Can I compost bones from our meals in a compost pile?



  1. 0 Votes

    It has usually been common knowledge that you cannot compost animal bones, but you most certainly can if you approach it carefully. 

    To compost bones, you must make sure that the meat that the bone was attached to has been completely cooked, and that the bone is now completely free of fat and meat. If the bone has not been completely cooked, it will contain bacteria that may be harmful and a foul odor.

    For best results, cut your bones into tiny pieces and layer them between grass clippings, which contain nitrogen to help break down the bones. It is advised to avoid over-watering the compost pile and to use a compost accelerator since the bones will take a very long time to break down.

    Detailed steps can be found here:

    Happy composting!

  2. 0 Votes

    Fish bones and heads, without a lot of flesh, can be buried a few inches down in a hot compost pile and they’ll break down fine.  I make stock from chicken carcasses, then pick out the bones, dry them in a coffee can on top of the wood stove, and throw them in the fire when it’s hot.  Then I mix the ashes and the bits of bone into my garden soil when I plant leafy greens, which perform better in a slightly alkaline soil with a lot of calcium.  Don’t add a lot of ashes to a compost pile, unless you want to increase nitrogen losses from the pile.  It’s better to put them directly in the soil.  

    I don’t eat mammals, so I don’t have any experience processing mammal bones for use in a garden.  Mammal bones are much denser than fish or poultry bones, so I’m not sure burning them would do anything.  

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