Do our critters hold the answer to home heating costs?!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by annmarie, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. annmarie

    annmarie Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    I don't even own a woodstove yet, and at this point I only have three chickens to supply the "fuel", but with the prices of fuel and wood skyrocketing, I can't help but think back to a family I once knew, who heated their home by burning dried goat and sheep manure in a wood burning furnace. There's a little bit of information about it on the web, even a video of burning manure [​IMG] but I was wondering with so many animal people and self-sufficiency experts or experts-in-training here on BYC, if anyone has any personal experience with it?

    here's the video and a short article:

    and here's a more informative article:

    (I had to edit the subject line to try to lure people in! [​IMG] I think the original "Anyone tried manure to heat their homes?" scared people away! The "yuck factor" I guess!)
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  2. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * I know people used to dry cow pies and use those for camp fires, and cooking fires and to supplement wood supplies for long winters. Guess you could even give it a log or brick shape by packing it in a form, or rolling it up in sheets of newspaper and tying it.
  3. annmarie

    annmarie Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Thanks for your reply! The second article actually does suggest and show you how to turn it into dried bricks. It seems pretty clever really. I've read nothing but positive (though limited) information about it online, so I just can't help but wonder why I never hear about anyone doing it (except the one family I knew years ago). Yes, it sounds icky of course, but supposedly it doesn't smell at all, and I like the idea that the ashes are even better in the garden than composted manure. Anyway, has anyone else tried this, or know someone that has?
  4. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Hi! This used to be a very popular source of heating fuel but fell out of favor when more areas became urbanized. There were too many homes to heat in that fashion, so carbon and fossil fuels were used (wood, coal, heavy oil,). I believe there are still many areas of the world who use the dried dung fuel option, especially where wood is scarce.
  5. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I believe the plains Indians and early settlers used buffalo dung. Must have been pretty good because it gets mighty cold on the plains.
  6. annmarie

    annmarie Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Well it looks like no one so far is trying this "technology" [​IMG] judging by the responses, but if it kept the plains indians warm, and it used to keep the "white man" warm before urbanization, I'm guessing manure hasn't changed so much that it wouldn't still keep people warm. If there are any daring BYC'rs out there with a woodstove and some cows, horses, goats, chickens, sheep, etc. that could contribute to this experiment, I would love to know how it works out! The article I posted above tells you how to make the bricks, so pretty please, someone make some dried manure bricks and burn them in their woodstove and tell us all about it. [​IMG]
  7. valmom

    valmom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    That's really intriguing. Wonder how long it takes to dry? I have the horse manure supply.[​IMG] And the wood stove.
  8. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    I've heard of this but never given it much thought--I don't know why, as I certainly have a handy supply of manure, with the goats and horses. [​IMG] We have a big wood burning furnace.

    When I was in Costa Rica a very common source of fuel for cooking, etc., was gas collected from composting manure (usually pig). They used the gas just as you would, say, propane or natural gas.
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    The only issue for me is that I don't barn my creatures for extended periods (usually only in jugs after lambing/kidding) so I don't accumulate gigantic piles of manure anywhere.

    I think for my location, wind & solar may be the way to go. Now if I just had the capital to invest, I would pull ahead in about 5 years is all when comparing to my monthly electric bill.
  10. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I was always under the impression that it was the dung itself that they collected and burned, not the manure. Plains people used to go collect buffalo patties.

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