Wondering about making compost from manure? Here’s a guide to what you can and can’t do, along with links to some other great resources I’ve found about the subject.
When I refer to manure, I am talking about horse manure, cow manure, and chicken manure.
If you want to know about whether to compost dog and cat poop, please check this page instead.
Horse Manure Compost
Horse manure can be composted, without much difficulty. Whatcom County in Washington State has the clearest and best page about how to compost horse manure, with step by step explanations and instructions. They even go as far as giving you the design for a bin that you can build yourself.
Cow Manure Compost
Managing cow manure issues is more complicated than just composting. It is possible to compost cow manure, but cattle ranchers and dairy farmers will need to follow all of the laws and regulations in their states. This publication features several complex strategies for dealing with cow waste via composting. Cornell also has a great page with links to many other resources for larger scale cattle issues. If you’re a home composter, it is safe to add cattle manure to your compost pile. Cow manure is high in nitrogen.
Chicken Manure Compost
Seattle Tilth has a terrific, comprehensive guide to composting chicken manure, compiled by Judy Duncan, WSU Cooperative Extension, King County Master Gardener and Cooperative Extension Livestock Advisor. She covers benefits, collection methods, and composting methods, among other things.
Is there anything I missed — either a type of animal, or a good resource? Leave a comment and let me know and I’ll update.