compost material in heap
COMPOSTING HOW-TO: NDSU Extension specialists say composting dead animals is simple and easy.

4 easy steps to composting

Disposing of carcasses on the farm doesn’t have to be hard or costly. Follow these four steps and compost them naturally.

Want an easy, cheap and natural way to dispose of dead livestock? Compost them. Mary Berg, North Dakota State University Extension area livestock environmental management specialist, Carrington, N.D., says it’s easy. Check out these four steps.

1. Start with base. As seen in the above photo, place 2 feet of base material in pile or long row, depending on number of carcasses to be composted. Base material can be straw, old hay or coarse crop residues such as cornstalks.


2. Placing carcass.
Lay the carcass on top of the base. Have at least 1 foot of base material between perimeter of carcass and edge of base. If composting cattle, puncture the rumen to prevent it from exploding.


3. Add manure, silage. Cover carcass with 8 to 10 inches of bulking material. Bulking material can be manure or spoiled silage.


4. Cover up. Cover the entire pile with 2 feet of cover material. Cover material can be straw, old hay or sawdust. Make sure the pile always has sufficient cover material. Turn the pile at least every six months from early spring to late fall. To accelerate composting, turn the pile every two months from early spring to late fall. Do not disturb pile during winter months.

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