Wattle & Daub: Craft, Conservation & Wiltshire Case Study
3.6 Daub
4.1 Soils
4.1.3 Strength
4.2 Dung
4.2.2 Lignin
4.2.3 Urine
4.3 Fibre
5.4.2 Renewal

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4.2.1 Evaluation of Dung Ingredients

The digestion of ruminants and the composition of cow faeces are explained in Appendix 1. Most ruminants have similar digestive function and therefore it is likely that horse and cow dung have many comparable properties. The main constituent of cow dung is debris from cells within the digestive tract and secretions from the body such as salts, sloughing of animal cells and mucus. Faeces also include undigested diet comprising cellulose and lignin, originating from the cell walls of the plants. In the analysis of dung, it should also be considered that cowpats and slurry often contain urine as well as faeces. In an attempt to identify the components of dung that may be beneficial to daub, possible candidates were selected for review, namely lignin, urine and microbial debris.