Manure - spread in pasture? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Manure - spread in pasture?

I was hoping to get clarification on spreading manure in your pasture. Will will have 3 smaller pastures (total of 2 acres) to rotate grazing. (2 horses)
I've been told by that it is okay to spread manure in the pastures. What I have read (horses for dummies) is that you should not allow your horse to graze on pasture for 1 year after the manure was spread.

Clarification would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 08:50 AM
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I wouldn't spread manure from unknown sources across my pastures since you don't know worm loads, disease, etc. Maybe that is why they say wait one year?

The only manure my pasture gets is what is out there as I run drags over it to break it apart and spread it out.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 09:15 AM
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As a general rule, horses won't eat the grass that grows in horse manure anyway - they will avoid it until there is not much else left. That has been my experience as well as what I have read on the topic.

If you are worried about the quality of feed and hoping to improve it by fertilising, it is definitely worth getting your soil tested and then topping up what you actually need in terms of minerals and other nutrients, rather than manuring the paddocks.

If you are instead wondering about the management of the grass, in terms of if you should pick the manure up or just leave it, that depends on the size of the pastures. I would pick it up if the pasture was not massive, but in a large paddock I would leave it for the most part if that makes sense. Also, if you are worried about what to do with it once you have picked it up, see if you can get hold of some old feed bags. Scoop it directly into those bags, and when you fill a bag, ask around to see if any local gardeners want free pre-bagged poop. For a few extra seconds work, you make it far more attractive for someone to come collect it, as they don't want to shovel it themselves.

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 10:13 AM
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In early spring as soon as possible I pull a drag (old box spring) with a quad and scatter the droppings. As the weather warms the hot sun kills the eggs. When droppings are left in a pile it takes 3 years for it to break down and the grass become edible. Why horses don't eat it is it's too rich, it could cause nitrogen poisoning. Scattering it, preferably before spring rains is a better option. A pig farmer used to empty the manure along a ridge in his hay field. Every time it rained it fertilized the hay. At haying time the hay on the lower ground was chest high and the baler spit out bales about every 6'.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 12:31 PM
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Depends on the number of horses vs the size of the area. Large area few horses you can spread it with no issues and they'll eat where you've spread. I wouldn't bring anything in though. Small area, more horses than recommended for your area/situation then pick it up and compost and you spread it any where you need. We do a mix of the above. Saves on fertilizer costs and reduces parasite load though ours is low to begin with.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 12:57 PM
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If you don't have any other safe and healthy way to dispose of it (maybe a compost pile?):

You only have two acres so drop the lawn mower deck down low enough to wear it will cut the manure up into dust<---after leaving the piles a few days to dry out in the sun, so they scatter easier.

It's a really slick trick if you can manage the scalping of the manure piles right before you know it's going to rain

Just gotta remember to bring the deck back up to normal cutting height right after you go over the dried out manure pile

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 04:07 PM
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im fussy with poo in paddocks..not good if horse stands in it constantly, create deseases in paddocks..if the horse has eaten weeds, the seedds are just being replanted in there and wil grow more weeds in paddock
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 04:14 PM
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first of all you need to harrow or drag the pasture to break up the piles, a rotary harrow is great as it spreads as it breaks up the pile.
if you have composted your manure it should be fine, lightly spread it, water it in.
dont put horses out on a wet pasture, just after irrigation. I let my grass grow to a min of 8 inches before putting horses on it, I also let it get to a couple feet high, as the higher the grass the lower the sugar. It is still has enough nutrients. Dont overgraze, dont let the grass get below 3-4 inches. It is hard to get a pasture back when the grass is that low.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 04:28 PM
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When there were 4 horses, I'd drag the piles to scatter, wait a few days then go over with the lawn tractor. I didn't have to scalp the grass as the mower picked up the partially dried manure and blew it to powder.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-01-2013, 05:01 PM
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So many great thoughts on manure spreading- where I board, there are enough acres to make piles, then it is dragged with a triad made from old tires from the semi pulled by the tractor---My note is that it is dragged over the arenas only used for cow work, pole bending & barrel racing. Seems to be fine-(?)
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