How to Compost Manure

How To Compost Dairy Manure Quickly

Composting dairy manure quickly requires careful management of the composting process to ensure that the organic materials break down efficiently while minimizing odors and potential environmental issues. Here’s a step-by-step guide to composting dairy manure quickly:

Gather Your Materials:

  • Dairy manure: Collect fresh manure from your cow farms. Ensure that it’s not mixed with excessive bedding material, which can slow down the composting process.
    Carbon-rich materials: You’ll need a source of carbon-rich materials, such as straw, dried leaves, sawdust, or wood chips. These materials help balance the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio in the compost pile.
Cow livestock manure compost processing
Cow livestock manure compost processing

Site Selection:

Choose a well-ventilated area with good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Avoid areas prone to flooding or close to water sources to prevent runoff contamination. This is important to start dairy manure composting smoothly.


Start with a base layer of carbon-rich material on the composting site. This helps with aeration and drainage.
Add a layer of dairy manure on top of the carbon material. The manure should be well-distributed and not piled too high.

Adjust Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratio:

Aim for a C:N (carbon-to-nitrogen) ratio of around 25-30:1. Dairy manure is nitrogen-rich, so adding enough carbon-rich materials is essential to achieve this balance. You may need to experiment to find the right mix.

Moisture Management:

Keep the compost pile consistently moist, similar to a wrung-out sponge. Too much water can lead to anaerobic conditions and odor issues, while suitable water content can speed up cow dung decomposition.

Turning and Aeration:

Regularly turn the compost pile to provide aeration. This introduces oxygen, which is essential for aerobic decomposition. Aerate the pile at least once a week, but more frequent turning may speed up the process. Here, a quality cow dung compost turner can help you a lot.

Temperature Monitoring:

Monitor the temperature of the compost pile. The interior temperature should reach and maintain 131-160°F (55-71°C) for an extended period (several days to weeks). This is the optimal temperature range for rapid decomposition and pathogen reduction. Then you can further make compost into cow manure organic fertilizer.


After the initial decomposition phase, allow the compost to cure for several weeks to several months. This allows for the breakdown of any remaining organic matter and stabilization of the compost.

Use Proper Equipment:

Consider using a compost thermometer to monitor temperatures, as well as a compost machines for easier turning of large piles. Click here to learn more.

Safety Precautions:

Be mindful of odor control to prevent complaints from neighbors. Properly managed composting should reduce odors.
Comply with local regulations and environmental guidelines for composting dairy manure to prevent pollution and runoff.

Testing and Quality Control:

Regularly test the compost for maturity and quality before using it on crops. Mature compost should have an earthy smell, be dark and crumbly, and free of pathogens.

Remember that composting dairy manure quickly may take a few months to a year, depending on various factors, including the size of the pile, temperature, and initial C:N ratio. Patience and proper management are key to successful and efficient composting. More details you can visit