How to compost a horse carcass

Carcass composting is a management option for Michigan equine owners when making decisions about a deceased horse.

It is well understood that if you own horses long enough there will be a time when you are faced with making the realistic decision about what to do with a deceased horse. This decision can be challenging for several reasons including: not having planned ahead and knowing your options for carcass disposal, the need to respond quickly, limited land base, equipment and cost. Having a good plan to manage equine mortality will make this situation much less stressful.

Michigan State University Extension conducted an equine carcass composting demonstration and has developed a bulletin entitled: Carcass Composting – A Mortality Management Option for Michigan Equine Owners. The purpose of these efforts was to help horse owners in Michigan to become aware of and understand how to utilize composting for animal carcass management, as well as to help horse owners in Michigan develop or make improvements in mortality management procedures while achieving environmental compliance with state regulations such as the Michigan Bodies of Dead Animals Act (BODA), Act 239 of 1982.

To download a free copy of bulletin E3168, Carcass Composting – A Mortality Management Option for Michigan Equine Owners bulletin, please visit the MSUE Bookstore website. You may also contact Tom Guthrie at or 517-788-4292 or Dr. Dale Rozeboom at or 517-355-8393 with any additional questions that you may have in regard to composting an equine carcass.

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