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Mar 12, 2021 12:57 PM CST
Thread OP
California (Zone 10a)
I have 2 places and one place uses Chicken manure and the other place uses Horse manure and hay. I'm just curious which kind is good or it does not matter.

They are both organic compost.
Avatar for Rubi
Mar 12, 2021 1:43 PM CST
West Central Minnesota (Zone 4a)
I would lean toward the chicken manure. Horse manure is supposed to be one of the most alkaline, which is fine if you're in the east, but if you're out west I'd favor other types.
Avatar for RpR
Mar 12, 2021 2:52 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Chicken would be better
Avatar for thommesM
Mar 14, 2021 6:46 AM CST
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
Best kind is the kind you make yourself. Smiling Nothing like making compost and then adding it to your soil. Hopefully you have the space and the materials available to make your own.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

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Avatar for bunnydefluff
May 10, 2021 2:03 AM CST
Name: John K.
Organic Gardener
One potential problem with Horse manure is that the grass they ate might have systemic herbicide chemicals that will persist to kill your plants later.
Avatar for Dirtmechanic
Jul 9, 2021 8:10 PM CST
canada 4b (Zone 8a)
I put 27 bags of black kow composted manure in the garden last year and it was contaminated. It took out most and damaged all the plants.
Jul 21, 2021 6:37 PM CST
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
I thought Black Kow manure is supposed to be good. Good thing I didn't buy anything.
Avatar for Dirtmechanic
Jul 21, 2021 7:48 PM CST
canada 4b (Zone 8a)
SoCalGardenNut said:I thought Black Kow manure is supposed to be good. Good thing I didn't buy anything.

They quietly took responsibility and I did notice they removed it from Lowes for the rest of the year.
Jul 22, 2021 6:03 AM CST
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
...the kind you make yourself.
I find myself most amusing.
Aug 17, 2021 1:45 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Garden Procrastinator Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower
Solar Power Bee Lover Birds Seed Starter Butterflies Container Gardener
"The kind you make yourself" has been mentioned a couple of times in the thread. But, a nice pile of composting organic matter is the Hôtel de Paris in Monte-Carlo for fire ants in some areas, like mine. I know many of you have never encountered fire ants but they are deadly and, at the least, dangerous. I've tried on several occasions to start compost piles and it never fails to become infested with fire ants. Sure, we could put out poisons *but* it'd have to go into the compost and pretty much all the poisons that will work are stated as not being approved for use where edible crops are growing. To me, the OPs question regarding choosing either chicken or horse manure, is a specific question narrowed down to two answers.

I agree that the horse manure may very well be contaminated with pesticides (either insecticides and/or herbicides). Half-lives of some of these chemicals are long-lasting in regards to harming garden crops...they are designed that way to stop weeds (especially broad leaf weeds) from growing for a season or three. And, though their impact on plants may diminish over time there is still contamination present as half-lives never end. Also, lots of horse feed also contains larvacides to reduce fly infestations...that will get passed along to your soil organisms/critters. Naturally, if they were *your* horses and knew the feed that they were eating did not have larvacides or other "treatments" the manure would be some good stuff. Mixed in with hay, though, I would be careful about bringing in weed seeds, too.

Chicken big worry from herbicides but insecticides might be a problem. Hormones and antibiotics are supposed to be a thing of the past. I, too, would go with chicken manure over horse manure due to the herbicide-use difference.

For me, I'd have to buy bags from the big box stores of the general "mushroom", "cow", etc., composts offered and trust that they're "clean". Otherwise, find a poultry-grower to get some manure from. The days of shoveling cow or horse manure are over for me. I've seen the effects of herbicides in manure but don't think it's just in manure. There has big cases reported of some big name potting mixes/soils that have caused severe problems for gardeners, too. If you can do all your soil amending from homegrown ingredients you are indeed *very* fortunate!

It's been years since we lived in a fairly "clean" world, though, and it doesn't seem to be getting a whole lot better. Disease and pests continue to appear or strengthen and man tries to deal with it...sometimes properly and sometimes improperly. I can you could apply the old saying, "Pick your poison..." to soil amendments. Blinking
Nov 21, 2022 1:01 PM CST
Bulbs Plant and/or Seed Trader Lilies Irises Hybridizer Hostas
Echinacea Daylilies Cut Flowers Composter Region: Canadian Vegetable Grower
I'm going to ask a question , what is black kow manure ? Never heard the term up hear in ONTATIO .
Avatar for RpR
Nov 21, 2022 2:06 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
DAVIDRETALLICK said: I'm going to ask a question , what is black kow manure ? Never heard the term up hear in ONTATIO .

Brand name.
Nov 21, 2022 2:47 PM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
I just looked it up, can't believe how expensive it is. I like this Walmart add, one bag is more than what 2 bags are listed for and even the 2 bag price seems outrageous.
Last edited by Seedfork Apr 13, 2023 10:50 AM Icon for preview
Dec 7, 2022 11:54 AM CST
Name: The Mole
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
Apples Tomato Heads Seed Starter Mules Canning and food preservation Greenhouse
Fruit Growers Composter Region: California Cactus and Succulents Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Chicken manure contains approximately three times the amount of nitrogen that steer manure contains. The biggest problem I have in purchasing manure is ensuring that it doesn't contain biosolids (stabilized sewage sludge). The companies selling manure are good at concealing the contents of their products.

Here is an article that discusses the biosolids in manure problem.
Last edited by 76Terra Dec 7, 2022 12:03 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for lukcygardner
Apr 13, 2023 9:48 AM CST


Chicken manure is an organic fertilizer. . It is also a complete fertilizer that contains the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as calcium needed for healthy plant growth. So you have your answer. If you need more information, you can visit
Apr 14, 2023 5:57 AM CST
Name: Steve
Loomis, CA (Zone 9a)
If you use manure, here is a ranking from best to worst:

Cow manure
Horse manure
Chicken manure
Rabbit manure
Sheep manure
I know I have dirt under my fingernails.
Apr 14, 2023 6:57 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
Best to worst based on what?: It is always the reasons behind the rankings of things that lets people decide which is best for their own gardens.
Avatar for DonPerry
Apr 27, 2023 11:57 AM CST

I have had good luck with compost from the local Agriplex here in Ada, Ok. It has sat there several years and they are glad to load you up a load. All for free! Smiling
May 29, 2023 2:00 PM CST
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - Plant Hardiness Zone 7a
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Dog Lover Critters Allowed Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Make whatever you can. Piles, tumblers, bokashi, etc. Many moons ago I even processed within plastic bags to make leaf mould.

I have a deal with a local coffee shop. I pick up 2-3 times a week and average 4-5 gallons of spent coffee waste a day. Black soldier fly larvae and worms both seem to respond exceptionally well to coffee.

A small bakery nearby nets me the eggshells from 15-20 cases of 15 dozen eggs e per week.

I grab the equivalent of 300-500 large paper leaf bags each fall.

Kitchen waste is also used. Two households use my compost pulled ( including ours).

I also grab a few carloads of spent grain from a local brew pub. Depending on temperature, you only have a day or two to cover doesn't grain. It gets smelly otherwise.

I also get the spent tea leaves, hibiscus, lavender, and SCOBY from a local kombucha manufacturer.

That's mainly it. But I also have my ear to the ground for other possible sources to make black gold and feed my breakdown critters. If love to find an organic salad fixin' company close to my house!

BTW, I called an organic smoothie place a few years back. I assumed they did what I do when making a smoothie... Grinding up a lot of fruits and vegetables. I was told it was all sweetener and powder. Confused

Anyway, I have a number of large compost piles, a tumbler, I sheet compost like a mulch in active vegetable beds, and I trench compost in all unused beds for the winter. I have a composting tower wherein I mix new poplar shavings and fresh coffee grounds and use oyster mushroom spawn to create mushroom compost.

I grow several banana trees. Every late October or early November they get cut and become part of the composting efforts. The worms REALLY seem to love banana plant matter. Not exactly sure what the draw is. But if they're happy, the compost is rich in worm castings!

I buy coconut coir, green sand, kelp powder, & crushed limestone to supplement as well.

When I end up with too much eggshell and coffee, it all goes under hedging and anywhere else I can sock it away to let it process.

I would kill for a local biochar option. We can't burn anything here like in other counties so I can't even make it.

Anyway, the short, medium, and long term rewards make it all worth the effort. I know people making compost in small bins on balconies in the middle of the city. They use it in their houseplants. Don't have room to do a lot? Just do a little... Or whatever you can.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Last edited by UrbanWild May 29, 2023 2:01 PM Icon for preview
Jul 30, 2023 1:00 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Let me first ask and state the following:

What do you need compost for? Is it even necessary?

People nowadays just fertillize away to their heart's content, thinking 'the more, the better'. But long term this does more harm than good. Overfertellization is a real issue. It pollutes ground- and surface waters especially.

My advice would be to have your soil tested first for any deficiencies/overabundance. Done professionally, they usually come with a fertillizing scheme, depending on context.

If you're constantly removing biomass (veggie garden for instance), than reapplying some anually is beneficial ofcourse.
For permanent/ornamental landscaping, a woody mulch is sufficient. It decomposes and releases its nutrients slowly over time with additional benefits.
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