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Cow dung


Cow dung is a term used for the feces of the bovine species. The species includes the cow, buffalo, ox and bullock. Cow dung is basically the digested residue of herbivorous matter which is acted upon by symbiotic bacteria residing within the animal's rumen. The resultant faecal matter is rich in minerals. Colour ranges from greenish to blackish. In due course, the resulting matter turns yellow due to chemical changes caused by sunlight.



In many parts of the developing world, cow dung is used as a fertilizer and fuel. Caked and dried cow dung is used as a fuel to cook food in many parts of Asia and Africa. Especially in India where it is known as gobar, cow dung is also used as manure.

In recent times, the dung is collected and used as biogas used to generate electricity and heat. The gas is a rich source of methane and is used in rural areas of India to provide a renewable and stable source of electricity.

Cow dung is also used to line the floor and walls of buildings owing to its insect repellent properties. In cold places, cow dung is used to line the walls of rustic houses as is a cheap thermal insulator. Cow dung has an excellent mosquito repellent property and is used by many companies to produce repellents.[citation needed]

It was also used extensively on Indian Railways to seal smokeboxes on steam locomotives.

Cow dung is also an optional ingredient in the manufacture of adobe mud brick housing depending on the availability of materials at hand.[1]!


Cow dung goes by many terms around the world, virtually all of which are colloquial or slang in nature. Cow dung usually appears in a rounded pile and many many of the terms refer to the shape. They include:

  • cow pat (used in England; said to originate from the sound made as the faeces drops to the ground)[citation needed]
  • cow patty
  • cow plop
  • surprise a la cow
  • wilson pie
  • cow poop (casually used in the United States)
  • pasture patty
  • cow chip, (refers to dried cow dung)
  • meadow muffin
  • cow pie
  • country pancake
  • buffalo pancake
  • landmine

In popular culture

The term cow pie has lent itself to a variety of activities, sometimes not related to cow feces:

  • Cowpie poker is a stud poker variant. The name of the game is a pun on Pai Gow.
  • Bovine bingo is sometimes called "cowpie bingo."
  • Cow pie tossing events have been held in a few locales, such as at the Iowa State Fair, though it is quite thoroughly dried first. [1]
  • The comedy/folk song "Margo's Cargo", by Stompin' Tom Connors, details the quest to find the makers of the "Cowsie Dungsie Clock", a novelty clock made from a plastic coated cowpie. Such a clock is actually available (see link).
  • It is also the food preferred by cartoon hero Desperate Dan in The Dandy comic, though in the strip, 'it is not feces', but a type of enormous meat pie with horns sticking out. It is assumed to contain the meat from an entire cow. Later strips made this more obvious by having the cow's tail hang from the side of the pie.[2]

See also

  • Buffalo chip
  • Manure
  • Biofuel
  • Sacred cow


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cow_dung". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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