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Pig poop, yup, can I use it  RSS feed

 
Posts: 1424
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I've been hesitant to use our pig poop on the gardens as so many people warn against it. Our pigs free range all but during the winter. I haven't fed them since May. Their poop looks like the human variety of horse poop. All grassy. Can I apply this directly to the gardens? I'm setting up a new one for next year. Can I put it on and then cover it with straw to plant in in the spring
 
pollinator
Posts: 1160
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I use our farm's pigs poo in my gardens. Generally I hot compost it along with everything else. But I have been known to dig iinto the soil, uncomposted, around crops where I'm not concerned about parasite contamination........orchard trees, bananas, sugar cane, and crops where I'm just growing it for seed. While I deworm my pigs when they arrive in the farm, they still could become reinfected because feral pigs sometimes visit the farm. But the odds that they are passing worm eggs is low.

I've heard of some local children getting intestinal worms from eating fresh carrots plucked from the ground, not washed, from gardens where fresh pig poo was used. So for the sake of your children, it may be a good idea to compost the manure first. But then again, you live in a dry location, so pig parasites shouldn't linger long. I live in a moist area where parasites can survive in the soil for weeks or even months.

When I lived in a farming community in NJ, farmers routinely applied non-composted pig manure every spring to their fields. With the advent of food safety regulations, that practice might have changed. But for generations the farmers used pig manure every spring. We never thought anything if it.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1424
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Man. I don't want to give the kids worms. Bad enough our water is poisoning them. Guess I'll attempt to compost it. I've never composted before. Ha!
 
Posts: 353
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft
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I'd say that it depends on what you feed your pigs. When I raised pigs I never fed them any meat scraps, none. If your pigs are free ranging then I'd guess that they have very little meat in their diet. But, I wouldn't say they have none. But; the manure you use in your garden is the manure you get when the pigs are confined. So you know what's in their diet.
 
pollinator
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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elle sagenev wrote:Man. I don't want to give the kids worms. Bad enough our water is poisoning them. Guess I'll attempt to compost it. I've never composted before. Ha!



Pig poop will heat up your compost pile with all that extra nitrogen.  Even if you've never composted before, it's not hard.  Don't worry about building a hot pile if that feels like too much work.  But build a passive pile and let it sit .

If you have space and patience, you can passively compost by piling up organic material, pig poop and whatever else you've got laying around (some wood chips would be good to capture the nitrogen as the poop breaks down) and then leave the whole thing for a year.  Put it in a place that's accessible to the pig poop so you don't have to haul it a long distance.

Things like pumpkin/watermelon/tomato vines are best composted this way because they are stringy and hard to turn in an active compost pile.  At the end of the growing season, I always have one big compost pile built of those things.  I'll then throw a big pile of straw and chicken manure from the chicken tractor/coop.  Even through I don't bother to turn the pile, it still heats up and accelerates the decomposition process.  It sits out there all fall and winter, and by spring, I'm ready to turn it and incorporate it into a more active compost pile.  Those long stringy vines have broken down enough to make turning possible.

BETTER YET --- let the pigs turn the pile for you.  Joel Salatin takes corn kernels and integrates them down into his cow manure.  He just throws a couple of handfuls into the poop as it piles up all winter in the cow shed where they come in to feed.  By the end of winter, the poop is several feet thick -- poop, straw, and lots of individual corn kernels fermenting down in the poop.  He turns the pigs loose and they root though all that compacted cow poop to get those tasty fermented corn kernels.  They turn the compost for him.  So perhaps you could throw some corn into your passive pile as it grows.  Throw your veggie scraps and whatever other biomass you have laying around on top of the pile, along with the corn and pig poop.  Then, when you're ready to "turn" the pile, let the pigs loose and they'll deconstruct that pile in no time flat.



 
pioneer
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Elle;  We too wondered about using fresh piggy poop on the garden and decided to compost it first. Our pigs are meat free ,other than grubs and catchable small critters. But why take chances when its so easy to compost passively.
Listen to Marco's post, he is spot on including the part about letting the  pigs in to turn it over for you... this works ! it is what we do.
 
pioneer
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Here in Oklahoma I am told that six inches of pig poop is part of the proper preparation of a watermelon field. I am not a farmer so I don’t know beans about timing or state of decomp/composting.
 
gardener
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The only poop that can safely be used directly (without composting) on any food garden is rabbit poop, all others need to be composted to kill pathogens.
Raw pig manure being spread directly on the lettuce fields is what caused those recalls of romaine and "bagged" lettuces, the diseases raw poop grown foods can give the human body are not worth the risk, Lysteria, salmonella are no fun to have.

I compost our hog and donkey manures along with the chicken house clean outs, this makes a wonderfully rich composted manure that really gets plants growing.

Marco has the scoop on poop.

Redhawk
 
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Piggy poop, only after at least a full season in the compost bin. Chicken, rabbit, & guinea pig poop are all safe, directly into the garden, & won't burn up of contaminate your harvest - as long as their feed is pesticide & herbicide free.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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John Duda wrote:I'd say that it depends on what you feed your pigs. When I raised pigs I never fed them any meat scraps, none. If your pigs are free ranging then I'd guess that they have very little meat in their diet. But, I wouldn't say they have none. But; the manure you use in your garden is the manure you get when the pigs are confined. So you know what's in their diet.



Oh they absolutely have eaten meat. We had a dog attack and kill a bunch of our chickens. Woke the pigs up and they wandered right over and started eating the dead chickens.
 
elle sagenev
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The only poop that can safely be used directly (without composting) on any food garden is rabbit poop, all others need to be composted to kill pathogens.
Raw pig manure being spread directly on the lettuce fields is what caused those recalls of romaine and "bagged" lettuces, the diseases raw poop grown foods can give the human body are not worth the risk, Lysteria, salmonella are no fun to have.

I compost our hog and donkey manures along with the chicken house clean outs, this makes a wonderfully rich composted manure that really gets plants growing.

Marco has the scoop on poop.

Redhawk



Ok so I'm wanting to start a new garden area. Would it be acceptable to spread pig poop over the entire area, cover it with straw and just let it sit until planting season in May?
 
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan
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You can totally spread pig manure straight into your garden, there are many people including myself who let the pigs into the garden to root around. So what is the difference one way is naturally spread and the other way requires human labour.
Raw manure should not be spread or touch vegetables within 60 days of the harvest according to the guberment.
Fall is the best time of year to spread any kind of manure on the garden as over winter it gives the nitrogen time to soak in and then is not harsh on the plants come spring.
 
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