Adding Manure to Compost, How Much Is Too Much?
January 28, 2021
My set up: a 4×4 ground box, with cinder block wall in back, and sides made of wood boards with air space between, and open front for hot composting (actively turned over, moisture and kitchen scraps added).
We also have a similar cold composting area against a wood fence instead of cinder block (for larger yard waste)
My question is, sometimes I get good clean goat manure (droppings and some hay/straw scrap) to add to either compost box. Is it ever possible to add too much of this to my compost?
Answer by JZ: Your question will be received by a few of my colleagues who may also respond.
Great that you are composting. Here are my thoughts.
Goat manure would be a green (nitrogen). Straw bedding would be a brown (carbon). So they are a fine combination to add. A suggested guideline: for every 2 parts brown combine with 1 part green. By using this guideline you will not add too much of either to your pile and you will provide a balanced “diet” for the decomposing microorganisms, both hot process and cold process.
You did not provide your zip code, but I’ll assume you are composting in the desert where low porosity bins are useful. That is, not a lot of cracks, spaces or holes as that will allow for too much evaporation of moisture especially in the summer. We compensate for low porosity by using coarse bulking material as the pile is built up, as this decreases compaction of moist organics and provides for convective airflow. This is described on page 6 of our brochure: docs.nmcomposters.org/composting-in-the-desert-2018.pdf
Might I also suggest that you cover drape the top of your pile as this will help decrease evaporation of moisture, see pic. below
Let us know if this is helpful. All the best. Keep up.