Freshness of animal manure

Question ...

I need some manure for my allotment, and can easily obtain fresh strawy horse manure. Can I use this straight away? If not, why not?

Answer ...

Animal manures should always be composted or left to rot down before use. The urine in the mix is rich in plant foods, but these are easily washed out by rain - and can also burn young plants. The composting process stabilises these nutrients, so they are released slowly. Horse manure is likely to contain residues of products use to worm the horses, and it is important to give these time to break down. Composting also reduces or destroys pathogens and weed seeds, and makes the materials easier to handle and apply.

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