My late mother, who would have given Hyacinth Bucket a run for her money (although she was the real thing), would use the word freely (as in 'I've put chicken shit on my roses'), as a straight synonym for manure.
I always think that when a newspaper prints a coyly bleeped word like 'sh*t' it forces me to think of all the rude words I know that might fit - not very edifying. Sometimes I'm stumped which makes me feel rather naïve.
I mentioned this in this blog a few years ago, after seeing the word 'w***e' in a headline. Click here for the answer, which disappointingly isn't even rude (unless someone is using to describe you).