ct_vol
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Horse/ and Fowl Manure

Ok, so I'm new to this forum and new to gardening and composting... We have a small farm with 2 horses, some ducks and chickens. We have no shortage of horse manure, but it is usually mixed with horse urine and pine shavings... I'm not sure if this has any effect on compost. Wondering if you all have suggestions on how I turn my manure pile into a Compost Pile... Any recommendations would be appreciated. :)

Dillbert
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simple,

with that much manure, add some browns, turn the pile now and then, bingo: all done.

no - there's really no PhD required, it's pretty simple.....

sepeters
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Hi Ct, welcome to the forum! And congratulations on starting a garden, it is a very rewarding hobby!

There's a lot of really useful stuff in this forum. My first suggestion is to check out the threads at the top labeled "Sticky." The information in those will help you considerably. :)

You will probably want to start several compost piles, since you have a bit of space. You want to have more than one so you have an active pile that you are building and an inactive pile you are using. And I'd give the chicken manure it's own pile for sure.

You can use "raw" horse manure or you can compost it. Check out this instructional on aging horse manure.
https://www.ehow.com/how_4898546_age-hor ... mpost.html

Chicken manure cannot be used raw. That one's gotta get some time on it.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/compost ... ilizer.htm

ct_vol
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Ok... So by browns you mean brown paper bags or newspaper? I don't really understand why that is beneficial for a compost pile, but I'll do it... :)

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rainbowgardener
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Read the Sticky on Greens and Browns in composting. Despite it's color, manure is a "green" meaning Nitrogen rich, moist. To make good compost that will meet all your garden's nutritional needs, the Nitrogen rich stuff, needs to be balanced with Carbon rich stuff. That balance helps the composting process too. Too much "green" can get anaerobic, resulting in a wet, stinky, slimy mess. Too much brown will compost very slowly and not heat up much.

The sticky gives suggestions for greens and browns. Browns include fall leaves, shredded newspaper, wood chips, straw, etc.
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tomc
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Ct Vol.,

One part high nitrogen stuff (green) gets mixed with 20 to 30 parts shavings, leaves, yard waste, news paper, cardboard, (brown) is the ideal for speedy decomposition.

Tread lightly adding oily or meaty items to your compost, (I do add both), they can slow decomp or become smelly.

Feathers or hair have a surprizing amount of sulfur in them. Tread lightly here too.
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toxcrusadr
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The C:N ratio should be 20 or 30 to one, but most browns have some nitrogen in them, so the ratio of *materials* will not be 20 or 30 to one.

For example, I've composted a lot of fresh grass clippings, using about 3 times by weight of browns like leaves and sawdust.

The best way to know you have it approximately right is to observe the pile as rainbow says. Too hot/smelly = add browns. Never heats up, too much browns, add greens if you have them.

And of course that heating will only occur for a few days when you make a large enough pile with fresh greens. But a cold pile will still make compost, it just takes longer.

I do like the batch idea that was suggested. If you have a continuous supply of manure, add it to a pile until it reaches whatever size you want and then start a new pile. After a few weeks turn the first pile, and turn once or twice more if you want. In a few months you should have compost.
Tox

Dillbert
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be aware that altho Mother Nature has nothing against composing fats, dairy and meats, those kinds of things can readily draw carnivore type 'pests' - raccoons, skunks, possums, fox, etc.

depending on what you got hanging around local, might want to stick strictly with vegetative matter.

rot
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..
ct_vol,

Based on your original post, your manure pile is pretty much is a compost pile. The horse manure and urine are your high nitrogen materials, also known as 'greens' for ease of speaking and the pine shavings are the high carbon materials otherwise spoken of as 'browns'.

Turn your pile a few times and keep moist and observe. The ammonia smells means nitrogen escaping into the air so maybe add some more 'browns' and keep turning. Sewer smells means it needs air - keep turning things over until the smells correct themselves, back off on the moisture and maybe, wait because that's a maybe, add more 'browns'.

If it looks like it's doing a whole lotta nothing, look at the moisture part first, then turning and then adding greens.

As mentioned before, observe what's going on and adjust. Once it seems OK, just let it do its thing while you keep the moisture and air in check. At some point you stop adding things just to let the stuff already there break down into compost.

Easy to read and good reference link that helps explain a lotta things:
https://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/compost-info/

The link above used to be https://www.compostinfo.com/ and was changed some time in the last 6 months.

to sense
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Buckner Gibbs
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Hello....new to this forum and somewhat new to gardening...and real new to having access to A LOT of horse manure.javascript:emoticon(':shock:') Have done some reading up on HM (horse manure). Read that the French in Paris (before the automobile took over) used to do all there gardening in just horse manure...like 2 feet deep horse manure...Anyway...to the question(s)...1)anybody else garden in just/pure horse manure? 2)how deep do you go...(I heard the English say you got to dig your garden 4 feet deep...) 3) Where is the best info on HM...?thanks for all your help and am looking forward to this forumjavascript:emoticon(':D')

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applestar
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I like to read old gardening/horticulture books, so I recognize what you are talking about. :)

What they used to do is use deep beds of fresh horse/etc. manure (horse manure was plentiful pre-automobiles) THEN layered with dried leaves/straw, (lime), and then GARDEN SOIL ON TOP.

I'd have to reference for the actual depth of soil. You may have that info handy already. The manure bed helped to warm up the soil which allowed early planting and benefitted especially in northern France (like Paris)/Belgium/Dutch regions where the weather tends to be more cloudy/rainy than sunny. Manure bed is also good for heavy feeders like melons and squash and were/are utilized in the South where they grow the best melons.

However, some seeds won't even germinate in too rich soil, let alone pure manure, and tender new roots can be "burned" by fresh manure. The manure was buried deep enough/far enough away from the plants so that they would be aged and mellowed by the time the plant roots reached them.

I'm talking in past tense but plenty of gardeners around the world who have access to the materials do all this still.

Note too that usage was different between fresh manure vs. aged manure. I think modern re-interpretation of aged manure is compost.

Az sunshine
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manure and compost

We always age our fresh manure at least a year before putting it into our compost pile. We layer it with plenty of leaves. Our compost heap is about 10 ft by 10 ft and about 4 ft high. before we use it so this requires a lot of material. We have friends that rake their leaves and bag them in the fall and bring them to us and we collect bag leaves that people dump at the green waste dump. We also rake leaves for widows. We collect cardboard and shred it, and get left over produce from the grocery store and restaurants. Happy composting to you! :lol: :lol:

tomc
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Re: Horse/ and Fowl Manure

If your establishing a new arbor or opening a new garden the only limit of organic material you'll need is how much you can get (steal).

Leaf rustling is a fine old american hobby.

The good news is your need will eventually catch up to your supply.
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valley
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Re: Horse/ and Fowl Manure

Buckner, The English have trouble speaking the language, I vote for working the top 12". If you want to work the ground much deeper I'll have to lend you a tractor. I take that back about the English.

richard

When we first built our greenhouse we use just horse, well a little goat.

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