Is it a good idea to add mink manure

momstar(5)September 12, 2012

I have access to an unlimited supply of mink manure mixed with aspen wood shavings from a mink farmer friend of mine.

I understand all the potential hazards of composting animal waste but I've always used horse and/or cow manure. I compost it first and I always wash my veggies.

That being said, mink are meat eaters. I was under the impression that meat-eating animal manure is not advised.

Anyone have advice, opinions, suggestions they want to share?

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Use it.

When I worked at the Minn. Zoo one summer, they had a huge pile of composted animal manure that they wanted to give to farmers but the disease paranoid morons prevented them from doing that.
It had been tested as disease free but that ment nothing to those consumed by that paranoia

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:17PM
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I'd be willing to bet good money the zoo manure was primarily derived from herbivores. 'Zoo Doo', as it is known around here, is a very popular and highly desirable soil amendment (actually sold by lottery!) but it is the composted manures of herbivores only and primarily ruminant herbivores.

"Disease paranoid morons' aside, there is another very good reason one is encouraged to restrict manure usage to herbivores and it has little to do with diseases - composting is composting and the process should remove most potential pathogens given sufficient time and heat. Rather it is the nutrient benefit provided. Manures derived from herbivores are just more nutrient diverse and with higher concentrations of primary nutrients than those derived from carnivores. It has a great deal to do both with diversity of diet as well as digestive processes.

There's nothing necessarily wrong about the mink manure. Just understand that it may not provide the same benefit to your plants something like cow or horse manure would. And like any animal manure, compost it fully before using on any edible plantings.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:38PM
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I'd compost it and use it. And use it in lasagna beds.

The "don't use carnivore feces" idea has a bit of truth in it. WILD carnivores can have some nasty intestinal parasites that can spread to humans via the fecal oral route, or direct penetration of bare skin.

Domestics, on the other hand - well-kept fenced-in dogs, house-only cats, and the ranch minks you mention - seldom have these parasites. If they don't have them, they can't spread them.

You are more likely to get some nasty parasite from a wild raccoon pooping in your garden than from a huge amount of composted domestic mink manure.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:19AM
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All manures, animal or human, potentially contain disease pathogen. We are told not to use the manures of domestic pets because those contain disease pathogens we are muchg more susceptible to. Mink, as a rule, are not domestic pets and even though are carnivours the manure they leave could be composted and used in the garden. I doubt seriously that zoos that do sell the animal manures seperate the waste from lions and tigers from that of the elephants and rhinos.
Being cautious of potential disease pathogens in animal or human manure is not paranoia but is instead common snese.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:32AM
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I'm not sure there is any distinction between domestic pets and wild carnivores or ranch minks when it comes to pathogens. I think you hear the no pet feces advisory quite often because there are so many cats and dogs, so it's the most common situation.

Having said that, I really don't know what pathogens or parasites might occur in mink poop. Or cat and dog, for that matter, other than e coli and the wormy parasites, which are enough for me.

In the absence of actual data, we're kinda of guessing here.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Tox, there is much data available about what disease pathogens might be in the feces of domestic pets, toxoplasmosis for one, parasitic worms for others, that usually are not found in non domestic animals.
Back in the 1950's when I was a Boy Scout we knew about these things and we never drank that "pure mountain water" without first boiling it for good reason, not paranoia.
The Center for Disease Control might be a good source of information about what these disease pathogens would be.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:30AM
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Thank you all for your input. I have decided to add mink poop to my compost. I thought about it and the mink are probably taken care of better than some domestic pets. They are, after all, farmed for financial reasons and the farmer would want the highest quality product.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:02AM
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kimmsr, when I said 'no data' I was referring to mink farm manure rather than domestic pets. My point was that there is little here on which to base an answer to the question at hand.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:37PM
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I doubt seriously that zoos that do sell the animal manures seperate the waste from lions and tigers from that of the elephants and rhinos.

kimmsr, do you research anything before you type it? You can doubt all you want but that doesn't make it any less true. Composted zoo manure is a big deal - first, it eliminates a huge pile of waste zoos would have to deal with in other ways and second, it is a significant income source to strapped municipal zoological gardens in this down economy.

Just try Googling "composted zoo manure" to see how popular and prevalent this practice is. And you will see on virtually every site they clearly define what the components of the compost is - manure from plant eating/herbivorous zoo animals only (and sometimes beddings and/or sawdust, woodchips). No carnivores, no omnivores. Period.

You need to get out more!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Some sources of these exotic animal manures make a big point of that they only use manure from hoofed animals while some sell the feces from their carnivores as repellants to deer, etc. When the circus is in town you get a mixed bag of manure.
There is no real good reason to not use the manure from meat eaters, as long as it is properly composted, then there would be to use manure from cattle, as long as that is properly composted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zoo waste

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 7:21AM
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