1 Compost Bin Designs
1. Why Compost?
Composting livestock manure is an excellentmanure management technique for small-scale livestock operations. By collectingmanure on a daily or weekly basis frompaddocks, stalls, and confinement areas youare not only providing a healthy environmentfor the livestock but you are also beingenvironmentally friendly.Composting not only provides the owner witha free source of compost for the yard, garden,and pastures that will benefit plants by slowlyreleasing nutrients, but it also reduces flies,odors, mud in confinement areas.Composting decreases the possibility ofparasite re-infestation, and prevents theintroduction of weeds by sterilizing weedseeds found in the manure.
2. Decide on the number of bins you willneed.
You will need at least two bins, dependingupon the number of livestock you have willdetermine if additional bins are necessary.The average 8’ x 8’ x 5’ storage bin will holdapproximately 320 ft
of material. Below is ageneral guide of how many bins you will needbased on the number of stalls you have.When planning your compost bins rememberthat you can never have too much storage.
3. Site Selection
When planning to install a compost bin ormanure storage structure site location is veryimportant. You will need to find a high, levelarea on your property. Do not put thecomposter in a low lying area or you will haveproblems with too much water. Remember tolocate the composter far away from creeks,ditches, wetlands, or other water bodies.Check with your township or municipality tosee if there are any regulations on where youcan install a composter.For your convenience you will want toconsider having the composter closer to thebarn and paddock areas to make cleaning upeasier and less time consuming.
4. Bin Selection
Next you will need to decide what type ofcompost bin you would like to install. In thisfact sheet there are numerous designs forcompost bins made from materials that areeasily purchased at any home improvementstore. Each bin design includes a materialsand tools listing for your convenience.
Healthy Horses, Clean Water. Horses forClean Water. A Guide to EnvironmentallyFriendly Horsekeeping. Alayne Renee Blickleand Horses for Clean Water. 2000 2001Building a Compost Bin. Missouri UniversityFact Sheet. University of Missouri – ColumbiaFact Sheet.
Prepared by members of Pennsylvania’s Small Scale Livestock Committee.© 2002