Properly composting manure – Heats up to 145 degrees F
Can kill parasite eggs and weed seeds
Oxygen Content (Porosity)
Active composting occurs in the temperature range of 50 o F to 160 o F
Pile temperature may increase above 140 o F but this is too hot for most bacteria and decomposition will slow until temperature decreases again.
Remember, Compost pile heat is the direct result of microbial metabolism!!!
So…What is a C:N Ratio?
Supply of total carbon compared to total nitrogen in compost pile.
If C:N is too high the compost process will slow.
If C:N is too low, more likely to lose Nitrogen as ammonia gas or in leaching.
Ideal initial C:N mixture range is 20 – 30:1.
Weeks of Composting 2 4 6 100 140 8 Temperature (F) Curing Phase Mesophilic Thermophilic Active Phase
Need Oxygen for most efficient process.
21% oxygen in air.
5%-10% is optimal for compost process. <5% process slows.
As pile heats more oxygen will be consumed by microbes.
50-65% 100 % 0% Optimal conditions for microbes Too Dry Too Wet 40-65% moisture range
0 14 7 Bacteria (6.0 – 7.5) Fungi (5.5-8.0)
C:N Ratio - 20 to 30:1
% Moisture - 50-65%
Oxygen - 5-10%
pH - 5.5-8.2 (acceptable)
Particle size - 1/4 to 3 inches
Temperature -110 -160 o F
Mixed sizes are preferred. Wood shavings ideal.
Solid Manure Storage
Tarp may provide cover with less cost and more labor
Stack or stockpile in a well-drained area for later hauling
Regulations may require runoff control
Sample Manure Storage
Choosing a Manure Storage Facility
Land application methods
Type of bedding
Hauling, distances, volume
Space and size requirements
Design system to fit your goals
Consult sizing guide
Add another bin
Two Bin Composter Manure Compost Bin
Manure Management Building a Manure Composting System for a Small Horse Operation Two bins are adequate for 2-5 horses. One bin can be composting while the other is being filled.
Manure Stacking Facility
Allows for the accumulation of solids
Inexpensive method of separating liquids from solids (Not in Horses)
Leaching should be controlled
Works only with solid manure waste
Good to have a vegetative filter area
Other Uses of Composted Horse Manure
Landscaping - Gardening
Riding Arena Footing
Compost- Use on Sustainable Trails as Footing
Mortality Compost Management
Plenty of absorbent base
24” is ideal
Common to have 2 layers of mortality
For Large Animals
Turn Pile in 90 Days.
Continue compost for 4-6 mos.
Land apply after 90 more days
Six months total
Or use on new composting row
Bones from immature animals degrade quickly and can be land applied.
Big bones from mature animals may need to be picked out.
Vegetative Buffer Strips
Inexpensive to install ?
Removes some solids from liquids
Maintenance is not easy
Needs to be long and flat
Channel flow reduces effectiveness
Remember downwind neighbors
You might like the smell of manure but your neighbors will not
Factors Affecting Odor Release and Dispersion 3. Source concentration 2. Area
1. Temperature 2. Wind speed 3. Topography
Summary - Manure Management
Each farm should have a plan for managing manure spreading and disposal.
Store manure in a dry, level, impermeable location free from storm-water runoff.
Manage storm-water to prevent manure contamination of water and eliminate runoff.
Actively compost manure and bedding
Control animal access to manure pile sites.
Visual – out of sight-out of mind
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