How to Compost Cow Manure


Like the manure of most other herbivorous animals, cow manure contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other nutrients that are essential to plant development. But when spread directly over plants, the nitrogen in cow manure can burn certain plants. One way to avoid this, is to compost cow manure first. Cow manure makes nutritious humus and actually speeds up the decomposition process by providing nitrogen to the microorganisms responsible for breaking down the compost pile's contents.

Step 1

Scoop the cow manure onto the compost pile.

Step 2

Add an equal amount, by volume of hay or other "brown" compost material to the pile.

Step 3

Add one or two handfuls of garden soil or non-sterilized potting soil to the pile.

Step 4

Turn the pile to turn and thoroughly mix the ingredients in the compost pile.

Step 5

Repeat steps one through four until you compost pile is between 3 and 5 cubic feet in size. Then continue to turn the pile once weekly until the contents turn to compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden soil


  • Plow and Hearth: Composting for Beginners
  • University of California: The Rapid Composting Method
  • University of Illinois Extension: Materials for Composting

Who Can Help

  • Super Composting Tips: Composting Ingredients
Keywords: compost manure, cow manure, how to compost

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.