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The natural fertilizer par excellence is the manure, but what is it and how is it used? Manure is formed from the excrement of animals raised in the barn, mixed with straw or other materials used for bedding. Manure is never used fresh because it would risk burning plants and roots, instead it must 'mature' for about 6 months outdoors before being used as fertilizer; the ideal is to keep it in a dunghill, periodically wetting it with the liquid that drains from the accumulated mass.
To obtain from fresh manure a natural fertilizer fully transformed and suitable for use in the vegetable garden and in the garden, it must be aged for at least one year (certainly complete maturation). The alternative is i artificial manure which today are on the market in bags of various sizes. These are products that, unlike fertilizers of synthetic origin, derive from the processing of natural substances and with due attention to the labels can also be used inbiological agriculture. They must be mixed with the soil and the dosage varies depending on the product, generally from 3% to 10%.
In addition to manure, there are also other products of animal origin that can be used for fertilization. One of these is the cornunchia, consisting of finely chopped fragments of animal nails and horns; it is a fertilizer rich in organic nitrogen and phosphoric anhydride. Another is the dry blood, a by-product of the slaughter of animals raised for food, which contains a good amount of nitrogen. Still another is the fish meal, residue from the processing of preserved fish.
There are obviously different types of manure, depending on the animal that produces it: the chemical composition changes and this makes each type more or less suitable for a particular soil. The bovine manure it is very good for fertilizing gardens and adapts well to sandy soils, it matures in about 6 months. The horse manure it is suitable for clayey soils, it contains fertilizing elements in double quantity compared to the bovine one and must never be used fresh, it matures in about 8 months.
The chicken manure or droppings it is formed by the excrement of the animals of the hen house together with the litter made up of sawdust or small shavings (better to avoid sand if you want a good manure); the droppings are very rich in fertilizing substances and mature in 3-4 months. The rabbit manure or rabbit it is similar to manure, only a little less rich in nutrients, and is used in the same way.