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What to do when our horses pass?

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  • Smell from buried horse carcass

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    11-14-2011, 07:52 PM
  #11
Banned
Pretty sure it costs more than $300 to cremate a horse. More like a minimum of $1000 in most places, not including pick-up. And they generally just cremate the head, hooves, and heart and render the rest. Horse Talk -- When Your Horse Dies

Rendering services aren't available in all areas, but where they are, it really is a good option. It sounds morbid, but the horse doesn't know or care, and it's certainly better for the environment. They generally charge $50 to $200 to pick up the horse.

Whether you can bury on your property depends on your county's regulations, the size of your acreage, the groundwater supply, etc. You can usually find a backhoe for hire in the yellow pages. It's good to have a contact ahead of time so you know you can count on prompt service.

Finally, if your horse passes away naturally or is humanely killed with a single bullet to the head, and it is free of medications or toxins, sometimes zoos, fur farms, houndsmen, or predator sanctuaries will take the meat to feed to their animals.
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    11-14-2011, 07:55 PM
  #12
Trained
We buried one, but we won't do that again. There are too many animals and the bedrock is too close to the surface. No matter what we did, there was a smell and the animals kept disturbing the site.

Another we just dragged back into the bush (we have lots of property) well away from any trails and left him there. Maybe for some folk that sounds awful, but we let nature take its course without interference that way. You'd be surprised how quickly the remains are gone. Much, much cleaner when proper burial isn't viable. However, this only works if you have LOTS of property. When needed, this is what we will do again.

Arrowsaway -- this is what we did for the horse we buried. It was kind of nice because he was comfortable where we took him, so there was no stress except he was too tired to walk any further which was why we tried the burial route.

If you do bury and can get down deep enough (top of horse to ground surface should be at least 6 feet in my area), throwing some moth balls into the top 3 feet of fill helps to keep animals away. I did this with a friend and the site was not disturbed.
     
    11-14-2011, 08:07 PM
  #13
Banned
Please don't ever drag out and leave a horse that was chemically euthanized. Any wildlife that feeds on the carcass will be poisoned and killed. There was a case recently where a couple of dogs dug up a two years buried horse carcass, fed on it, and died of barbituate overdose from the euthanasia solution.
     
    11-14-2011, 08:22 PM
  #14
Trained
Good point Bubba. That wasn't our situation, we had to shoot the horse immediately as he was suffering and the vet would have been over an hour to arrive. Something for me to remember when time comes for another.

On the other hand, if a bear dies, I truly wouldn't be put out at all. We have far too many and it would save me the trouble. I guess we can't put up a sign saying "bears only" though.

Interesting how a TWO YEAR OLD burial site still has remains that an animal would want. Definitely shows how burial is not a method for quick re-entry to the natural cycle. Also indicates that the burial site was not deep enough. Too often people think 6 feet for us, must be enough for a horse. Uh-uh. Think 9 or more feet depending on the terrain.
     
    11-14-2011, 08:58 PM
  #15
Foal
Unfortunately for myself the couple of times I've had to have a horse pts burial has not been an option due to the area having a high water table. The only option available then is the local carcass pit. We are fortunate to have a fantastic towing company who will pick up and drop to the carcass pit as it's not a pleasant place. I hope you have a better option, it's not an easy time with these choices
     
    11-14-2011, 09:00 PM
  #16
Banned
Which reminds me--some landfills will take livestock carcasses if you drop them off. Sometimes it's free; sometimes there's a fee.
     
    11-14-2011, 09:19 PM
  #17
Weanling
I feel so lucky to have acreage. I have a spot picked out for my 30yo mare for when the time comes. I told my mom, BF and my husband so everyone knows what to do. I guarantee that I will not be mentally capable of making any decisions when the time comes.

I'll remember to tell them to dig deeper than they think they should. I could never send my girl to a rendering company, ever. She's just too important to me. I understand the utility of it, especially if you don't have a choice, but still.

I'm planning on planting a tree for my mare after she goes... It's hard to think about but it's better to have a plan if you can.
     
    11-15-2011, 08:23 AM
  #18
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13    
Pretty sure it costs more than $300 to cremate a horse. More like a minimum of $1000 in most places, not including pick-up. And they generally just cremate the head, hooves, and heart and render the rest. Horse Talk -- When Your Horse Dies
Well I have had 2 cremated over the last 3 yrs and it was 280.00 to be exact. That included picking them up also. I stated that it was in my area so I am sure it is different in different areas just like every thing else.
     
    11-15-2011, 08:26 AM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13    
Please don't ever drag out and leave a horse that was chemically euthanized. Any wildlife that feeds on the carcass will be poisoned and killed. There was a case recently where a couple of dogs dug up a two years buried horse carcass, fed on it, and died of barbituate overdose from the euthanasia solution.
My horse had bled on the snow from the injection and my dog wanted to eat it. I scooped it up and threw it away immediately for just that reason.
     
    11-15-2011, 08:26 AM
  #20
dee
Started
When DJ was killed, his body was in an area of thick brush on the far side of our pond. There was no way to get his body out of the brush without dismembering it. We just left it for nature to take it's course. We don't have enough property to do that very often though - he was a bit too fragrant for a few days, even though he was more than 1/4 mile from the house. NortherMama, you are right. After just a couple of months, there was absolutely nothing left of his body but the bones, and they were picked bare.
     

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