FondsGoetheanum: Agriculture

Cow dung is valuable as fertilizer

Horns enliven the digestion processes of ruminant animals.

Cows as horn-bearing animals are ruminants. Ruminants are animals with a unique digestive system, consisting of several stomachs, adapted to their specific eating habits as herbivores. Cattle, sheep and goats are all ruminants.

FondsGoetheanum: Landwirtschaft
Recently dug out horns with horn-manure preparation.

All horn-bearing animals are ruminants, and almost all ruminants have horns. A connection between the two, therefore, appears to be quite evident.

The cow, with its four stomachs, is also a ruminant with a highly specialised digestive system. It has to be, as it eats up to 100 kg (220 lbs) of grass daily in the summer, and the same amount in the form of hay in winter. The cow digests these large quantities of grass and hay and transforms them into highly nutritious milk and meat. At the same time, the cow produces valuable manure, which, when applied to the soil, affects a stable increaase in the soil’s humus content, ensuring long-term soil fertility. The cow’s entire organism is characterised by this specialisation. The skull of the grown cow, for example, consists mainly of the large jaws, made to devour and ruminate huge amounts of plants. 

The energy in cow’s manure.

The horns start growing at the same age at which the young animal also begins to eat hay and grass. They consist of the horn part, a condensed protrusion of the skin, and the bone cone, which anatomically is an appendage of the frontal bone. Although the horns appear to be dead, they are actually very well supplied with blood, circulating between the horn part and the bone cone.

The cone is hollow, connected to the frontal sinus and the nasal cavity, and thus also to the circulation of digestive gases. These gases, and with them the digestive forces, are sent back from the horn into the cow’s organism. They enliven the mass that is digested in the gastrointestinal tract. Once so intensively permeated, this mass appears as cow manure, a fertiliser that can, in turn, enliven the soil in the truest sense of the word.