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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 3:45 pm 
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I have tried to stay conservative in all my 6 years of totally organic farming and hot composting. I try to stay with plant wastes and vegetarian animal manures.

However, since my piles are so extremely hot, full of beneficial microbes and extra organic nitrogen, I usually don't worry too much about my organic materials. I have a beautiful, rich, healthy garden and lawn, full of microbes, macrobes, and earthworms.

I have composted wild weeds like kudzu, dandelions, and stinging nettle. Once I composted a small dead pigeon that my cat killed in the woods in a large hot compost pile. It dissolved in 2 weeks!

The only meat I compost on a regular basis is fish scraps like mackerel and sardines in my aerated compost teas.


I also use my urine in all my compost piles and teas for extra nitrogen.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 7:11 pm 
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Location: youngsville,la.
hey! enjoy reading your posts concerning compost,looks like you've been at it awhile.i compost fish,shellfish(crawfish & shrimp peelings),weeds,leaves,rabbit & sheep manure,wood chips,eggshells & anything from the kitchen fit for the pile.i noticed you mentioned kudzu,i haven't tried it yet as i don't want to chance it spreading on my land.do you shred it first & if so how do you do it ? also,have you read "how to grow world record tomatoes" by charles wilber ? he has some good info on kudzu compost,just wondering.thanks,

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 8:22 am 
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Thanks! I read Mr. Charles Wilbur's book on tomatoes. He grew up near where I live now. Kudzu is a great warm season legume. If you chop it up before it goes in your hot piles, there is absolutely no danger of it spreading into your lawn or garden.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2003 10:24 pm 
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What a great site. I have a question, Captain. My wife and I rescue Shetland Sheepdogs (we currently have 8 under roof). We feed them Solid Gold holistic foods and supplements. Can we put their ample amount of, um, "poop" in the compost pile, or just some of it or none of it?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 8:26 pm 
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Unless you can prove that your compost piles can get extremely hot (over 130-140 degrees F) for several days, I wouldn't never compost dog or cat poop. There are too many pathogens in these type of pet manures that usually don't get broken down and cooked out in normal home gardener compost piles.

Stick with vegetarian animal manures and you'll always be safe.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:52 pm 
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I've composted possums and squirrels. When the pile is hot they're gone in a week.

I agree with the Captain about dog poop. I wouldn't compost it unless I could get the pile hot. Instead I throw it into the ivy where nobody is walking. It decomposes there pretty fast.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 9:38 pm 
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CaptainCompostAL wrote:
Unless you can prove that your compost piles can get extremely hot (over 130-140 degrees F) for several days, I wouldn't never compost dog or cat poop. There are too many pathogens in these type of pet manures that usually don't get broken down and cooked out in normal home gardener compost piles.

Stick with vegetarian animal manures and you'll always be safe.


What if your dog is on the all organic program i.e. munster milling.. would you still recommend not composting it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 8:48 am 
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I personally would never compost any non-vegetarian animal manure (even chicken poop) unless it was done in a hot compost with lots of aeration, and a good balance of greens and browns, and constantly moisturized, in order to feed and breed the beneficial composting microbes.

Why risk getting sick and spreading diseases? There are plenty of other free organic matter choices out there in the world in your neighborhood.

One of my favorite free high nitrogen sources is buckets of coffee grounds from the local coffee shops. And don't forget good ole human urine! (about 45% free nitrogen)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 11:13 pm 
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Greetings to all,

This is my first post on this board, as I just found Howard's new website format this evening. This is great!

I have been composting my Boxer's er..ummm. leavings in a separate pile next to my main pile. I supplement the dog offeringings with hay, dried molasses, and the lemons left from our water and tea drinks.

My intention is not to apply the pet compost, just as a method of disposal.

Your thoughts or comments are welcome.


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 4:07 am 
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Captain,
I've heard that human urine is bad to use because it contains salt. Would it make a difference if a person had a UTI or were diabetic or had a high protein content in their urine? I have interstitial cystitis so I would be afraid to use mine. What do you think?
Tigerlily

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 11:57 am 
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That is not true, my friend. Human urine is one of the best and safest nitrogen fertilizers known to mankind from all ages. Certain animal urines are not however. Even in the sickest human being, no pathogens can survive outside the human body in the urine over 24-48 hours.

Human urine can contain up to 45% organic nitrogen. I use it mainly as a nitrogen activator for my compost piles and my aerated compost teas.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:23 pm 
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So - human waste is dandy but pet waste is a no-no? I have to strongly disagree with the good captain. I have been composting Tully's, Shaddow's and Hannah's waste for a long time. That from all the other dogs before them as well.

All once living organisms and all the waste from once living organisms should be composted. That's the only way to properly neutralize it if there is a problem. Leaving the waste in the ivy is OK but could cause a fly problem. I will address this specifically in my talk at the compost seminar on the 9th and Jim Doersam will be talking about composting entire dead animals. If pet waste in the compost is dangerous, it surely is too dangerous to be around when fresh out of the dog or cat. Only answer would be to get rid of the pets.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 8:45 pm 
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I think the discussion on composting animal poop is one that is impossible to finalize. In the end it comes down to personal preferences rather than right or wrong. I compost entire animals at a time while some folks find this disgusting. Once I learn they are disgusted, I can adjust and don't have to continue the dialog on it.

Mother Nature has been composting it all for hundreds of millions of years. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 7:38 am 
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HG is right and David Hall is right. It all depends on your composting style and your own personal beliefs.

There is definitely a difference in composting all human or animal urines vs. composting animal or human manures. Urea is the main product in urine. It is easily decomposed and broken down into nitrates via soil microbes in a hot or cold composting system. As a matter of fact, even after 24 hours, all existing pathogens in urea has been oxidized and neutalized to a safe form for all composting systems, including aerated compost tea brewing.

Human manures and non-vegetarian animal manures can contain heavy metals and pathogens. This is not really a big deal or a problem in the composting world. The only thing is, it takes more cooking time and more internal temperatures to break the organic matter down, in order to produce safe mature compost with these materials.

Now since many of us on this site are strictly hot composters, using dry molasses powder, and other high nitrogen materials, in our aerated compost piles, any animal manure is fine for us. However, for casual, passive, cold composters, I don't think it's wise to use these controversal materials. The combination of constant aeration, and extreme tempertatures will not get over 140 degrees F, which is essential for sterilization of all pathogens in the organic matter.

Breeding billions of aerobic bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes is crucial for breaking down all organic matter, pathogens, and mild toxins in composting.

Happy Gardening!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:28 am 
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Well this topic has certainly taken a turn away from the original (and interesting) topic. Stand by for a little more off topic.

Hot composting is great when it happens. Sometimes you just can't seem to get the greens/browns/dampness right for heat to start. In that case you need worms and insects to rescue you from the pathogens.

Worms and insects can eat human pathogens for breakfast and live to chat about it at the ol' Dairy Queen. That's what nature put them here to do. They digest the pathogen proteins, recombine them into body tissue, and poop out harmless wastes safe for human contact.

The thing to watch out for is a compost pile containing animal/human wastes that is neither hot nor teaming with worms and insects. That pile is likely too dry and needs a drink.

I have somthing to say about dog wastes but I'll open a new message for that.

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