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Deparasiting fox / cat poo using heat so it can safely decompose in the garden??

 
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Typical suburban yard problem - cat & fox poo around the garden, in the growing beds etc.

I've been wondering, what about grabbing a flame gun and giving the occasional poo a good in situ toast instead of picking up and messing around with it? Would it kill the potentially present parasites' eggs and make the poo safe to simply decompose under a bit of mulch and nurture the soil? Would it work and would there be any substantial drawbacks? It would probably also destroy some other organisms close to the soil surface, but that doesn't actually sound like too much of a problem.

I don't want to try and exclude or deter cats and foxes from the garden, don't fancy picking the stuff up and binning it and not leaving any bare ground exposed at any time at all is not always practical / doesn't always discourage everyone.

So I'm thinking there must be a way to turn this poo situation to a gardener's advantage and deal with it safely within the garden's ecosystem. Anyone with an appropriate expertise who could prove me right or wrong? Many thanks!!
 
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I don't think a quick blast of fire is enough to sterilize animal droppings. Its too moist and full of insulative fibers.
I dump all my barn cat litter boxes in a dedicated zero traffic spot. A better system I think would work but haven't tried is having a bin with no bottom buried in soil with a lid and some compost starter inside. To make a better environment for compost to happen out of sight.
Would it work to have a dedicated poo-picker tool and gather your problems into one spot?
 
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I would research what parasites these species are capable of carrying that can transmit to humans, then research the life cycles of those parasites.  Rely on research publications, not the websites who summarize info based on those publications.  Follow your source links and read the sources yourself.  
I would start by understanding exactly what potential threat the poo poses, then how to properly address that threat.  If, say, there's a specific worm parasite transmissible to humans that could be in their feces, does that parasite pass through fecal contact?  Is it destroyed with temperature change?  Moisture loss?  Time?  How is it transmitted?  If you have to eat the poop to ingest the eggs, well, it's not really a threat.  If you have to handle the poo, don't handle it.  If the eggs rely on the manure to stay viable, composting might kill them, or simply burying the poo might work.  I honestly don't know though, I'm just throwing possibilities out there.

Questions like that are what I would be asking to find my answer
 
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There's really too wide a variety of possible parasites.   Many will die with exposure to sunlight and drying, but others can persist in soil for years , or make their way into water sources,  or get picked up by snails, frogs, etc. as an intermediate host.  Some have incredibly tough outer coverings that protect it dormant from any harsh environmental conditions.   Some larval stages leave the poo shortly after touching the ground so heating the poo after you find it is just too late.    When I had land I had a separate compost pile for cat/ dog waste but they were my own animals and I knew their health and condition.   I like the idea of a deep bottomless compost bin the best for this.  
 
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I don't think flaming the piles of droppings will do much of anything, I am afraid. For the reasons Heather mentioned, I don't like the cold compost approach, and the pathogenicity of cat poo alone is known to be bad for humans.

Don't pick it up, use a shovel. I like pyrolisis best, personally. You could get one of those covered steaming trays that caterers use, fill it with poo periodically, put the top on firmly, and fire up the chiminea or backyard fireplace. You could add a bunch of dry biomass to it, like woodchips. I would use an instant-read thermometre to track the temperature of the steam tray retort, and I would get it as hot as I could, aiming for optimal activated charcoal temperatures, for the making of biochar.

You could dump the resultant pyrolised biomass into your conventional compost, or atop the soil, or what have you at that point, as not even volatiles will remain at that point, only the structured carbon.

I think you could also construct a solar dessicator if you get enough sun. It can be as simple as a black sealed container sitting in the sun, though an air intake and chimney accelerate the drying, while a sealed container would primarily "cook" the poo.

I would take any available metal drum suitable for the purpose, brush it down, and spray paint it with a matte black paint, or better yet, take your torch and burn the outside of the container so it gets all sooty. I would make a little chimney for the lid, and make that black as well, a grill and mesh for the bottom of the drum, to keep air flowing around the poo, and an air intake at the bottom. To this I would fit something through which air would pass, like a manifold, that could also be made black and that would absorb solar energy to heat the incoming air.

So the intake manifold would heat the air, which would rise through the drum and up the chimney. This would keep happening as long as warm air was being generated in the intake manifold. It would be necessary to check the poo, probably with a trowel, gloves, and a mask, but honestly, I would incorporate a catchtray at the bottom, through which dessicated bits would fall. Once a rough timeline has been established, the dessicated contributions can be powdered with anything that will reach down and push them through the rough screen at the bottom, and fresh contributions could be added.

I would consider this method less certain to sterilise the poo than the pyrolisis method, but definitely far superior to even a hot compost, if the poo gets sufficiently dry. I mean dry in the sense that no microorganism of any kind, except maybe waterbears, could survive it.

I have never found the poo of carnivores in my garden to have any upsides, sorry to say. It's more of a constant decontamination and reclamation than it is a boon of any kind.

-CK
 
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A very simple solution seems to me to be to dig a small narrow deep hole and keep dumping the poo in there and covering it with soil until it's full, and then make a new one. Compost worms and some bedding such as dry leaves could be thrown in to make it compost faster.

A more active solution that a permaculture teacher from Taiwan told us about was, as I remember it, he took a small dustbin / garbage bin with a lid, made holes in the bottom, and half-buried it in a corner of his garden. He has a couple of dogs, so he drops the poo in there, covers with leaves, adds earthworms, and lets it take care of itself.  He said it doesn't smell at all. Nearby plants may use what small nutrient come out of it, but basically it is disposing of the dog poop in a way that doesn't smell, doesn't involve further contact after the initial pooper scoop, and is simple and natural.
 
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Canine feces is much more pathogenic than omnivore or herbivore feces. As Heather mentioned above, the cold compost that might take place won't kill the pathogens and could be spread by susceptible plant and animal carriers.

If I were to compost cat and fox poo, I would do so in an aerated compost pit with an appropriate ratio of carbon to nitrogen, and probably a drip line to maintain humidity. I would definitely use a temperature probe, and see that it gets hot enough to kill what needs to be killed.

-CK
 
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Rebecca Norman wrote:A very simple solution seems to me to be to dig a small narrow deep hole and keep dumping the poo in there and covering it with soil until it's full, and then make a new one. Compost worms and some bedding such as dry leaves could be thrown in to make it compost faster.

A more active solution that a permaculture teacher from Taiwan told us about was, as I remember it, he took a small dustbin / garbage bin with a lid, made holes in the bottom, and half-buried it in a corner of his garden. He has a couple of dogs, so he drops the poo in there, covers with leaves, adds earthworms, and lets it take care of itself.  He said it doesn't smell at all. Nearby plants may use what small nutrient come out of it, but basically it is disposing of the dog poop in a way that doesn't smell, doesn't involve further contact after the initial pooper scoop, and is simple and natural.



I was kind of thinking of the same thing.  I thought I could just dig a hole with a post hole digger, put dog/cat/coyote/whatever poo in there, cover with sawdust, and repeat.  I can't believe worms, parasites, or whatever will be "sucked up" by the plants growing around the holes.
 
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