How to compost manure from sheep and goats and/or pigs

Asked August 11, 2019, 10:33 PM EDT

Hello: my neighbors have sheep, goats, and pigs. I am thinking of asking them for manure so that I can compost it to apply to flower gardens. How is manure composted? Is one animal manure preferable to another? Is it mixed with my regular kitchen and garden compost? Mixed with straw? And what ratios? Thank you.

Howard County Maryland compost manure

1 Response

We do not recommend using pig manure because it can carry human pathogens. Sheep and goat manure would be fine to use in a home garden.

Apply uncomposted manure to a garden in the fall only. Mix into the top 4-6 inches of your soil; don’t leave it on top of the ground. Fully composted manure can be mixed into garden soil in the spring.

For making compost, you would mix "green" and "brown" materials. (Greens are high in nitrogen and browns are high in carbon.) Manures are considered a "green" component. Blend equal parts (by volume or weight) of green and brown materials. Browns include things like fallen leaves, straw, wood chips, and sawdust. Manure should be allowed to compost and age for at least 4-6 months.

Here is additional information for you:

Backyard Composting
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/composting

Soil Amendments and Fertilizers
https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/Soil_Amendment...

Christa