Using Manure in the Garden

January 30, 2014

If you live near a horse or cow pasture, you live near a fertilizer "factory." My husband and I have, in the past, gathered several piles of horse manure from a field behind our house. We would just put wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load into two big piles under a tree, put a few worms that were dug up with one of the piles in them, and let them do the work.


My mother had told me that it was the way that her family did it, using the two work horses' manure to fertilize gardens and trees. We let dead leaves fall into it during fall and winter, sometimes contributing food scraps. By spring, we had nice, labor-free fertilizer for our pecan trees and tomatoes.

Source: My mother, who grew up on a farm during the Depression


10 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

September 30, 2019

I have horse manure to sell. What would be a reasonable price?


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October 1, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

People sell 10 pounds of pasteurized product for $47 on Etsy.

I am sure it requires some hazmat shipping, but you would have to check with the PO about the restrictions for shipping if you are going that way.


Best to find what it goes for in your town and undercut the lowest seller by a dollar or two.

Post back with how your sales go!


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October 3, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do not believe you have a way to pasteurize your manure but if you figured out how to compost it you may be able to sell it from your farm or if enough is available you may be able to sell it to an area yard that sells compost as well as other materials like sawdust and yard fill - usually by the trailer load.

I do not know where you live but most likely your state/county has certain permits you will have to have before posting 'horse manure' for sale.


As far as the price to charge you should check your area for other farms/ranches that sell compost to see what they are charging and also check what type of containers they use. You may have to have special sacks as well a way to load a trailer or the bed of a pickup truck.

Be sure you check with your county to see if you have to have a permit to sell or you could wind up in a lot of trouble if you need one and do not have it.
I'm from an area in Florida that is considered 'horse country" and there are several ranches that sell composted horse manure. They sell it by the bag or a load but their prices would not be the same in other parts of the country.
Florida requires a permit to sell compost.

Here are links to a couple of articles that have a lot of information that you probably should know (but did not know to ask).



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October 29, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can not just sell it outright like this. You need to get some barrels with tight lids on them and make compost out of your manure. Here is an excellent site that can teach you all you need to know about making compost out the manure. After this it can be bagged up and sold. In order to get a good price in your local area, it is necessary to check around at how much the sacks are being sold for. This will give you a good idea about how much you can ask. Check out this site to learn how easy it is to make compost and sell your manure.

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September 30, 2019

What's the best way to compost horse manure?


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October 1, 20190 found this helpful
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It takes about 6 months to cure manure. It has to be in bright sun,and spread thin to help with the process.For video check out,how to cure manure on


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October 3, 20190 found this helpful
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Composting can be done in several ways so you will have to research to find what way is best for you and the area available for composting.

This YouTube video is very good for one method.


Here is an excellent article that has instructions from start to finish.

This will make the kind of manure that can be sold from your property.

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June 8, 2010

How do you make poop pods out of horse or cow manure to fertilize a garden or flower beds? The ingredients are mixed together and placed in a ceramic mold to dry and placed in garden, but what are all the ingredients that are mixed? When it rains the garden is fertilized that way.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Pat Rebuck from PA


June 11, 20100 found this helpful

I never heard of anyone putting it in molds. My dad used horse manure this year on his garden and its going crazy, everything is getting huge. Make sure the manure your using is dried and just crumble it up and till it into the soil.


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June 12, 20100 found this helpful

Crumbled old poop is what you want. You can't use every poop on every garden. Know how much you can. Sheep is a universal. Cow/etc have their place. Just amount varies not to burn your garden.


We had gone out to an old farm site of sheep and gotten old, old stuff, was wonderful. It is hard to find sheep poop at the garden centers. Mennard's happened to have it this year and I got.

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March 29, 2010

I have access to chicken, horse, and cow manure. What is the best way to add manure to a garden getting it ready for Spring planting?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Cheryl from Phenix City AL


March 29, 20100 found this helpful

Is the manure fresh? I'd say the best way to add it would be to let it compost first for a few months. Manure that's too fresh can "burn" plants because it's strong. Chicken manure is great, though, because of all the nitrogen it contains, and all three are great fertilizers when composted, so you've definitely got a good source of "black gold."

If you want to add some now, incorporating a *little* into the soil would be one way, making sure it's mixed well so the roots won't run into a clump of pure manure. Another way, if you have established plants already, would be to add a *very* small amount to the surface and let rainwater slowly percolate it down through the soil to the roots.

I managed to kill a newly planted apple tree many years ago by thinking I was helping it by adding a nice thick dressing of fresh horse manure. Uh, no. That was a mistake, as I later learned.

April 2, 20100 found this helpful

I used to feed my garden a manure cocktail every fall and again in the spring. What I would do is make a slurry of the solids with water in a big plastic tub and pour it over the garden. In the spring this was done when the soil could be worked but before plants were coming up, and never over seeds. It was roughly about 1/3 manure to 2/3 water. Mmmm good! I think it's why I have a good earthworm population now. Best and easiest is if you let it decompose in a compost pile. Let it rot a little so it won't burn your plants, or alienate your neighbors.

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July 6, 2017

If you have farms nearby, it may be easy to find free manure. This is a page about finding free manure.

wheelbarrow of horse manure

May 26, 2017

If the cow manure is fresh it is considered hot, as it is still releasing nitrogen and ammonia that can damage plant roots. To cure, it needs to be hot composted for 6 months. This is a page about curing cow manure.

Hand holding cured Cow Manure

July 18, 2017

Manure is a nearly perfect natural fertilizer that can be used throughout your garden. This is a page about using cow manure in your garden.

Shoveling cow manure

July 6, 2017

Composted chicken manure when mixed with your topsoil makes a great fertilizer. This is a page about using chicken manure as garden fertilizer.

Chicken Manure

July 6, 2017

Alpaca manure makes a great soil conditioner for your garden, it improves soil quality, water retention, and is a good fertilizer. This is a page about using alpaca manure in your garden.

A young golden Alpaca.

Home and Garden Gardening FertilizerApril 6, 2012
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