When Composting Animal Carcasses, Do the Bones Break Down? If Not, What Can Be Done With Them?

Animal Manure Management November 07, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Most bones break down when composting animal carcasses, but a few large bones will usually remain.

With proper composting, the bones will break down over time. This may take several months for larger livestock bones and as little as 60 days for smaller carcasses such as poultry. If large bones remain in the compost pile, they can be added to additional compost piles until completely degraded.

Check out the other video FAQs on carcass management

Author: Joshua Payne, Oklahoma State University

Reviewers: Shafiqur Rahman, North Dakota State University and Jean Bonhotal, Cornell University

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.