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Types of Manure and How to Use It on the Homestead

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Homesteading can be dirty, stinky and frustrating. You can come in the house (hopefully mudroom or garage) covered in poop, dirt and sweat. Today we are going to hit on one of those: manure.

Manure isn’t something I usually talk about here on the blog, but for homesteading it can be very important. Manure is the natural waste product of animals on the homestead, and by utilizing it properly you can increase yields in your garden and orchard.

Let’s talk about the different types of manure and how you can use them on the homestead.

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Cow Manure:

  • Needs to be aged before it can be applied to the garden.
  • Fresh cow manure contains high levels of ammonia and pathogens.
  • Good for all-purpose fertilizer, but not as high in nitrogen as others.
  • If not aged, fresh manure can be harmful to you and your plants.
  • It needs to age atleast a year in compost before use.
  • Cow manure has a 0.5-0.5-0.5 N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) rating.
  • Make sure you only use manure from horses that aren’t eating grass or feed that contains herbicides (which might kill your plants).

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Horse Manure:

  • Needs to be aged before it can be applied to the garden.
  • If not aged, fresh manure can contain E Coli bacteria and can also burn your plants.
  • Horse manure needs to age atleast 3 months in compost before use.
  • Good for all-purpose fertilizer, but not as high in nitrogen as others.
  • There is a chance there will be weed seeds in the manure.
  • The aged manure will smell earthy (not stinky) and be crumbly like commercial potting soil.
  • Horse manure has a 1.5–1.0–1.5 N-P-K rating.
  • Make sure you only use manure from horses that aren’t eating grass or feed that contains herbicides (which might kill your plants).

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Goat/Sheep Manure:

  • DOES NOT need to be aged before use.
  • Can be put directly into your garden box for fertilizer.
  • Sheep manure is high in phosphorus and potassium.
  • It is dry and usually odorless.
  • Goat/sheep manure is about an 1.5–1.0–1.8 N-P-K rating.

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Chicken Manure:

  • Needs to be aged before it can be applied to the garden.
  • It is high in nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • If not aged, it can be harmful for you and may burn your plants.
  • Chicken (or turkey/duck) manure needs to age atleast a year in compost before use.
  • Chicken manure rates at about 1.7-2.4-1.7 N-P-K rating.

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Rabbit Manure:

  • DOES NOT need to be aged before use.
  • Can be put directly into your garden box for fertilizer.
  • Rabbit manure is about an 3.5-1.0–1.8 N-P-K rating.

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

Cat/Dog/Pig Manure:

  • Not recommended to use as garden fertilizer.
  • May contain parasites and pathogens that are harmful for humans.

Human Manure:

  • Human urine and feces can be used as fertilizer.
  • I would not do it unless in a survival situation.
  • I do not recommend it.
  • To find out more, check out this book: The Humanure Handbook by Joseph C Jenkins

Tips for using manure:

  1. Compost it with wood chips, straw or other “browns” for the best fertilizer.
  2. Don’t use fresh manure on plants without composting first (except rabbit, goat and sheep manures).
  3. For conditioning your soil-use 40 lbs of manure for 100 sq ft.
  4. For poor soil or new garden beds-use 80 lbs of manure for 100 sq ft.
  5. To give your garden a boost, add 1-2 inches of compost to the top of your beds.
  6. You can add fresh manure to the garden after you harvest and let it sit all winter to age before the spring growing season.


Taking advantage of your “natural” resources:

Organic fertilizer is expensive. Why not use what you already have?  By composting manure from your own animals, you save money and use more of your own resources. Now that’s self reliant!

Use animal manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. #manure #homestead #gardenClick To Tweet

Animal waste may not be something you think of as an asset, but for your homestead it totally is. You are feeding and caring for an animal, and you want to reap the benefits of whatever they produce. So whether it is eggs, meat, fur, honey or manure, those products are very beneficial to your family and homestead. By using things your homestead is already producing, you are being a provident homesteader.

Do you have many animals on your homestead? Click here to find out how you can utilize their manure to increase yields in your garden and orchard. Types of Manure | Gardening | Composting

What kind of manure do you use on your homestead? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!

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