Community News
Go Back
2017-08-03

Benefits of Cow Patties!

By Carol Wier

Although it's often considered a nuisance when on your property, due to the greenish black color and consistency, cow dung has many uses! Who knew?




While attending the “National Day of the Cowboy” at the courthouse recently, I couldn't help but think that where there are cows and cowboys, there are also cow patties! Cow pies, or buffalo chips as they're sometimes called, are the undigested residual plant matter that has passed through the bovine's digestive tract. Although it's often considered a nuisance when on your property, due to the greenish black color and consistency, cow dung has many uses!
In many parts of the world, cow manure is used for fuel after it dries in the sun. Cowboys and pioneers used it to keep their campfires going while out on the prairie. Some countries use it today to generate electricity and heat! Cow chips are also high in minerals. After being deposited and out to dry, many insects make the “meadow muffin” their home! Turkeys, in turn, scrape the deposit clean to find a morsel to eat.
In the Sioux language, buffalo chips were called “nik-nik.” Today, that expression is used by the Lakota especially, to reference the lies told to the Indians in order to rid them of their land. Cow patties make great fertilizer and can be tilled into the garden to assure a good crop the following year. Cow patties have also been endeared with a chocolate chip cookie named after them! So the next time you almost step in a fresh pile of cow deposit, remember it's early uses and be glad they were there for our ancestors to use and help them survive!