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There's a funny moral to this story - I HIGHLY SUGGEST NOT COOKING MANURE INDOORS. My apartment smelled like a barn yard for a good week after I got done attempting this. Needless to say, you should pastuerize manure, and the oven at 350F is a bad idea because it kills beneficial microbial activity. My manure ended up contaminating with cobweb mold VERY fast because of this. So I wasted time/money and my apt. stunk like shit. Do what you will - I just don't recommend it.
I have never sterilised cow manure, the secret is the thickness of the substrate layer, as well as the proportion of birdseed / or BRF mix to manure, plus correct moisture content ,and temp ensures speedy colonisation, eliminating the chance of green or cobweb mould. I would estimate 18 days for fully grown shrooms, if all the above are correct. Your friend should be back at around the right time for a shroom meal. Frozen Happiness thanks for the tip 'bout vermiculite, I'll try it.
My friend decided not to cook after reading these posts. He thanks you for the trouble u saved. Anyways, he is going to try and make the colonization as slow as possible, because he may be gone for up to a month. SO, he is going to put the mycelium chunks TOWARDS the bottom of the container. They will be underneath about 5 inches of cow dung, but at low temps and little light. Also, temps will be in the 60's and upper 50's. Good moisture, airy. Hopefully everything will be A-O-K for him. THANKS for the advice everyone!
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