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The Many Uses of Cow Dung: A Natural and Renewable Resource

Updated on July 19, 2016
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a science teacher with an honors degree in biology. She loves to study nature and write about animals and plants.

Cows can be cute!
Cows can be cute! | Source

A Useful and Abundant Material

Cow dung, manure or feces is indigestible plant material released on to the ground from the intestine of a cow. Feces is generally not a favourite topic of conversation, whether it comes from an animal or a human. Cow dung is worth discussing, though. It's a useful material and helps us in a variety of ways. It's also a plentiful and renewable resource. It's a shame when it's wasted.

Cow manure has a soft texture and tends to be deposited in a circular shape, which gives dung patches their alternate names of cow pies and cow pats. The manure is used as a rich fertilizer, an efficient fuel and biogas producer, a useful building material, a raw material for paper making, an insect repellent and a disinfectant. Cow dung "chips" are used in throwing contests and cow pie bingo is played as a game. The manure also plays an essential role in the lives of various animals, plants and microbes, including dung beetles and the Pilobolus fungus.

Cow dung drying in stacks for fuel
Cow dung drying in stacks for fuel | Source

Fuel and Biogas from Cow Manure

Dried cow dung is an excellent fuel. In some cultures dung from domestic cows or buffalo is routinely collected and dried for fuel, sometimes after being mixed with straw. Pieces of dung are lit to provide heat and a flame for cooking. Dried dung has lost its objectionable odour.

Even in North America people are making use of the energy stored in cow dung, although this is usually done indirectly by making a biogas from the dung. A biogas is a mixture of gases produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter by bacteria. An "anaerobic" process occurs in the absence of oxygen. The organic matter that is digested can be animal dung, sewage, plant material or food waste.

A Biogas Digester

Production and Uses of a Biogas

The general process for making an anaerobic digester for cow dung starts with placing dung and water in an airtight container. The container must be kept warm and left undisturbed so that bacteria can do their work. The gas that is produced is withdrawn through a tube and stored.

Once a biogas has formed, it can be reacted with oxygen to produce energy. The gas can be used to cook food, heat water in a boiler and replace conventional fuel in motor vehicles. In addition, the energy in a biogas can be used to produce electricity.

Biogas produced from cow dung generally consists of methane, carbon dioxide and other components, such as hydrogen sulphide. Since there is so much methane in the gas, it's important that it doesn't escape into the environment. Methane is a major greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming.

A Highland cow calf
A Highland cow calf | Source

Using Cow Dung as a Building Material

A mud and cow dung paste is often applied to the floors of rural homes in India and may be applied to the walls as well. The mixture reportedly forms a waterproof layer that helps to insulate the house from heat entry or loss and doesn't smell unpleasant. A relatively new process is to make building bricks from cow dung mixed with straw dust. The bricks are much lighter than conventional ones.

It's been suggested that the manure residue from biogas production could be used instead of sawdust to make fibreboard. The manure, which contains fibres, would be sterilized and then mixed with resin to make the board. Fibreboard has many uses. It's used to manufacture furniture and floors in homes, for example.

The high fibre content of cow dung also enables people to make paper from the dung. The dung is washed to extract the fibres, which can then be pressed into paper on a screen. Some people make cow dung paper as a hobby. The paper can also be bought commercially.

A curious cow
A curious cow | Source

Dung as an Insect Repellent and a Disinfectant

The smoke from burning cow dung has been found to repel insects, including mosquitoes, leading to the use of cow dung as a pesticide in some areas. Strange as it may sound, in some cultures cow dung is applied to walls and floors as a disinfectant as well as an insulator. There may be some value in this seemingly bizarre practice, as the FAO quote shown below suggests. Unsterilized cow dung may contain microbes that can infect humans, though, so it's not a good idea to spread dung over a wound.

Cow dung and cow urine possess complex degrading substances and may possess antibacterial properties.

— FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
A mosquito feeding on human blood; the smoke from burning cow dung is said to repel mosquitoes
A mosquito feeding on human blood; the smoke from burning cow dung is said to repel mosquitoes | Source

Uses of Cow Waste

Cow Manure as a Fertilizer

Removing cow dung from fields is important because the dried pats reduce the grazing area. In addition, the cow pats give off methane, which acts as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Water runoff can carry some of the dung into rivers and other bodies of water, polluting them with excess nutrients.

Many people are aware that cow manure can make a good fertilizer and are reminded of this every time they pass a fertilized and odoriferous field. Cow manure is rich in minerals, especially nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It can support the growth of beneficial microorganisms when it's mixed with soil. Manure can also improve the texture of the soil and help it to maintain moisture. Often, however, manure is too rich in certain chemicals and needs to be diluted or left to sit in the soil for a while before crops are planted.

Playing Cow Pie Bingo

Cow Pie Games

Cow Chip Throwing

Yes, cow pies really are used as a source of entertainment! A cow chip throwing contest is much like it sounds. People throw dried cow pats as far as they can. The person who throws their "chip" the farthest wins. Cow chip throwing is popular at some fairs.

Cow Pie Bingo

In cow pie bingo, chalk squares are drawn on an area of grass, which is cordoned off from its surroundings. Each square is identified with a number or letter. People pay for a square. One or more cows are then led on to the grass. As the cows wander and graze, the spectators wait for a cow pie to be released (which gives a new meaning to the term "spectator sport"). When a cow pie lands on a person's square, that person is the winner.

Cow Chip Throwing at a Sweetcorn Festival

A Soutpansberg dung beetle (Scarabeus schulzeae) from South Africa
A Soutpansberg dung beetle (Scarabeus schulzeae) from South Africa | Source

Dung Beetles

Humans aren't the only ones to make use of cow dung. As their name suggests, the manure is very important in the life of dung beetles. The dung of any herbivorous mammal will do for their purposes.

Most dung beetles belong to the insect family called the Scarabaeidae. They live on every continent except Antarctica. Some of them have a brightly coloured, metallic appearance and are attractive insects.

Dung beetles are classified as rollers, tunnellers or dwellers.

  • Rollers take a small piece of dung from a cow pat and shape it into a ball. They roll the ball away and bury it in the ground. The beetles use the ball as food or as a place to lay eggs.
  • Tunnellers dig a tunnel through the cow pat and into the soil underneath it, where they lay eggs. The dung that enters the tunnel is their food source.
  • Dwellers live inside the cow pat in a shallow pit. Here they feed and lay eggs.

The beetles often play an important role in their environment. They aerate and fertilize the soil and remove cow pats from its surface. This clears the land and prevents dung from being washed away by rain to contaminant waterways. The nutrient-rich dung also provides good food for earthworms.

Beetles Competing for Dung on the Serengeti Plains

Dung beetles were known as scarabs by Ancient Egyptians. They considered the beetle known today as Scarabaeus sacer to be a sacred animal. Its habit of repeatedly rolling a ball away from dung reminded them of Khepri, a sun god. He was believed to roll the sun across the sky every day in a similar fashion.

Dung Beetles for Farmers

Pilobolus: An Enterprising Fungus

Pilobolus is a fungus that grows on herbivorous dung, including the dung of cows. Like other fungi, Pilobolus can't make its own food and must absorb nutrients from its surroundings. It does this by secreting digestive enzymes into manure and then absorbing the products of the digestion. Pilobolus, other fungi, some bacteria and some animals are decay organisms. They slowly break down and remove cow pats.

Pilobolus cristillinus growing on dung
Pilobolus cristillinus growing on dung | Source

Pilobolus Spores

Fungal Life Cycle

Pilobolus is famous for its method of distributing its spores. Cows eat the spores as they're grazing on grass. The spores have a tough coat and pass through the cow's digestive tract unharmed. They leave the digestive tract in the cow's feces. The spores then germinate, producing the fungal body, or mycelium, in the cow pat.

The mycelium eventually produces new spores. At this point a problem arises. Cows avoid eating their own dung, so how are the fungal spores going to get into another cow's digestive tract to complete their life cycle? The solution is to "shoot" the spores beyond the cow pat and on to the surrounding grass.

The Dung Cannon

The spores of Pilobolus are located in a sac called a sporangium. This is borne at the top of a stalk projecting beyond the surface of the cow pat. Below the stalk's tip is a light-sensitive area that detects sunlight and causes the stalk to bend towards the light. The tip of the stalk becomes swollen with liquid and eventually bursts, shooting the sporangium into the air and beyond the "zone of repugnance" around a cow pat. The sporangium can move as fast as 35 feet a second, reach a height of 6 feet and travel as far as 8 feet away. Pilobolus is also known as the hat-throwing fungus and the dung cannon because of its interesting behaviour.

Pilobolus Spore Production and Release (Sped Up)

Safety Precautions for Handling Dung

If you want to experiment with cow dung, remember that the raw material may contain pathogens (microorganisms that can cause disease). Gloves should be worn or hands should be washed thoroughly after handling dung of any kind. If you're tempted to make your own mini anaerobic digester, as some people do, make sure that you follow the assembly instructions carefully. The pressure of a gas in a confined space such as a digester can be very dangerous. In addition, the methane in a biogas is flammable. With these precautions in mind, though, cow dung can be a wonderful resource.

© 2014 Linda Crampton

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    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 45 hours ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Piyush. Good luck with your project.

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      Piyush sharma 46 hours ago

      Aweeeesssooooommmeeeeee!!!!! you've done a lot of study on cow dung dude !! And thank you , this information is very helpful for my NCSC project

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, suresh. The percentage of each chemical in cow dung varies, depending on a range of factors. The best thing to do would be to take a sample of the dung to a lab that can analyze it. Perhaps an agricultural college in your area would know of a suitable lab.

    • profile image

      suresh 4 days ago

      How to analyse compounds like nitrogen.pottasium.sulphur.etc etc in cow dung n can you explian the composition of cow dung.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sorry, Cedrick, I don't know which substance in cow manure makes it an insect repellent. I'm not sure that the chemical has been identified. The effect may be due to a mixture of chemicals instead of only one.

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      Cedrick Hernan 2 months ago

      May I ask if, what is the component/substance of that cow manure which makes it as an insect repellent?

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, ishara. I'm glad the information was useful.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing your story, Sara. It sounds like medical researchers should do some more investigations in relation to cow dung. It's an interesting material!

    • profile image

      ishara muthumali 3 months ago

      thank you for ur article here. it was soo useful 4 my research

    • profile image

      Sara 3 months ago

      They state here that cow dung can cause infections if put on a open wound. I beg to differ, I was born in 1934 and lived on a active farm until after I graduated. If we had a open wound when I was a kid my mother would seek fresh cow dung in the pasture and put it on the wound. Yes it healed very quickly and with no infection....in fact if we had an infection Mom would do the same for it. In fact there was a salve made from cow dung way back then but was eventually taken off the market. We ran around the farm in our bare feet often sliding thru cow dung and we never had athletes foot....ha, IN case you are wondering, I am a female........can'the stand cow dung since I got older.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Gani. I appreciate your comment.

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      Gani 5 months ago

      This is interesting and educative. I am so much in love of this article looking forward to read more of your articles.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Sasanka Ghosh. The smell of feces is mostly caused by chemicals produced by gut bacteria. The bacterial community in a cow's gut is different from the one is humans, so the smell of the dung is different.

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      Sasanka Ghosh 8 months ago

      I want to ask a question related to this. Why the smell of cow dung is not bad as in the case of other animal or human ?

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the interesting comment and the share, DrMark1961. I'll be thinking about the image of "road apples" for the rest of the day!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 11 months ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Great article! When I lived in the Sahara the cow dung came out so dry that it looked like horse "road apples". Now that I am back in the tropics it is slimy, like I remember it, and we use it here as fertilizer. The Indians seem to know how to use it best.

      I shared this to Flipboard!!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment and for sharing the information, Sunder1.

    • Sunder1 profile image

      rahul 2 years ago from India

      In India, cow is considered mother and its is very pure used for many purposes

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, vespawoolf. Thanks for the visit. Cow dung is certainly a useful material!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

      Of course I´ve heard of cow dung used for fertilizer and fuel, but I didn´t realize it could be made into paper or spread on the walls of homes. Very interesting. We buy fresh milk from some very beautiful local cows, so next time I see them I will appreciate them more!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I haven't heard that song before! I'll look out for it. Thank you very much for the comment, Lady Lorelei.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      I've stepped in a few cow pies in my day but never flung the dung. Now I have the funny feeling that I'll be hearing Stompin' Toms "Margo's Cargo" song for the rest of the morning which was of course about selling cow dung.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment and for sharing the information, john000. I agree with you - we certainly do need to be more creative in our selection of resources!

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 2 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      I am reminded that cow dung, or manure, is also a great starter for compost. Mixing a shovel full of manure with my vegie debris and clippings and then watering helped break down the materials much more quickly. We really do need to look more creatively at reusing resources. Who would have thought that a cow pie could teach us so much! Great information.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks so much for the pin, Flourish!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I'm back to pin this. Cheers!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What an interesting piece of information, Sally. Thanks for sharing it.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the joke and the comment, chef-de-jour! I appreciate the votes and the share, too.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      AliciaC

      Some of the best tennis courts I have played on had a surface which was made from cow dung. The courts were resurfaced regularly and were painted green afterwards. They made an excellent surface to play on.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 3 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Reminds me of an old John Cleese joke...What's brown and sounds like a bell? DUNG!

      Thank you for revealing all about this most precious of countryside materials. We have some wonderful dungheaps around these parts - Yorkshire - we call them muckheaps. Farmers pile them up to let the dung mature before spreading it over the land. An age old sustainable tradition.

      Votes and a share.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What an unusual game! I've never heard of people throwing cow patties at each other for fun before. This sounds like another interesting way to use cow dung! Thanks for the comment, Mel. I appreciate it.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I come from a rather red-neckish family, and we used to have fun throwing cow patties at each other in the summertime, sort of like a snowball fight but in the heat. It's amazing what bored country people will think of to pass the hours. Very interesting hub, you are always thinking of ways to help the planet out by using the most mundane and seemingly distasteful things. Great hub!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Rolly. Yes, cow dung is a wonderful resource. We really do need to take advantage of it! Thank you very much for the comment. Blessings to you, too.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Alicia... what a research project this must have been, very interesting indeed when I see all of the uses you have listed. Leaves one to wonder why our western culture has not taken advantage of the renewable resource... after all we grow them here in beef country...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, VioletteRose. Thank you for the comment. It's very interesting that some people consider cow dung to be disgusting while other people love it and use it for purification!

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Very useful, I agree with you very much about the uses of cow dung. Strange it may seem, but in some cultures using cow dung with water is seen as a way to purify the surroundings.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the interesting story, techygran. It's so lovely to hear about cows being kept without any intent to slaughter them! Thank you very much for the vote and the share, too.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Yes, well-written article AliciaC-- our 'nomad farmer' son (he travels about helping his farmer friends) once had charge of four young bovine males as composters (there was no intent to slaughter them or use them for other purposes) and all their gardens flourished. Eventually, however, the bulls (or bull-ets?) required some intervention to curb their natural testosterol-driven behaviours and were passed along to another good-willed young farmer. I have much respect for the contributions of farmyard animals and appreciated the information you provided in this article. Voting up and sharing!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much, Audrey!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Wow! just an excellent article!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, tillsontitan. Cow dung being used as manure certainly does have a distinctive smell!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      As a city girl, well I grew up there anyway, I had no idea how useful cow dung could be. I did know about it as a fertilizer though. I had a neighbor who used it to fertilize his garden and we could smell it for days.

      This was very interesting and educational Alicia. You certainly wrote a comprehensive hub!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Vellur. I appreciate your comment and vote!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub about the many uses of cow dung. I knew some of the uses but not all, interesting and informative. Voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, truthfornow!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      You always teach me new information and interesting facts about something in nature. Who knew cow dung had so many uses? I only knew about it being a good fertilizer.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the pun, Suzanne! I appreciate your visit.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      A fascinating hub about the ins and outs (sorry for the pun!) about cow dung. The Pilobolus pictures were especially fascinating. Voted useful and up!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Deb. It is surprising that cow dung is so useful!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I knew that cow dung was useful, but never dreamed that it was this useful. Great work on keeping us informed.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Bill I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting Linda. I didn't know there were so many uses for cow dung, especially as an insect repellent. Thanks for the education and have a wonderful weekend.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Maren Morgan. Cow dung may be a strange topic, but it's one that I find interesting!

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      AliciaC, I think you've said everything that can possibly be said on the topic!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Dianna. Yes, wearing gloves is a good idea when dealing with cow dung! Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I don't know if I could ever play this type of bingo without wearing gloves. It would be so valuable to use this waste product for new fuel resources. Interesting read.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for the comment, karthikkash! It's great to hear from someone else who has seen cow dung being used. The dung is amazing stuff.

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 3 years ago from India

      Wow!! Thank you for this article. Coming from India, I know that village folk still use cow dung in front of their houses as an insect repellent as well as dry it for fuel.. But wasn't aware of the other benefits. Wonderful article..

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, MG Singh. I hope the hub is useful for some people!

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Excellent post. Will be particularly useful for developing countries like China and India

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the kind and amusing comment, Rebecca! Yes, it is interesting that cow dung contains so much potential energy. It's a valuable resource.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is fascinating, Alicia. But it makes sense that energy would be stored in all that cow sh...uh, dung. lol what a unique idea for a hub!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Yes, cows and their dung are certainly very useful! Thank you very much for commenting, Cynthia.

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      CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      I never knew there were so many uses for cow dung Alicia. Basically if you own a few cows not only will you have a source of meat and milk, but you will have fuel for your fire, be able to make bricks and fertilise your crops

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, RTalloni. Yes, I expect people who have lived on farms have all sorts of tales to share about cow dung! Thanks for the visit.

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      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Interesting to learn more about utilizing this by-product as various cultures have for centuries. Those who grew up on American farms have their own experiences with cow patties and will probably read of this with a good measure of curiosity.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Nell. The uses of cow dung are interesting. They're sometimes funny, too!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      I like the idea of Cow Pie Bingo! lol! fascinating stuff, so many uses, and yes as you said its only grass and other natural products so it does make sense, great hub and really interesting alicia, nell

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for such an informative and kind comment, Martie. It's very interesting to hear about your personal experience with cow dung!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent article about cow dung and its many uses. I always use it as a fertilizer in my garden, but then it has to be well-sweated - a process that kills the seeds of grass and other plants in the dung. Of course, we don't want all of that in our gardens. I remember as a child I have entered many houses (on farms) with floors pasted with cow dung. The smell was fresh and clean, and I remember it repelled insects and spiders. Cement, wood, and eventually ceramic tiles brought an end to the use of cow dung as a floor-paste. Excellent article, as always, Alicia :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the kind comment and for sharing the interesting information, Homeplace Series! I appreciate your visit.

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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Back at the one-room country school in Iowa, cow patties made great bases. Important to choose ones that were well tried, of course. Great memories. Lots of good, current information. Very useful hub, full of good information. Thanks for sharing!! ;-)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Devika. I appreciate your comment and all the votes! Thank you very much for the visit.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for the interesting and kind comment, Suhail. I appreciate the vote and the share, too! I am very much looking forward to your next hub. I hate the fact that wolves sometimes have a bad reputation that they don't deserve.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Cow Dung has many uses I had no idea of. You informed me perfectly. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Linda,

      Since I am an environmentalist I can't tell you how happy I was to read this article. It sent me back to the Memory Lane. When I was a student of civil engineering, I did two projects as part of my final year studies. One was on solar desalination plants and the other one was on using cows and their dung for silvicultural benefits and bio-gas production, respectively. So I was able to relate to what you wrote.

      More recently, I was visiting farms in the US west where cows were being routinely killed by grizzlies and cougars and everyone was blaming wolves for it. So now you can guess what my next article is going to be on.

      Your article was very informative and interesting. Voted up and shared!

      And btw, it's about time you also wrote about your adventures with your two dogs :-)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and vote, Faith. I wish I lived in surroundings like yours. Rolling hills and pastures sound lovely! I am enjoying my weekend so far, thank you, and hope you're doing the same.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      No wonder the pastures across from my home are so verdant and plush, and really beautiful as they are rolling hills instead of flat. They have a lot of Black Angus cows here, but thankfully the smell is not bad at all due to they switch the cows out of the three different pastures that go behind my home.

      This is especially interesting as to the many uses of cow dung. I am truly surprised to learn that it can be used as a building material and to repel insects, which I would have thought it would attract insects or maybe flies. I am glad there is no smell when smeared on walls.

      Voted up +++ and away

      I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Peg. I loved hearing about the friendly cows (and about their generosity in providing manure)!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This is so interesting. Who would have thought that cow dung played such an important part in the role of insects and sports? You've explained it in such a way to be understandable and educational. I've actually collected cow dung to use in my garden in the past. The odor is not too offensive and the cows were quite friendly while we invaded their pasture.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment and for sharing the information, thewritingowl. It's nice to meet you!

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      Mary Kelly Godley 3 years ago from Ireland

      Wow have to say being a dairy farmers daughter I thought I knew a lot about cow-dung but the most we ever did with it was agitate it (mix it) and spread it over the land and yes it was an excellent grass fertilizer. Well said.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the share, Flourish! The idea of using cow dung on walls is very interesting (and strange for some of us). It seems to work well, although I wonder about the side effects, too!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This was both educational and awesomely green in every sense of the word. I do wonder whether coating your house in poo has side effects when it rains. Voted way up and more plus sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never had the pleasure of flinging cow dung, but it sounds like an interesting activity! Thanks for the visit, Bill.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy to report that I have flung cow dung before. Well, maybe not happy to report, but at the time it seemed like a cool thing to do. :)