Manure management

Asked April 10, 2014, 2:13 PM EDT

I have some chickens and had a horse that overwintered in our barn. The chicken manure and some (urine-soaked) horse manure is still in the barn, and there is also horse manure outside. The inside manure smells, the outside doesn't. The inside horse manure has pine shavings, straw and grain throughout. We haven't done anything to "compost" any of this yet. Is there any way to make use of this chicken and/or horse manure mixture in our small family garden? We are getting ready to rototill the ground and are unsure if we can use the manure, and if so, whether to add it before tilling or afterwards then tilling it in again.
Also, since we had a long winter how soon can I till the ground here in Kalkaska County?
Thank you. Steve

Kalkaska County Michigan animal manure management

1 Response

Steve,You should have the 2 manures tested for nutrient content. In particular, the chicken manure may be high enough in nitrogen that it would 'burn' your vegetable plants. See this site for a listing of lab that can run a manure analyses.http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/fall_manure_application_tips