Using Fresh Goat Manure

greenbrier517(8)October 11, 2010

I have just agreed to clean out someone�s goat barn for the manure. I was hoping to side dress my Turnip and Mustard greens to give them a little pep. I know that by incorporating "green" manure into my garden, I run the risk of burning my plants up with the excess of nitrogen. Which brings me to my question, this guy says that goat manure can be used straight from the "manufacturer" without worries of burning up the plants. Is this true?

Would it be better to let it sit out over winter to decompose so that it will be ready for the spring crops?

I�d appreciate any advice!

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Goat, Sheep, and cow manures are considered to be "cool" manures and tend not to burn plants is applied soon after being manufactured. However, the concern is less about burning plants then about potential disease pathogens that are present in all manures. Manures should not be applied sooner than 90 days from harvest for above ground crops.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 6:37AM
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Dan Staley

Rule of thumb is it is always safer to age manure before use.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:00AM
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I am so set on getting the manure into the ground that I was oblivious to other possible problems. I guess it wouldnâÂÂt hurt if I let it sit for a little while. ItâÂÂs a rather large pile of manure that IâÂÂve accumulated and I hate to know that I did more harm than good to my garden by being impatient.
Thank You Very Much!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:06AM
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You can use 'manure tea', safely enough, IMO. What I do, is pour the tea near the plant, without contaminating it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 7:52AM
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Manure tea made from fresh manure will have the same potential disease pathogens as the manure it is made from.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 6:33AM
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I'd sidedress with the goat manure in a minute, greenbriar. Shoooooo --- I DID sidedress early July with a LOT of quite uncomposted chicken manure (high nitrogen) that had aged inside three-four years, and nothing bad happened; the plants were wildly enthusiastic.

I never saw any pathogens from manure that would attack plants in the last forty years or so; I don't think I believe that occurs. If it did occur, I think I'd have noticed.

Sheep (or goat) manure in considerable quantity can be used pretty much fresh basically as dirt: I put it in garden trailerloads into gardens and add landfill compost or my compost and plant on top of it. No complaints from the plants yet. I get this the same type place yours is coming from, I would guess: a run-in shed or barn. It compacts to quite a depth and while it doesn't compost because it's not out in the rain, it's not really FRESH, you know? It's months or even years old. I do think that makes a difference, and is safer for the plants.

Given a choice, I'll put manure on in the fall and let it percolate and mellow all winter.

But I really do think, and have been successful with, treating manure spreading like the old rule for pruning: "Prune when your saw is sharp." That means, I think, that this is just very hard work, so you'd better do it whenever you can. Doing it at all matters more than when you do it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 2:31AM
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One bad experience that taught me caution was using old, but uncompostted, horse manure, in the row of strawberry settings.
The only time I ever had lost new dormant plants, straight from the nursery. Now I keep the buffer zone on just about everything.
A good healthy soil with good healthy tilth, should not allow pathogens to live long enough to hurt anything. Always keep in mind the environment for the microbes. :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 8:44AM
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I think the worrying of the pathogens is the transfer to humans such as fever's and E coli...not so much the soils.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 8:16PM
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We'll find out. picking up some goat manure this week to till into a new garden patch.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:05PM
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Goat, Sheep, and cow manures are considered to be "cool" manures and tend not to burn plants

I'd take that statement with a large grain of salt. Stabled animals of any type pose a garden risk with their manures - feces mixed with urine, as it occurs in most cases with a stabled or confined form of lifestock, has the potential for nitrogen burning when fresh.

Goats, llamas, rabbits or those animals that produce feces in pellets (aka 'beans') are typically considered safe manures for direct application. However, it is always a good idea to compost or thoroughly age any animal manures before applying to edible crops.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 5:04PM
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Pathogens do not go systemic through the roots, so it you keep the manures off the plants and in the soil, you'll be fine.
All of the unclean lettuce and spinach in the past 10 years were a result of animal excrement in thefield(deer generally) being carried back to processing centers before being cleaned.
Imagine the horrible world we would live in if the pathogens could come from the soil throughthe roots and infect the plants. Every bird, mouse, rabbit, deer etc., etc. have been fertilizing the soil for a long time before we used synthetic fertilizers.
Something to think about. :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:41PM
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Spmething less then 1 percent of the people in the United States are affected by food poisoning caused by disease pathogens on foods each year. However, that is only the reported cases and the CDc estimates that possibly around 10 percent have food poisoniing. Where Asians use manures, human and animal, as fertilizers the incident rates are higher. While the numbers are very small, maybe, simple precautions can be taken to keep your family from potential exposure, and they should be. Keep in mind that women used to take Arsenic for their complexions and ignorance of the potential harm caused many to die.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:18AM
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