goat manure as mulch

karninaSeptember 11, 2009


im kind of short of mulch materials this fall so i was thinking about using goat manure as mulch for my winter vegetable beds.

its not really fresh. i've seen this pile standing near our house for 2 months.

would that be a good idea?

we only expect the rains to come in 1 and a half months.

can i mulch in the meantime? will it hurt the seedlings?

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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Goat manure is supposed to be a lot like rabbit manure, in that it's very mild and isn't likely to burn plants, even fresh, as far as I've been told. You should be fine mulching with it.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 4:37AM
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Given the potential that any animal manure has of containing disease pathogens using any animal manure as a mulch is not a good idea, and aging 2 months is not long enough for it to be tilled in.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 6:40AM
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karnina - It won't burn the plants. I'd use it if that was all I had.

kimmsr - What diseases are you worried about from goat manure?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 1:08PM
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The same ones that you find in any manure from animals or humans, E-Coli, Listeria, Salmonella. Those that have been in the news of late as causing the death of some people.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 8:02AM
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None of those bacteria can multiply very well outside the host. They are specialists that thrive inside animal intestines.

And the normal free-living bacteria and fungi in the soil do an amazing job killing off these pathogens.

I'm a microbiologist - I would worry more about unpasteurized milk and processed foods than goat poop mulch.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 9:41AM
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I am shocked, shocked, that anyone would venture to question the dogmatic pronouncement about the ever present hazards of death causing, pandemic initiating, goat manure. Most of the time goats won't even eat goat manure.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 1:11PM
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A microbiolgist should be well aware of the recent reports of the large numbers of people that have been sickened by E-Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, as well as the people food recalls that have been occuring, and being reported in the news, in the last few years. For some time it was meat that was the primary cause of concern but of late it has been spinach, lettuce, strawberries, peanut butter, etc.
If very simple precautions canbe taken to assure that our family is not exposed to these pathogens, why not take those simple precautions? Why would anyone disparage advice meant to try to keep someone from making their family ill?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 7:14AM
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I don't see disparaging advice, rather, dispute of dogmatic assertion.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:02AM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

I just spread a truck load of goat manure in various stages of decay (at least 4 months, some stuff a year or two old) over all of my beds, and planted some kale seedlings in a small spot as a test before putting in my other fall veggies. They are doing fine after about 5 days, looking perky with no burning. That said, I am not growing any root vegetables, or greens meant for raw eating in this goat manure. I'm only growing things that will be cooked, and using a layer of straw mulch over the manure to prevent splashing of manure onto edibles. In the spring it will be adequately composted to grow any type of vegetable.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 3:56PM
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I'm not disparaging your advice, I am questioning your dogmatic assertion. (thanks, Alphonse)

The probable cause of the E coli in the California spinach was infected feral swine and wild deer ... as well as a harvesting method that, like a lawn mower, cut leaves and sucked them and any piles of poop into the collection bag. (ewww!)

Listeria monocytogenes can be found living on plants as a saprophyte - should we stop composting plants because they carry Listeria?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 5:12PM
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Everyone agrees that properly washing your hands is the single, best way to prevent disease transmission and no one would suggest here that washing of hands is not necessary, I hope. So why is suggesting that one take simple precautions with manure, compost it before using, dogmatic.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 6:44AM
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