Pig Manure: 4 Ways to Manage It [And Why It Matters!] (2023)

Did you know that an average sized finisher produces about five pounds of manure per day? It's a lot of pig manure. All. Singles. Day. What to do with all that pig manure?

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Pig farming produces a lot of manure...

In recent years we have bred pigs. We breed pigs on pasture and currently keep them in concrete. No matter how you hold them, they will produce crap.

As I mentioned above, an average sized finisher (less than 270 pounds) produces about 5 pounds of manure per day.

If you have pigs that you use for breeding purposes like I do, you may have pigs that weigh well over 400, 500, or 600 pounds. If that's the case, you're dealing with about 20 pounds of crap every day.

Let me put that into perspective for you. I now have three big pigs. Two that weigh around 600 pounds and one that weighs almost 700 pounds.

Together, the three produce about 75 kilos of manure per day. EVERY. DAY.

Pig Manure: 4 Ways to Manage It [And Why It Matters!] (1)

Manure is natural, so why bother with it?

First, if you have pigs, you probably know they smell. When I say smell, I mean you can scare your neighbors away from the smell.

One of the best ways to reduce the odor they produce is to manage their manure.

Pigs have a natural smell. If you allow the manure to build up, the smell will be almost overwhelming.

Second, if your pigs are kept indoors, you need to manage their manure in a way that reduces the number of flies that bother them. This is especially true for lighter colored pigs. Flies are attracted to brighter animals because they can see them more easily.

Guess what color some of the most popular pig breeds are? White!

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(Video) Low-Cost Manure Management Methods for Smallholders

Save me for later!

The flies will drive your pigs crazy.

Pigs don't scratch themselves easily and often fall prey to flies because they can't get rid of them. I spend a lot of time each day making sure my pigs have fly spray and don't have flies on their backs to eat them alive. Keep manure in your enclosure to a minimum to keep flies away.

My favorite fly spray is thisBronco fly spray. It's cheap, effective and smells good. It doesn't smell like chemicals like some of the other fly sprays.

Pigs can't sweat.

Therefore, they will try to lie down in mud, water or manure in the summer to moisten their skin to stay cool. I have found my pigs covered in dirt more than a few times.

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I try to water my pigs every day when it's hot so they don't end up lying in the manure in the pen. However, I did catch them lying on it a couple of times.

Lying in the manure is just disgusting. Not to mention we raise pigs for meat. I personally don't want to eat meat that's in manure.

After all, it's not hygienic.

Pig manure, like any other manure, contains bacteria. When pigs lie in or eat some of the manure (which some will do if they lie too long), it can lead to disease. When you raise pigs, you don't want them lying in the dung.

Manure (with its bacteria) can enter the reproductive tract of pigs. Some types of bacteria cause reproductive problems and can even cause miscarriages in pregnant sows.

If you have pigs that you want to raise, you might want to read my article about itWhat you can expect from pregnant sows.

So what do you do with all that pig manure?

That's a question I'm still answering myself. Since our pigs are raised in concrete, we can actually say crap builds up.

We have to clean the manure a few times a week. Mist builds up very quickly. Again, we have three very large pigs that produce large amounts of manure.

There are many options for large commercial pig producers to handle manure. The same options can be narrowed down to small farmers.

Hobby companiesrecommends four methods for handling all types of manure, including pig manure. These options include pasture management, composting, storage and manure removal.

(Video) Hog farming has a massive poop problem

Pig Manure: 4 Ways to Manage It [And Why It Matters!] (4)

1. Management of pig manure on pasture

This is the easiest option for people who keep their pigs on the pasture.

Essentially, you monitor soil health and use manure in a way that improves pasture health.

Depending on the size of the grazing area, you may be able to leave the manure as it is in the field. If the area is more densely populated by pigs, you might want to spread the manure out onto the pasture instead of letting it rot.

You can spread the manure with a spreader, a harrow, or even a small piece of chain link fence behind a four wheeler. Any of these methods will help spread the crap.

If the manure is left on the pasture, it can act as fertilizer. Having your soil tested annually will ensure you are adding all the necessary nutrients to the pasture. Pig manure may not meet all of your soil's nutrient needs.

If you're interested in getting healthier pastures, you need to read my article that explains why you need to do this.native grasseson your yard. You should also check out my postfeed your plants. Just like other plants, grasses need proper nutrition!

2. Composting for pig manure treatment

Composting manure is an option for those who keep their pigs indoors or on concrete as they can be easily collected and transferred to the compost area.

Pig manure is extremely rich and dense in nutrients.

It is an excellent fertilizer and soil amendment. However, it is so strong that it is considered "hot". The nutrients in pig manure are so dense that they can burn plant roots.

Not good if you intend to use it as fertilizer!

Pig manure can also contain some of the same germs that can make humans sick.

Pigs have very similar bodies and immune systems to ours (fun fact: a lot of heart valves that humans get come from pigs!) and therefore carry some germs that can make us sick.

These germs can be transmitted through manure.

The "hot" and germs of pig manure prompt many farmers to compost the manure before using it as fertilizer. If you're putting out the manure that the animals will eat, then that's not a big problem. If you plan to use it to fertilize your garden soil, be sure to compost it first.

You should also compost pig manure if you plan to use it as fertilizer for young, tender plants. You don't want to burn the roots of your baby plants!

(Video) Manure Know-How — Management and Handling of Manure Safety

Composting pig manure also reduces the odor the manure can have. This is especially true if you cover your compost pile.

3. Storage

Manure storage is another option for those who keep their pigs indoors or on concrete.

Large commercial pig farms store manure in large tanks or ponds. They use bacteria to break down the manure into solids and liquids and then sell it as a fuel or fertilizer source.

You can do the same on your farm. If you plan to store manure, make sure you have an end destination planned for it.

You can compost the stock and sell it as a soil supplement for your local greenhouse or nursery. You can sell it as fertilizer on your farm and sell it to local farmers.

In order to store manure, you need to choose a place on your farm to store it. Choose an area of ​​your farm furthest away from residential areas. When choosing the storage location, also consider the climate.

Do you get most of your winds and storms from the south and east? In that case, make sure you don't put your manure stash downwind of your home or anyone else's.

You can only store manure outdoors in one big pile. If you want to reduce the smell, you can fence off the stock and build a roof over it. This will lock the odor in one area.

You can also plant thick bushy trees like these fast growing trees.Hybrid Australian Willowsaround stock to help with gas exchange and trapping odors. For more tips on how to combat pig odor, seeThe National Hog Farmer's 10 steps to managing odor.

4. Remove

This option goes hand in hand with manure storage. If you plan on removing the manure, you'll need a place to store it until you can move or move it.

There are companies that will come and remove large amounts of manure for you as it is being stored. However, I strongly recommend that if you decide to store it that you try to make some money by selling it as fertilizer rather than paying someone to remove it for you.

New methods of using pig manure

Pork, often referred to as "the other white meat," produces a lot of manure. This manure can be used as fertilizer or soil conditioner. This has been known for hundreds of years. However, scientists are working hard to find other solutions for using pig manure (besides fertilizer).

In 2006 the nitrate action plan was approved. This law expanded the possibilities for research looking at pig manure and how it can be used in ways other than just fertilizer. Since then, scientists have learned that it can be profitable to compost manure and use parts of it as biofuel.

For more information on how pig manure can be used as biofuel, see an article on The Pig SiteAlternative uses for pig manureit's worth it

(Video) Part 4: How To Make Money From Your Pig Manure

Further information

The links below have been extremely helpful in learning how best to manage our pig's manure overload. You can also talk to your local agricultural advisors about the methods they recommend.

Oregon State University

Sludge and slurry management

There are some free downloadable PDFs on this site that contain useful information. My favorite was Composting: An Alternative to Livestock, Manure Management and Dead Animal Disposal.

Purdue University

Management planning for pig manure

This downloadable PDF is another great resource to have on hand if you have pigs or plan to have pigs in the future.

Expansion of Iowa State University

Güllemanagement in Gebieten und kleinen landwirtschaftlichen Betrieben

This information is a great resource that discusses all types of manure (pigs, horses, goats, etc.) and manure handling on a smaller farm in a smaller area.

Final thoughts on pig manure management

If you have pigs or plan to keep pigs, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to have a plan. This plan may mean spreading manure on a pasture or composting manure. It can also mean storing and selling manure.

You can get creative with your pig manure. If you want to use excess manure to fill in the low spots in your pastures, do it!

If you want to dig a small pond and try making a biofuel, then do it! (Honestly, there are probably subsidies if you want to make biofuel from manure.

If you want to get ambitious and monetize your crap, contact your local consulting office and talk to some experts about the options you have.)

The main thing is that you have a plan. Don't just let hog manure seep into the ground where it can get into the soil and water you and everyone around you use.

What do you do with your pig manure? How to use it or get rid of it? Let me know below!

You might also be interested in these articles:

  • Questions about pig pregnancy answered
  • How to choose a wild boar
  • Common pig diseases
  • Pig Farming Beginner's Guide
  • meat pig breeds
  • Pig farming in concrete
  • Artificial insemination of pigs

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1. Waste Management | Pig Improvement Company
(Pig Improvement Company (PIC) – North America)
2. Too much Pig Poop: What to do with it Now
(Justin Rhodes)
3. How To Make Money From Your Pig Manure
(Training 4 Farmers)
4. How to Compost Pig Manure
(Garden & Lawn)
5. Turning Hog Waste into Environmentally Friendly Fertilizer - America's Heartland
(America's Heartland)
6. Pig manure paves road to sustainable asphalt - Science Nation
(National Science Foundation News)


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