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HorsesRForever 03-06-2012 01:14 AM

What to do with horse manure?
I just realized... I have never had to deal with horse manure directly (I've always boarded my horse), and I never have known where it goes, but now I am moving to a house that has a stable where I can keep my horse. The house has twenty acres.

Anyways, I really want to keep my pasture and stall clean, but what do I do with all that manure? I can't seem to think of a way to put in a dumpster, because it would be so tall. However, I don't feel like I have time to build a compost, which seems to be so difficult.

Another question, how do you get the manure out of the field? Do you use a lawn mower or tractor to pull a wagon towards the pasture area and then scoop it up and then drive it back? Also, does this work with other farm animals too? How do I get poop into dumpsters?

Sorry for all the questions! I have always cleaned up after my horses, but never had to deal with disposing it. I want to be the master poop-cleaner though. I seek your advice :D

aspin231 03-06-2012 01:54 AM

I strongly suggest composting your manure if your area allows it- and check regulations in your area, some have some freaky rules about manure.

This is a good reference for composting: Tip: How to Compost and Use Horse Manure

Good luck! You can sell the compost too if you're not interested in gardening.

HorsesRForever 03-06-2012 02:58 AM

Thanks for the reply :)

I read that article, but it just seems so difficult to make! I'm horrible at construction :-P

I like the idea though, but wouldn't it stink up at first? Also, doesn't manure needed to be mixed with like a bunch of nutrients and hay? So, what do I do with manure after I put in a compost, like how would I sell it? Is it safe for gardening? Sorry, I'm such a amateur at this poop business. However, I am determined to get better :-)

Poseidon 03-06-2012 03:11 AM

I work at the barn I board my horse at 3 days a week. We use a manure spreader attached to a John Deere 300x Loader that we spread out in a field next to the barn. Looks very similar to this model:

Saddlebag 03-06-2012 07:53 AM

For the pasture I just drag an old box spring (from a bed) with an atv. It does a good job of scattering the manure, the sun kills any worm eggs and the nutrients are returned to the soil. Barn cleanings, a small dump garden cart with a hitch is handy. To compost the manure just throw a plastic tarp on the ground then start piling. Try to do it so the oldest stuff will be around the perimeter. Gardeners are often happy to come get it. Rhubarb loves horse manure.

PaintCowgirl 03-06-2012 08:51 AM

a sh*t slinger and a tractor and it fertilizes the fields. we have a giant one because we have to clean the barn out from 500+ head cattle too. i use a bob cat with a bucket and scoop it into the slinger and head to the fields. typically not on plow ground, but hay ground.

MangoRoX87 03-06-2012 09:40 AM

I dump all our manure around the base of the trees at my place. Also, we stacked up rail-road ties in a square shape, with one open side and dump stuff in their too. It's currently full, so we have to use the trees XD
I'd even just pile it up in a corner of your pasture.

Left Hand Percherons 03-06-2012 09:59 AM

Putting manure in the trash is an expensive and wasteful way to get rid of it. Manure has valuable nutrients beneficial to your land. 1 ton of manure will have about 10# of nitrogen. Might not sound like much but over the course of a year, one horse can provide free fertilizer for 3-4 acres that you would be paying upwards of $200 for otherwise.

You can compost but it isn't necessary. You can buy a tractor and manure speader but it isn't necessary either. You can take your freshly gathered poop and dump and rake it out on the field. Spread it out so it's a thin layer (1/2 inch) so it will dry out faster and it won't burn or choke out the grass. With 20 acres, you will break down the property into smaller areas that you can rotate through. Dump the poop on one area and leave that area fallow for a month or so until the poop disappears. Let the grass grow than move to the next area. Any poop you add is going to improve the quality of your soil as it will add humus that will hold more water. You're probably 99% sand that isn't the best for growing grass. Manure with alot of bedding and hay is better to compost because those products are not going to break down quickly without heat and moisture.

Keep in mind that the link on the compost bins is for WA. You don't need to cover your piles unless you are going to get too much rain and your piles become super saturated. The piles heating up in the sun are going to decompose faster. A good compost pile has no smell or flies.

FlyGap 03-06-2012 10:16 AM

28 Attachment(s)
Great tips guys.
I just scatter it. I also compost what gets left in the barn in a small mixed pile and use it in my gardens.
If you just want to get rid of it instead of composting/scattering and you are going to gather it up anyways... Put an add up at the local Co-op or garden center for free manure. People will come get it.
Throwing it in a dumpster would be nasty/expensive and in a lot of areas they wouldn't take it.

maura 03-06-2012 10:32 AM

If you have 20 acres and 1 horse, you won't have much of a problem.

If the 20 acres is subdivided/cross-fenced, rotating the horse from one paddock to another will mostly eliminate the need to harrow or break up the manure, though it is still good practice.

If you are keeping the horse in a stall part time, or have run in sheds to clean out, the manure spreader, either pulled by a tractor or ATV, is an excellent solution.

You can also dig a simple manure pit, or keep it in a pile. Not as efficient as true composting, but it will still break down and make excellent fertilizer, and keeping it in a pile or pit will keep it off the grazing.

Anything you do (simple pit, pile, etc.) to speed composting will pay off as people will absolutely haul composted or aged, rotted manure away for gardens.

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