How to Use Manure for Compost


Manure is rich in nutrients and makes a great compost, but it's important that the manure be decomposed first, because fresh manure can "burn" the roots of your plants. Making a manure compost is an easy task, one that any gardener or animal keeper can handle.

Using Manure for Compost Material

Step 1

Build or purchase a composting bin. Otherwise, designate an area of the yard for a compost pile and lay down a sheet of landscaping fabric to keep it together and stop weeds from growing through. A far-off corner of the yard is best, as the initial odor from the manure may be carried in the wind.

Step 2

Deposit the manure and used bedding material into the compost every time the cage or pen is cleaned and cover with a layer of organic garden soil (plain old dirt is fine) each time.

Step 3

Allow the microbes, bacteria, grubs and earthworms to do their job of physically breaking down the manure for two to three months, untouched.

Step 4

Turn the compost pile, using a shovel. The inner areas of the pile will be warmer and more composted than the outside.

Step 5

Allow the compost to sit for another two months, to ensure that everything is completely broken down. Mix it one last time.

Step 6

Cover with a tarp or a layer of fall leaves and allow the manure compost to cure for at least three months. The curing period is necessary to neutralize the pH level of the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Manure from animals fed mineral supplements, antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals can result in minerals and medications being passed into the soil and subsequently into otherwise organic foods. Pet waste is not suitable for composting.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Landscaping material
  • Straw or bedding material


  • Building a Compost Pile
  • Minerals and Manure
Keywords: manure for compost, compost pile, composting manure

About this Author

Lisa Russell is an entrepreneur and writer from Washington State, with a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. She's been published in regional parenting publications, homeschooling publications and has published over 10,000 articles online since 1999. She studied Early Childhood Education at Antelope Valley College.