animal bedding as mulch?

Asked March 27, 2018, 1:12 AM EDT

Hi, Could I use my goat's bedding as mulch for our fruit trees? The goats bedding consist on wood fir chips, and alfalfa/orchard grass that falls down when they eat. Also has goat pee and droppings. Let me know! and many thanks!

Benton County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for your mulching question. I can refer you to a (very scientific, very long) Minnesota Extension article discussing the benefits of using manure and compost in commercial fruit and vegetable production (which I appreciate yours is not.) You can read the entire article, or focus on the information relevant to you:

"Do not surface apply raw manure under orchard trees where fallen fruit will be harvested."

Had your goat's bedding contained no animal waste, especially uncomposted manure, there would be less of a risk. A study of "best practices" in u-pick operations similarly recommends that "Mulch used between rows is clean straw, that has not been used previously as bedding."

Finally, here is a link to a general article about mulching--without animal waste-- fruit trees, and recommended practices. Hope these are helpful. Good luck!

Many thanks! I appreciatte your thorough answer and good articles to read.