How to Use Cow Poop
Like every other waste product from animals, cow dung has really gotten the attention and enlightenment it so deserves. And that’s why today, we are going to have a quick look at what cow dung is, what it is made up of, and the tons of benefits it provides even to us humans.
What is Cow Dung?
In a lay man’s understanding, cow dung or feces is indigestible plant material released on to the ground from the intestine of a cow. In other words, just like we excrete unwanted food substances, cow dungs are quite the same. But unlike human excrete, cow dungs have a lot of benefits, as a result of its composition.
Composition of Cow Dung
Cow dung has a soft texture and tends to be deposited in a circular shape, which sometimes makes people refer it to as cow pies or cowpats.
Nevertheless, the dung is made up of chemically derived as an end product from the plants they eat, which can be used as a fertilizer, and efficient fuel, and biogas producer, a sort-after building material, the good raw material for papermaking, and an insect repellent. So, let’s have look at each of these benefits.
Benefits of Cow Dungs
A Potent Fuel and Biogas Producer
Cow dung that is dried, becomes a perfect fuel itself. That’s why in some cultures, like in certain parts of Costa Rica, cow dungs from local cows or buffalo in other cases, is routinely picked, mixed with straw, and dried in order to be used as fuel.
When dried, these dungs can be used to lit the fire for cooking, and roasting meat. And the thing is, as soon as cow dung is dried, it instantly ceases to smell.
Other than Costa Rica, in North America, people make use of the energy stored in cow dung, by indirectly making biogas from the dung. And in case you never knew, biogas is a mixture of gases made by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter through bacteria.
And when the “anaerobic” process takes place in the absence of oxygen, the digested organic matter can either be cow dung, wasted food and so on.
Plus, biogas produced from cow dung, can be used to cook, heat water using a boiler, and even take the place of conventional fuel in motor vehicles. On top of that, the energy in biogas made from cow dung can be used to produce electricity.
Using Cow Dung as a Building Material
Another benefit of cow dung is that it can be used as a building material and here are some examples. In places like India most especially, mud and cow’s dung paste are mostly applied to the floors and walls of rural homes in India.
And what’s even better is that the mixture often forms a waterproof layer that helps in guarding the house against excessive heat, or produce an obnoxious odor. Also in the building industry, there is now new technology for building way lighter bricks, through the use mixture of cow dung and straw.
Plus, given that biogas is often a product of cow dung, building experts have suggested that the manure residue (cow dung) from biogas production, could be used in place of sawdust, in the production of fibreboard.
And these end product manures, which are made up of fibers, would then be sterilized and mixed with resin to produce the fire-board, which can be used to create furniture and floors in homes.
The high fiber composition of cow dung, allows people to produce paper using this dung. And they do this by washing the dung to extract the fibers, before pressing them into paper on a screen. While some produce papers like this as a hobby, others do it for commercial purposes.
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Cow dung as Insect Repellent/Disinfectant
Over the years, it’s been observed that the smoke from burning cow dung works in repelling insects like cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, and so on. In fact, as stated by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the smoke from burning cow dung is one of the most potent ways to repel mosquitoes in homes.
And this is why some people deliberately burn cow dung in their homes at night, before they sleep, in order to pursue mosquitoes and other insects from their place of habitat.
Other than being a repellent, surprisingly, cow dung is also a disinfectant. Although you may find that hard to believe, the truth is that in certain cultures, cow dungs are often plastered on the floors, and in the wall to serve as both an insulator like the case is amongst rural Indian inhabitants, and also as a disinfectant.
Cow Dung Fertilizer
One of the reasons why most herdsmen or cattle owners often leave cow dung to seat on plants and grass is because these dungs, help those plants to grow up quickly into a size where the cows can once again feed on them.
Cow dung is powerful manure because, it is made up of rich minerals, most especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. That’s why when being kept on the plant, cow dungs can quickly support the growth of such plants, whenever it comes in contact with the soil where it is growing from. In other words, cow dungs will help the plant grow faster by enhancing the soil’s texture and maintaining its moisture level.
However, there are some cautions that you need to abide by when using cow dung as fertilizer. First, you need to sometimes remove the dungs from the field, especially if the field is close to human habitats because these dungs give off methane which acts as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
And if there is a lake or river nearby, and there is an erosion (water runoff) that happens to carry some of the dungs into these rivers/lakes, it is certainly going pollute the water, thus causing some harmful infection to any human that comes in contact with the water.
Secondly, you need to realize that cow dung is chemically dense, which is why you must always dilute or allow it to sit in the soil first before you plant any crop.
So, there you have it, the immense benefits of cow dung in our society. So next time you hear people talk ill of cow dungs, you can simply do them the favor by referring them to this article. They also have the right to know how beneficial cow dung is.