Making cow manure compost is a procedure that’s legitimately worthwhile, because cow dung as its often called, is high in organic materials and rich in nutrients. Cow manure compost can as well provide numerous benefits to the garden.
Composting cow manure should be a compulsory routine for many gardeners due to the fact that its not beneficial to directly apply fresh manure to plants as it can burn them due to the high level of ammonia contained in the cow manure.
As cow manure get composted, beneficial bacteria convert nutrients into easily accessible forms so they can be slowly released without burning tender plant roots.
Is Cow Dung Among Other Kinds of Manure That Can Be Composted?
One important criterion that qualifies manures to be well composted is the fact that it must contain many bedding materials like wood shavings, straw, sawdust, or spilled hay; hence, manure from dairy cows or beef cows meets this criterion.
Consecutively, manure from other animals like goats, poultry and horses are the kinds of manure that will be composted easily.
However, manure from egg laying hens or those of pigs are more concentrated and moist, and will only compost easily if materials are mixed with it.
Read also: Horse Vs Cow Manure
What Happens Inside a Compost Pile?
Manure as an example of a matter with high nitrogen, straw as an example of another matter with high carbon, coupled with moisture and air are the requirements needed to work out compost in a pile carried out by naturally occurring bacteria.
These bacteria produce heat in the pile which kills many disease causing organisms and weed seeds. This heat is obviously seen in form of steam anytime you try to turn the pile.
Turning the pile is very important to make compost work; as it is done so that the heat will get to the middle part from outside, thereby allowing air into the pile. The pile should be mixed and turned over on many occasions.
Depending on the size of your pile and how well you mix and turn it, getting a brittle composted manure can take up to three to six months having earthy smell with dark brown color.
Read also: How To Use Mushroom Compost
How to Compost Cow Dung
- The first step is selecting a location where you can build a 3- to 4-foot square pile, giving room for turning.
- Next is to spread a 3-inch layer of dry organic material on the square area, and at every 3 days turn the pile.
- At points when you notice that the heat stops at the centre, with other parameters like brittleness, dark brown color and earthy smell, then the compost is ready for use.
One vital thing you must consider when composting cow manure is the size of your pile. If its too small, it wont provide enough heat, which is essential for the composting process.
Regularly mixing and turning the pile is also very crucial.
As a gardener, knowing how to compost cow manure therefore offers the advantage of helping you eliminate weed seeds, too much nutrients like ammonia as well as dangerous pathogens;
thereby improving soil’s water retention ability, aeration, coupled with adding more nutrients and water to the roots of plants when needed, as well as helping to break up compacted soils.