To get free cow manure locally, visit a nearby farm, and ask for dry cow manure. Alternately, salvage wet cow dung from farms or grazing pastures, and compost it to create usable cow manure. Place advertisements or look in local classifieds for posts by farmers who wish to get rid of cow manure without charge.
To get free cow manure, volunteer to clean cow sheds and stalls at nearby farms. Cleaning out stalls yields a lot of cow manure, depending on when the stall was last cleaned. Most farmers are glad to have the stalls cleaned and the manure removed free of cost instead of paying local waste pickup services. Some farmers place advertisements in classifieds, offering free manure to anyone who can collect it. These sites are also ideal to place advertisements requesting free cow manure.
Allow freshly salvaged cow manure from farms to mellow in a compost pile over days or weeks to get rid of bacterial pathogens and parasites before using it for plants. Allow dry manure to age for at least six months before use. If spreading fresh manure over the garden, apply it in the fall to allow it to break down before harvesting any root crops or leafy green crops.