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jenbrin
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:32 PM
I have a small farm on 3 acres with three horses and I just can't win with the manure. Of course I'm in a neighborhood were 95% of the people do not own horses or livestock so we have to be over caution on our manure practices. Because of this I'm trying to find inexpensive ways to deal with the stuff as well as odor control. Any ideas???

MistyBlue
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:43 PM
Well a dumpster and pick up service does wonders for manure. But it's an extra cost. And you have to have a spot where you can keep the dumpster that makes it practical to dump wheelbarrows in it and possible for the truck to pick it up from.

But a compost bunker works well too. In a populated area, it's a good way to contain the manure to avoid any run off/contamination issues, control flies and some smell and keep your manure pile at a manageable size/level as it composts. Google it for directions on how to best set one up as there are a lot of different ways that work. But most importantly it needs solid bottom, walls and works best if it has a roof of some sort.
Here's one with a roof:
http://ian.umces.edu/imagelibrary/albums/userpics/12789/normal_iil-symbol-manure-composting-bunker.png
Here's one without a roof:
http://dancallahan.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f86f1df8833010534fc8de9970b-800wi
You should locate it in a spot that has water access.

I have 4.5 acres, I have my manure pile located right in the edge of the woods with tree cover for shade and at the bottom of a slight slope so rain runoff goes into it. The shade and run off keeps it composting and I turn it with my tractor every week or two most of the year as long as it's not frozen hard. In almost 7 years here that manure pile has remained around the same exact size, has no smell even when standing on it and no flies. :D It's a bit of work but worth it.

deltawave
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:30 PM
Read this document (http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/horsecompost2.htm): :)

MMavin
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:50 PM
Our neighborhood sounds similar, not very horsey and relatively dense.

I use both compost bins and a trash can picked up weekly. Any wet hay/poop blend goes in the trash. Costs about $22/mo.

Straight manure goes in one of three compost bins on a rotating basis. It takes about a month to fill a bin. Every three months or so we load it in the spreader or take it to a worm farm. Takes about an hour to empty all three bins by hand.

This works well for two horses, even with the paddock & bins located between our house and the neighbor's - who is great and we want him to be very happy. No visible manure pile and no odor :)

http://www.o2compost.com/content/MicroBin.htm

Creaghgal
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:16 AM
Use straw & get serious about composting it, bring in an army of red worms if necessary.
Alternate between two/three piles.
Plant a raised vegetable/flower garden (potager), they don't take up as much space as you might think.
Use the ripe compost to top off houseplants. If you don't have them yet, get 'em. The bigger the pot the more compost you use.

It isn't the monster you think it is.

pintosrock
Jan. 6, 2011, 02:06 PM
I've two horses and the most loveliest garden, in an area cursed with clay soil. I've brought in surplus produce to work, and they just can't believe what a productive garden I have.

So, my advice? Tell all your gardening friends about it. Horse stuff is the best kind - better than the cow droppings they sell at Lowes. Gardeners come and shovel my manure into their pickups and haul it away for me. They compete so bad for it, they'll even haul away fresh stuff to compost at home, so that they at least have it.

jazzrider
Jan. 6, 2011, 02:16 PM
Gardeners are a great resource. We have 5 horses and we switched to pelleted wood bedding to have our composted manure pile break down better for gardening purposes. The third year on the property we got listed on our county's "free manure" list and I also listed us on two local "Freecycles." I've never had to list again. I have a group of loyal gardeners who actually compete to get what's left of our winter pile in the spring. I have to reserve a pile for spreading, because I have one guy who shows up with a dump truck and takes it all. I think the folks with trucks take it and compost it at home -- better than we would -- because they don't seem to care how old it is. I save my bedding bags for folks who come by for just a little bit.

Composting is easier than you think. :yes:

EquineImagined
Jan. 6, 2011, 02:29 PM
So, my advice? Tell all your gardening friends about it. .

Second this.

A friend built a nice little area she can 'bake' the manure in. Three wooden walls, covered with a tarp. It has a twin, so new pooh was not continually added to the 'old' pile making the good stuff hard to get to.

I know some people who pay to have it removed, and others who have managed to get people to pay to come in and take it and even more who just tell people to come and get as much as they want for free.

Especially around planting time, you'd be amazed how fast it disappears if you put an ad on craigslist or a similar site for free 'local' fertilizer.

2DogsFarm
Jan. 6, 2011, 02:36 PM
Interesting article DW
But according to it I am doing nearly everything wrong.
I never turn my pile, unless digging into the center for the "Good Stuff" every Spring counts.
I probably add a load of 70/30 shavings/manure every time I clean stalls.
Moisture gets added when it rains. Period.

And yet, every Spring I end up with a pile that has composted so hot that the middle is a layer of ash and the surrounding material is the richest compost you could ever want.
A Master Gardener friend calls it Black Gold.

I also toss stall cleanings over a fenceline right next to the barn durting the ltter part of Winter and plant my "Barn Garden" there.
This plot - unamended by any fertilizer & largely ignored after I plant seeds - has produced zillions of zucchini (I planted 15 hills, WTF was I thinking?), a nice crop of Sugar Baby Watermelons and last year pumpkins that sprawled some 15' into the adjoining pastures :eek:

OP: this is from 2 horses on 3ac.
My compost pile is a 3-sided Lincoln Log-like structure of leftover fenceposts w/o a roof. It is setup just outside one of the side sliders from my indoor arena. Never seems to get any larger or smaller unless someone hauls away part.
No smell, no flies & the occasional decorative volunteer sunflower - I feed BOSS.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:25 PM
Oh wow. 15 hills of zucchini? Seriously, what were you thinking?

LisaW-B
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:32 PM
Here in the dry desert where I have one acre total and three horses, the wonderful people from Waste Management empty my dumpster once a week. Totally worth the cost.

ArabDiva
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:02 PM
I have 3 horses on a small farm and all of my manure goes into the bunker, and then once it's sufficiently composted I put it into my raised vegetable garden beds and give it away to my friends with gardens. I save feed sacks, they come with their shovels, fill up sacks, and away it goes.

2DogsFarm
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:34 PM
Oh wow. 15 hills of zucchini? Seriously, what were you thinking?

:cool:I was thinking the nice big leaves & blossoms would make a nice cover crop for the Hill o' Poo.
So, of course, every dang vine was loaded with zukes.
It got so people ran when they saw me coming...again...with another bushel basket of squash....

PRS
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:28 PM
:cool:I was thinking the nice big leaves & blossoms would make a nice cover crop for the Hill o' Poo.
So, of course, every dang vine was loaded with zukes.
It got so people ran when they saw me coming...again...with another bushel basket of squash....

FYI: A great place to unload over zealous garden produce is your local homeless shelter/food bank but I don't know if even they can use a zillion zukes. ;)

Calvincrowe
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:48 PM
The only issue I have with using Waste Management/garbage services is that 99% of that highly compostable/renewable resource fertilizer material is ending up in a sterile landfill, where it never breaks down.

Unless your community has a composting part to its waste management, I'd recommend trying to put in a composting bin system and giving away the finished manure each spring.

tasia
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:53 PM
My composted manure is spread on my pastures :) My rye seed is loving it right now :)

wsmoak
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:57 PM
Here's an example of a three-bin setup with a roof. (Does Java's Mom still post here? I'm sure that's where I got the link to her blog...)

http://javasbarn.blogspot.com/2010/12/compost-cooking-and-rodent-body-count.html

http://javasbarn.blogspot.com/2009/08/animals-manure-and.html

tasia
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:57 PM
:cool:I was thinking the nice big leaves & blossoms would make a nice cover crop for the Hill o' Poo.
So, of course, every dang vine was loaded with zukes.
It got so people ran when they saw me coming...again...with another bushel basket of squash....

Maybe try tomatoes next time:lol: Don't let the horses near the tomato plants, I think the plants are poisonous to horses.

Luckydonkey
Jan. 6, 2011, 06:40 PM
I have 3 acres as well... I have a spot right behind the barn where we built a bunker of sorts that I dump into..then once that is full I use our tractor and move it to the back corner of the property at the edge of the wooded plot behind us. no smell, no bugs....people do come and get it if I advertise it...

2DogsFarm
Jan. 6, 2011, 06:47 PM
FYI: A great place to unload over zealous garden produce is your local homeless shelter/food bank but I don't know if even they can use a zillion zukes. ;)

:lol:
I volunteer at a pantry.
Even there they started to say "Again?" when I toted in the zukes.

tasia - I like my 'mater plants near the house where I can harvest from vine to mouth :D

The Barn Garden gets stuff I can check on occasionally & tote home as needed.
Of course I shoulda rethought the pumpkins...lugging those monsters from barn to house, not so fun :no:

kari
Jan. 6, 2011, 07:12 PM
I put out the word, usually once a year, that Poo Day is coming up...usually it's a day around Memorial Day weekend. Gardening friends bring their pickup trucks over, and I load up the previous years composted poo right into their trucks. (with the tractor of course). I have done this for years, and the gardening friends look forward to it every year.

Trevelyan96
Jan. 6, 2011, 07:15 PM
2 dogs, I'm surprised you were able to get the pumpkins past the horses. They love those things.

OP, I have 2 horses on 3 acres. Compost pile is just outside the pasture gate at the edge of my wooded area. Manure, bedding (pelleted) and the hay waste all goes into it until the pile looks too big to me, DH then moves it and turns it with the front end loader to another spot. Every spring and fall the 'good stuff' is put in the flower gardens, given away to my crazy vegetable gardening neighbor, and spread on my pastures.

I do want a more 'formal' setup for composting, mostly because I'm a little OCD about tidiness, but the current system works well enough that I can't motivate Mr. Trevelyan to build it for me. :(

Megaladon
Jan. 6, 2011, 07:18 PM
It got so people ran when they saw me coming...again...with another bushel basket of squash....

That's when you start scouting for unlocked cars! :lol:

jenbrin
Jan. 6, 2011, 08:48 PM
We have been composing behind the barn and it was working really well for almost two years now. However it is unfortunate we live in an area with few trees and at the front of the subdivision so of course our neighbors see everything. It's mainly one/two of those neighbors that have an issue with the horses more so than the actual composing and of course they make their points known. I really want to keep everyone happy and at peace. I keep the place neat and clean but I think expectation with them are set that the manure will be removed weekly and horses will be locked up in the barn at least 22 hours a day. I can't afford to have waste management come every week or every other week plus it isn't green and I'm definitely not getting rid of my horses for them either.

Our composing is a pile that is about 18 inch deep and about 10x12ft which we work with the tractor every now and than. When it's ready we use it in our garden in spring.

saddleup
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:37 PM
I put mine in a dumpster and it's hauled away weekly. Costs me $80 a month.

ladybugred
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:30 AM
2Dogs- The Barn Garden is a great idea!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be stealing it when I move, thanx!

Sorry OP no experience to add, though I am planning on using the multiple compost bays when I move this spring. Love to garden, figure it provides me with semi-free fertilizer, and certainly better than the chemical salts that MG makes.

LBR

tasia
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:30 AM
:lol:
I volunteer at a pantry.
Even there they started to say "Again?" when I toted in the zukes.:

Very cool:cool:

luvs2ride79
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:23 PM
This is great stuff! I'm moving my horses to a new facility that is small, but pristine at the moment. I'm going to try my hardest to keep it that way...

One question for those of you on small spaces. I will have two pretty good sized pastures, one nearly 3 acres and one about 1.5 acres. There will be 6 horses on the large one and 3 on the smaller one. For picking up the manure out of the pasture, is there an easier way than doing it by hand? My DH had the idea of using a bagged lawn mower, as that would leave some manure pieces to help the pasture grass grow, so we won't have to fertilize as much. We're in Arkansas, with lots of year-round rain and hot/humid summers, so pooh that is broken up tends to disintegrate back in to the soil well, as long as there isn't too much...

2DogsFarm
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:44 PM
Trevelyan: HA!
I thought the same thing, but...
Not my horses - they stepped on some but ate none :mad:

ladybugred:
Feel free, claim it as your own! :lol:
It was an idea born of pure lazyness.
All winter I tossed stall cleanings over that fenceline and the following Spring looked at the heaped-up compost & thought:
"I need to make that look presentable."
Thus was born the Barn Garden and the Summer of The Zucchnini That Ate Indiana :eek:

I grew potatoes - Yukon Gold & Sweet - last year for the first time & am looking forward to a massive crop from the BG this year : 9

Loves to ride
Jan. 7, 2011, 02:24 PM
Sorry to hijack..

Saddleup,

You mentioned you use a dumpster.
Have you found one that you can directly dump into?

I considered this but I cannot dump over the top.

Thanks..

ladybugred
Jan. 7, 2011, 03:27 PM
luvs2ride- There is a "poop vacuum" I've never used it, but it would be easier then hand picking!

http://www.pasturevacuums.com/products.html

I think it hooks onto your tractor, then you drive steer and vacuum!

LBR

LisaW-B
Jan. 7, 2011, 03:42 PM
Loves to ride,

A lot of people around here dig and reinforce a "pit" to put their dumpster in, so all they have to do is dump a wheelbarrow down into it, which basically puts the open top of the dumpster at ground level. Waste Management can still lift the dumpster out to empty it and then put it back. I've also seen people build ramps so you can walk a wheelbarrow up the ramp and dump, but if you're unable to lift, you may not be able to push a wheelbarrow up a ramp, either.

tasia
Jan. 7, 2011, 05:48 PM
This is great stuff! I'm moving my horses to a new facility that is small, but pristine at the moment. I'm going to try my hardest to keep it that way...

One question for those of you on small spaces. I will have two pretty good sized pastures, one nearly 3 acres and one about 1.5 acres. There will be 6 horses on the large one and 3 on the smaller one. For picking up the manure out of the pasture, is there an easier way than doing it by hand? My DH had the idea of using a bagged lawn mower, as that would leave some manure pieces to help the pasture grass grow, so we won't have to fertilize as much. We're in Arkansas, with lots of year-round rain and hot/humid summers, so pooh that is broken up tends to disintegrate back in to the soil well, as long as there isn't too much...

I just drag mine :) 6 horses on 3 acres, you will probably have to fertilize.

Trees4U
Jan. 9, 2011, 10:30 AM
Kari -

love the "Poo Day" phrase...


sounds like a national holiday :lol:

SMF11
Jan. 9, 2011, 11:08 AM
One question for those of you on small spaces. I will have two pretty good sized pastures, one nearly 3 acres and one about 1.5 acres. There will be 6 horses on the large one and 3 on the smaller one. For picking up the manure out of the pasture, is there an easier way than doing it by hand? My DH had the idea of using a bagged lawn mower, as that would leave some manure pieces to help the pasture grass grow, so we won't have to fertilize as much. We're in Arkansas, with lots of year-round rain and hot/humid summers, so pooh that is broken up tends to disintegrate back in to the soil well, as long as there isn't too much...

You can harrow it -- I would, with that many horses and that amount of land -- that's a LOT of poop to hand pick up!

You almost certainly know this, but since you said you wanted to keep the property pristine, you might think of making two sacrifice paddocks in each field for the two herds in order to preserve the grass. I don't think you'll have much left after a few months with that many horses on those sized fields. 100 x 100 for the smaller one, and 150 x 200 for the larger (or so) -- keep the horses in that for half the time, or longer when it is muddy in order to keep the pastures green and not torn up.

I have this set up for one of my fields, with run-ins making up one side of the dry (sacrifice) lot.

KrazyTBMare
Jan. 9, 2011, 01:32 PM
Ditto on dragging it. I go out in the winter about once a week and drag it (as long as it isnt wet and muddy). In the summer, I dont have to drag it as much b/c literally in 1-2 days, the manure piles are pretty broken down. Here in Florida, we usually are mowing the grass every 2 wks approx even with the horses on it, so the mower gets the rest.

I used to have a dumpster but it just wasnt cost effective any longer.

Our yard trash that picks up takes leaves and branches and organic matter to a "compost dump" where it can be broken down and then recycled into fertilizer, etc. So I use my left over feed bags to muck into and when I run out, trash bags. They pick them up (for free) but most of the time, I dont have to put them out as my uncle and some of my parents friends come over and they pick up the bags and leave me boxes of trash bags so I can bag up more for them. They use the poo for their gardens and love it.

S1969
Jan. 10, 2011, 08:25 AM
OP, I have 2 horses on 3 acres. Compost pile is just outside the pasture gate at the edge of my wooded area. Manure, bedding (pelleted) and the hay waste all goes into it until the pile looks too big to me, DH then moves it and turns it with the front end loader to another spot. Every spring and fall the 'good stuff' is put in the flower gardens, given away to my crazy vegetable gardening neighbor, and spread on my pastures.

I do want a more 'formal' setup for composting, mostly because I'm a little OCD about tidiness, but the current system works well enough that I can't motivate Mr. Trevelyan to build it for me. :(

Similar set up here - 3 horses, ~4 acres. I do have a 3 sided compost bunker built into the hill behind the barn with a ramp -- dump on the high side, scoop out on the low side with the tractor. We probably empty it 3 times a year and flip it into another pile, then generally spread these after they've sat for about 6 months. I know we could do better for true garden compost, but it works well enough for us. I have to say the manure in the piles & bunker really has no smell and doesn't attract flies.

deltawave
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:30 AM
love the "Poo Day" phrase...


sounds like a national holiday

Me, too! I'm thinking of making my yearly flyers for the feed store advertising free compost coincide with Earth Day. I'll just change the name to "Poo Day". :lol: