Cows Make…

Cows in the field

Poo! Among other things.
I found that, although smelly, cow manure is a fabulous addition to earthen plasters and renders.


Poo pile Poo Mixed Poo slop
Poo Hand
Poo and Plaster Plaster

My ( not to fancy ) finish render

I plucked poo pies from a neighbors field. Good thing I asked too, he warned the cows had just had their baby calfs and get kinda wild when strangers are around – meaner than bulls. There were wet and dry patties. I was looking for the new stuff… the stuff that falls right apart in your hands in a gooey glorious way only shit could. I took whatever I could get. I tossed the pies into 5 poly-bags and threw them into the truck for transport. Watch out – polypropylene bags leak!

When I got back to my mixing station I tumbled the poo in my mixer and reconstituted it by adding a lot of water. I then let it steep over night. The next morning I mixed 16 parts sand, 8 parts clay, 5 parts manure. I found that there were still little chunks of poo that needed to be busted apart. A drill with a paint-mixing-device did that nicely… whipping it up.

The render was very nice to work with ( except for the rocks I didn’t sift out – impatience ). It shows minimal cracking and is very durable. The smooth finish is pleasing to the eye. It’s color was a little darker than the regular cob mix. In the future I will use alot more manure. I hear tell of cow manure having enzymes that make for a harder more durable mix. I tried horse poo too a while back. The horse manure was also a pleasure to work with – the fibers were definitely longer, that might be due to the horse having only one stomach, unlike the 4 stomached cow.

Collecting and working with another animals excreta is a humbling experience.
It’s free and it works well. Manure is a valuable resource! I give poo 5 stars.

3 Responses

  • Dirk says:

    I use the dried remains of the rabbitcage: a mixture of rabbit whee and wood shavings. Gives the cob extra fiber :-)

  • Ya, Your right when it’s dry it doesn’t smell. While working with the fresh stuff it’s pretty strong… smells like methane. The smell sticks with your hands too. After it’s been mixed with clay it’s much more approachable.

  • gaile says:

    Hey, I’ve been reading for a while now. Did the plaster stink? Just wondering what the gag factor is while mixing and applying. I’m assuming when dry it no longer smells?