance in the soil, as well as reducing plants ability to fruit and flower.

Nitrogen can as well be available in the form of ammonium nitrate or simply ammonia of which adding them to the soil in excess could chemically burn tender plant parts, blackened the roots and even cause death.


The foul smelly odour of fresh cow manure is enough to discourage gardeners in its direct application to the soil or plants.


Fresh cow manure could also contain high salt concentration causing salt damages which include; plant growth inhibition, as well as the diversion of important water in plant tissues.

Weed Seeds

Fresh cow dung may as well lead to a weed problem because it could contain high amounts of viable weed seeds, which can be specifically caused by improper digestion of the diets ingested by the cow, such that the seeds now escape through the animal’s digestive system.

Read also: How To Add Cow Manure To Your Garden

Pathogens and Heavy Bacteria Load

Fresh cow manure contains harmful bacteria and pathogens, which are capable of infecting or been transmitted to humans. Example of this is Salmonella present in bovine manure.

Other problems like heavy metal content in cow which is caused by the ingestion of water and fodder that are contaminated, coupled with other undesirable substances that may be present in the manure.

What are the Benefits of Activating the Need to Compost Your Cow Manure?

Concisely, the benefits of activating the need to compost your cow manure include;

  1. Nutrient cycling and the suppression of soil and foliar pathogens by compost’s beneficial microbes.
  2. Reduction in pumping costs and your need for irrigation due to its greater water holding capacity.
  3. Lowered water content and slow release of nutrients into the soil.
  4. Improvement of soil structure, and eradication of weed seeds and pathogens due to compost heat.
  5. Reduced volume in form of dryness, making it easier to haul and apply.
  6. Eradication of odour and provision of needed nutrients in balance.

From this article, it’s therefore now easier to understand the need to compost your cow manure before use so that you can enjoy the benefits of composting.