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Date:9/20/2014 5:05:20 PM
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Manure, Part II
We were talking about different types of manure. From my own experience, I know that pig manure is high in ammonia and therefore it stinks the worst. I do not know about sheep, but horse manure is very "hot" and that it will kill any plant life that come in contact with it. Therefore, you spread it on a fallow, or unused fields. Then it works just fine. The topic of manure was even featured in international relations. Richard Nixon, in his memoirs, related that when he was Vice President in the '50's, he had to negotiate with Nikita Kruschev, the Soviet Premier. Kruschev stated that the US proposals were ". . . horseshit, the worse smelling of fertilizer." Nixon knew that Kruschev had experience raising hogs so he countered, "You are mistakened, pigshit smells worse." This impressed and amused Kruschev enough to cause him to warm up to Nixon somewhat.
Here, being the "Dairy State," the larger farmers spray liquified cow manure on their fields. Compared to this, the old-fashioned stuff I'm used to handling smells like perfume. Small farmers and gardeners, like most of us here at Hobby Farms, are able to use whatever we get from whatever livestock we raise. The manure from goats, sheep, horses, and even rabbits have their attributes. To find out more about rabbit fertilizer, I suggest you read Samantha Johnson's excellent article, "Using Rabbit Manure" right here on our Hobby Farms site. For me, I think that chicken droppings would fit the bill. Again, I quote Wikipedia: "Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and its relative lack of odor compared to other forms of organic fertilizer such as horse manure." Like rabbit manure, if chicken manure is allowed to compost a bit before spreading, there is less chance of transmitting diseases. The high nitrogen content will cause it to burn plants if applied directly. Experts tell us to compost it, adding water to aid in its decomposition. While I don't have a composter, I think that if I just spread it on this year's fallow field, it'll be ready for the next year's crop. My plan in the future is to put my "hen tractor" or chicken coop on the fallow part of my home garden and thus have it fertilized for the next year. --Gary
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