What Carnivores Manure Should you Avoid in a Garden

You need to take special precautions if you compost carnivore manure.

You need to take special precautions if you compost carnivore manure.

It is time for this weeks reader question. If you have a question you would like me to answer then contact me.

This weeks question is what carnivores manure should you avoid in your garden/compost.

The short answer is avoid ALL carnivore manure in your garden (including dog and cat).

The long answer is that carnivores have normal flora (bacteria and microbes) in their gut that can make you sick. To complicate matters even more, they love the temperatures that a normal compost pile is at so they will flourish and multiply to a level that is even more likely to make you sick. E. coli outbreaks are often traced to domestic carnivore manure (and factory farms). Also, Toxoplasmosis gandii (a parasite) can be transferred from cats.

The safest thing to do is to just avoid it completely. If you do want to compost it then compost it in a separate area (humanure toilets only compost human waste along with straw). This way you are not contaminating your entire compost pile and you are more likely to avoid temperature pockets that are not hot enough. You will also need to be absolutely sure that your compost pile reaches a bacteria killing temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a compost thermometer to do this (click here to see examples of compost thermometers). The ones with 20″ stems are best. A final precaution is to only use the carnivore manure on plants that are not going to be providing food.

Never apply it straight to your garden.

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  • Reply Irene Middleton March 7, 2014, 4:50 am

    My late Grandmother always had a thing about cats doing there business in the garden, I think over time she’s been proved right. Its not really beneficial at all.
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    • Reply Heidi March 7, 2014, 12:18 pm

      Definitely not, cat poop is one of the worst 🙁 cats can be hard to keep out of the garden sometimes.

  • Reply Leo Salazar April 1, 2014, 11:55 am

    This only applies to carnivores, correct? My chickens are omnivores, so their poop is welcome!

    • Reply Heidi April 1, 2014, 12:41 pm

      Yep! Chicken poop is great for the garden 🙂

  • Reply Garcinia cambogia extreme May 9, 2014, 2:38 am

    Thanks for nice sharing 🙂
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  • Reply Hawkins May 17, 2014, 2:56 am

    This kind of just refers to carnivores, accurate? Our chickens tend to be omnivores, and so their particular poop will be delightful!

    Thanks for nice sharing 🙂
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    • Reply Heidi May 17, 2014, 12:45 pm

      Yep, chicken poo is great for your compost.

  • Reply Alicia July 11, 2014, 5:48 am

    So if I feed my dog home made food and she’s an omnivore? Is there another reason a dog manure would still be out? I haven’t used it yet but I’ve thought about it.
    Alicia recently posted…Homestead Kid Lesson Update – CondimentsMy Profile

    • Reply Heidi July 11, 2014, 12:33 pm

      Yeah, it’s out even with homemade dog food. Store food is actually mostly plant material (not the greatest for a dogs gut, but cheap). They are omnivore, but on the carnivore side, if that makes sense. In other words, their gut has bacterium in it special to carnivores and it can make you sick (E coli is probably the most well known). If you compost it do it separately in a specialized container – treat it the same as composting human “manure”.

  • Reply Tauseef Alam August 31, 2014, 1:31 am

    Is this applies to Cat & Dogs only? What about birds. I’m a bird lover and have few birds like Parrot, who always roam around in my garden.

    • Reply Heidi August 31, 2014, 12:34 pm

      This is for actual manure – a bird pooing in the garden won’t really matter b/c it is such a small amount, but saving it up and adding it might burn your plants 🙂

  • Reply Wendy Bolduc February 1, 2015, 2:45 am

    Carnivores (Meat-eating animals) should be strictly prohibited from composting. Actually they have the possibility of carrying harmful pathogens, bacteria, and even parasites. So, i would suggest we must take care of this.

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