How long do you leave horse manure?

Photo of author

By Rachel

Quick Peek:

Hey there, horse lovers! Have you ever wondered how long it takes for horse manure to turn into compost? Well, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), it takes about three to six months. The key is to keep the compost pile at the ideal temperature of 135 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, with the right carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and moisture level. And don’t forget to aerate it to let those microorganisms do their thing! So go ahead and compost that manure, and watch your garden thrive!

So How Long Does It Take to Compost Horse Manure?

If you’re a horse enthusiast, you know that horse manure is an inevitable part of horse ownership. And while it may not be the most glamorous aspect of horse care, it’s an essential one. Properly disposing of horse manure not only helps keep your barn clean and odor-free, but it also benefits the environment. But what do you do with all that manure? Composting is an excellent solution, but how long does it take to compost horse manure?

The Time It Takes to Compost Horse Manure

Generally, it takes three to six months for horse manure to turn into compost. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recommends this length of time because it allows fertilizer nutrients to stabilize and weed seeds to be killed. However, the actual time it takes to compost horse manure can vary depending on several factors.

Factors That Affect Composting Time

The time it takes to compost horse manure can be influenced by various factors, including the following:

See also  How horses say I love you?


The ideal temperature for composting is between 135 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range helps to kill weed seeds and pathogens, breaking down the manure more quickly. If the temperature is too low, the composting process will take longer.


Moisture is another critical factor in composting horse manure. The compost pile needs to be moist but not too wet. If the pile is too dry, the composting process will slow down. On the other hand, if the pile is too wet, it can become anaerobic, leading to an unpleasant odor and slow composting.


Aeration is essential for the composting process because it allows oxygen to reach the microorganisms that break down the manure. If the pile is not aerated enough, the composting process will slow down.

Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratio

The carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is an essential aspect of composting horse manure. The ideal ratio is 25 to 30 parts carbon to one part nitrogen. If the ratio is off, the composting process will slow down.


In conclusion, composting horse manure is an excellent way to dispose of manure and benefit the environment. Generally, it takes three to six months for horse manure to turn into compost, but the actual time can vary depending on several factors, including temperature, moisture, aeration, and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. By paying attention to these factors, you can ensure that your horse manure composts efficiently and effectively.

A video on this subject that might interest you:

#HorseManure #GardeningTips #OrganicFertilizer #Composting #Sustainability