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Cow vs Sheep manure

What is the difference between using cow vs sheep manure? Sheep is less than half the price. Does it smell more? Which is more beneficial for veggies? Anybody have any preferences?
 
Farm animal manure prices are relative to your location and the availability of the product in your area.

Cow manure has less organic nitrogen in it than sheep, chicken, or horse manure, because cows have 4 stomachs that digest more of the organic matter down before it comes out as poop. Cow manure is called a "cool manure".

Horses only consume about 1/4 of all the grass clippings and hay that they eat. So therefore their poop is very "hot manure". It is richer in nitrogen, and also contains lots of undigested weed seeds. This however is not an issue for me, since I love to hot compost all my available horse manure/sawdust that I collect weekly from the local equine clinic.

Chicken manure is even hotter and more risky. Birds urinate together in their poop mixture. Too much nitrogen for average gardening plants! It has so much soluble ammonia in it, it can burn up plants if not composted first. Also chicken poop is highly alkaline containing lots of calcium carbonate (lime) in it because that is what they feed the chickens to make them lay more eggs.

I understand that fresh rabbit poop is about the safest and most perfect manure, that is almost equal on a C:N ratio to mature compost.

My favorite will always be horse poop. It's rich in NPK. It doesn't stink even when fresh. It's not drippy. It's always pre-mixed at the barns with browns like untreated sawdust and straw/hay bedding.
 
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I have a very basic question about using horse manure: what do you do with it? Do you mix it in to your existing compost pile? How long before you can add it to your veggies? We just moved and there is a horse stable 1 block away from us. I would like to call them and see if I could get some of their manure but am not quite sure what to do with it!
 
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A horse boarding stable down the road piled manure in their driveway with a "FREE MANURE" sign. We loaded a pickup truck full, but didn't meet the owners of the stable.

How do I know how old it is? I assumed that it was older because it didn't smell & didn't draw flies. But your comment suggests otherwise.

I tilled it into the dirt where I threw grass seed. The grass is coming up, but in strange patterns. I've wondered if the seeds germinated in relation to the manure.

I'm mostly concerned about my new perrenial gardens. I planon mixing the free manure with old mulch the previous owners left piled in the back field to put around my perrenials. I don't want to burn my new flowers!

Thanks in advance,
Kathy

zone 5
 
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Horse manure is a great high nitrogen and high bacterial source to add to compost piles to speed up decomposition and to give the pile more "internal heating".

You should never add any fresh manure to your garden near growing plants, until the manure has been composted first. This guarantees no ammonia burning, and neutralizes any potential pathogens in the fresh manure.

Compost animal manures always with browns like straw, untreated sawdust, leaves, or even shredded newspapers. High carbon sources are essential in mixing in composting, because the carbon is a natural odoe eater, it absorbs the nitrogen in the organic material and prevents nitrogen leaching or evaporation, and it forms humus faster via the beneficial composting microbes.

You will know when mature compost is ready for the garden, because it will not stink, it will look homogeneous, and it will not be hot to your fingers.
 
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