Uses for Animal Dung

The sheer number of beneficial products and resources that result from processing animal dung is astonishing. There seems to be no end to the possible uses for cow poop, bat guano, elephant dung and more. Here are just a few of the interesting applications of animal dung throughout the years.

Excellent Fuel Source

Cow and buffalo dung is collected and dried for fuel in some cultures. Once it’s been sufficiently dried out, sometimes with straw added into the mix, a piece is lit as a heat source or used for cooking fuel. There’s no need to worry about the smell usually associated with waste, as dried dung has no overpowering odour.

Building Material

Mixed with mud for rural homes in parts of the middle east, cow dung provides additional stability to the floors and walls. It creates a waterproof layer for proper insulation, preventing heat loss. As with the fuel, there’s no offensive scent emitted from this building material. Dung mixed with straw dust is a new process that creates lightweight bricks.

Insect Repellent

No need to worry, you don’t need to rub animal poop on your body to effectively repel insects. Simply lighting it will suffice. The smoke from the dung is the substance that repels mosquitoes and other bugs that bite.


Cow manure has been used for years as a fertilizer meant to help plants and vegetable grow. But while rich in minerals that help to support the development of microorganisms within the soil, there are risks to using manure near open water sources. The chemicals that also make up the cow dung can runoff into the water, polluting it with more nutrients than are necessary. It needs to be diluted with soil before it can be applied to any landscape.

Paper Source

Companies like Aliya Dung Paper are using a unique process that extracts fibres from elephant dung to create eco-friendly paper and notebooks. Elephants digest 45% of their food, which is why their waste is packed with usable fibre that’s sanitized before being combined with recycled paper. The rest of the process matches that of standard paper production. Other animal dung that’s been used to make paper includes panda bears and sheep.

Combat Pollution

In Bolivia, waste from llama’s is used to fight against pollution that’s found in water from abandoned mines. The acidity in the water, along with the dissolved metals, is neutralized due to the microbes living in the llama poop. This filtration method was once used in the United Kingdom through cattle and horse manure.

Old Gun Powder

Until World War I, bat guano was used to make gunpowder and explosives. Because of the large amount of potassium nitrate within the dung, it also played a large role in prolonging the Civil War. The Confederacy depended on caves filled with guano for resources after their other supply lines were out of commission.


It’s become popular to have coffee beans pass through an animal’s digestive system. The most expensive coffee in the world is produced from the feces of the civet cat, with the coffee selling for $500 USD per pound. The unique taste, uncommon production method and short supply is the reason for the high price tag.

For more information on Aliya Dung Paper products, or to read all about why the environmentally conscious stationary shop came to be, visit