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2 ranchers near me, one says take a load of horse manure, the other, cow manure. Both are from last early summer. I want to spread it on the vegetable garden area now and let the snow soak it in before tilling and planting in late May. Is one better than the other? Would doing this enrich the soil better than just mixing it in come spring? Winter here is almost 5 months long.
 

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We used a lot of manure on our gardens, we experienced more weeds after using horse manure.
 

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Weeds from manure are pretty much a given if you don't compost it and even then might happen. Whether one is better than the other or has more or less weed seeds depends really on what they were fed. Next time it might be cow manure with more seeds.

If offered free take both. If you gotta pay then get the cheapest. I've used both and can see no benefit to one over the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! Oh its all free. Just gotta shovel it from the pile into the truck. I've used horse manure before on flower gardens, and it seemed to do well. Thinking about it, there might have been a bit more weeds, but not bad. I'll throw some into my new composter too. I plan to enlarge the vegetable garden another 1/3, and add 2 apricot trees this spring.
 

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torpedoman said:
Weed seeds do not make it thru a cow but they are present in horse manure
Sorry to say I just don't buy that story. I've used too much of it with seeds still viable to fall for it.
 

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I am reading an interesting book on survival gardening. http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-When-Counts-Growing-Mother/dp/086571553X The author brings up a good point on the quality of manure. Such as horse grazing on alfalfa will have a better quality manure than one feeding on coastal hay.

N P K
Cow 12 2.6 14
Dry stack cow 9 1.8 16
Horse 9 2.6 13
Dry stack horse 6 1.8 15

Either one is good, horse is larger so it will break down over a longer time. Of coarse cow is finer so it will put nutrients into the soil faster. It would look like cow would be the way to go. But it looses 25% of it's nitrogen to the air if left on top. So if you do not till in they are about equal on the npk. Horses will selectively feed on higher protein so there will be more nutrients in their manure.

I would put down the horse for over winter and the cow when you are able to till it under in the spring.
 

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I've used cow manure before and it was full of weed seeds. I got some chicken from Auburn University poultry farm, all raised inside, no weeds. Guy who worked there cleaned out the chicken houses and sold the manure for $50 a pickup load delivered. He backed up to my garden and unloaded it. I had to spread it and till it in. Not a bad price since he had to bring it about 15 miles away. Arier do you know the composition of chicken?
 

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Horse does have a rep for weeds. Be careful with chicken it's very hot.
 

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I would go with the cow crap. It passes thru more stomachs (four I believe as oppose to the horse with one), and is better digested than horse crap. Horse crap is usually hotter depending a lot on diet and CAN, cause plants to mature faster without producing fruit or veggies.
 

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Yep, we are. And your standing in it. ;)
 

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I just wish I had a regular source of it even if I had to buy it. Oh well lots of leaves fall from the trees here on my land so I can use all of them we are willing to rake and haul. Today we put four bucket loads of them from my JD tractor in next year's new garden area.

Today's leaves were from willow oaks in the back yard. I'm sure there are another two or three bucket loads at least left to be raked under those two trees. I like the small size of the willow oak leaves they tend to blow around less than larger leaves and since it's way too muddy for now to till them under it will be awhile before that gets done.
 

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I've got to put a new bed in my trailer before I can go to a friends barn with a front end loader and a load of cow crap.
 

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If it's composted then it may be ok. I just remember we had to be careful with it on the farm so as not to burn our plants.
 

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Dee said:
Yep, we are. And your standing in it. ;)
Over my boot tops for sure...story of my life
Most chicken/turkey manure around here is piled in the fall and left until spring to mellow before being spread, I would still be cautious and not put it on at the rate you would other stuff. I'm with Graybeard's method of putting it out now for next year's garden, regardless of what you use.
 

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Aw Greybeard lives in a different world talking about tilling in December. I tried to drive a steel post the other day, and my post driver bounced off the post like I was trying to drive it through a piece of granite.

I notice I get weeds with whatever form of manure I use but theoretically most shouldn't be able to make it through a cow as thoroughly as they digest with multi-stomachs. I think a lot of the weeds come from storage of the manure after it is removed from the corrals. These places are usually very weedy.
 

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From my experience;
Poultry manure is very strong fresh and can burn crops, but if honestly composted is quite good. Horse manure carries more weed seeds, in fact seeds of all types than cow manure. Still, all should be composted.
My veterinary friend tells me the difference between cow and horse manure reflects the difference between cows and horses. A horse's digestive system cannot digest seeds very well, roughage goes through too fast. A cow, being a ruminant with 4 stomachs..regurgitating and reprocessing their food, do digest most seeds. Dr Pollock is a well respected veterinarian around here, so it sounds logical to me.
..Should I say, "it passes the smell test"? ....unlike our US Congress.... :D ;D
 
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