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View Full Version : Please help settle domestic dispute - "kicking" horse poop around field...



bucksnort
Aug. 1, 2012, 04:38 PM
So my wonderful Mr.'s idea of spreading manure is to literally kick it to bits as hard as possible. We don't have a tractor, so proper manure spreading is out of the question, but I would prefer to pick all the poop and take to the dump (if we had a tractor I would love to make a poop pile for compost, but we don't).

His poo kicking drives me nuts! but I don't know if I have reason to be driven nuts over this.

Is kicking it helpful at all? I wonder if it just makes a wider area that the horses don't want to graze from.

Help please! Thanks :)

bastnpny5
Aug. 1, 2012, 04:44 PM
Its great fertilizer...

creekridgefarm
Aug. 1, 2012, 04:45 PM
Well, if the horses are continuously grazing on the field, then yes... most of the time they won't eat where poop is. However, if you're rotating the pastures and giving them a couple of months rest between grazing, spreading the poop out and allowing it to break down into fertilizer can be helpful. I am no scientist and do not know the exact time frame, but we give our pastures 3 months off after grazing for 2-3 months and most of the poop is gone and horses seem to have no problem grazing on it -- and we spread the poop out immediately after taking them off the pasture.

Alagirl
Aug. 1, 2012, 04:46 PM
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

poop= fertilizer.

Some farms take the poop from the barn and spread it across the pasture! :yes:

if you bother to pick up the poop, you can build the compost pile for the garden instead of hauling it to the dump (which is wasteful, really)

besides, that's a good walk spoiled while it benefits your farm: the poop gets broken up (=no flies) the grass is fertilized and hubby exercised.....

Plan on gong for a ride when he gets to sh**-kicking....:cool:

Petstorejunkie
Aug. 1, 2012, 04:59 PM
it'll dry out faster that way, so less flies

just don't let him wear those shoes in the house afteward

buck22
Aug. 1, 2012, 07:19 PM
You don't need a tractor to make a compost pile, I do mine all by hand.

I pick my poop and compost it. My horses keep designated potty spots around the compost piles so I don't have to wander far to pick. I will some times wing a wet patty pile out across the pasture instead of picking it, but then I find my horses will start crapping there too.

If your paddocks are like mine, no rotation option and small enough that you're trying to use every available inch, then I'd say pick. But if you have room to rotate and give the area a break, then definitely kick! It is a good way to break down the piles quickly and minimize flies.

ReSomething
Aug. 1, 2012, 08:31 PM
The only issue I've heard in regards to spreading manure, and BTW DH drives over it on purpose with the finish mower - talk about muck slinging!
is if you haven't got a good deworming protocol in place the manure will have an egg load and the eggs are often quite tough, and you'll have spread them all around in a thin enough layer that the usual habit of not eating around the piles won't be true. So you'll be happily reinfecting your horses.

halo
Aug. 1, 2012, 08:53 PM
During the heat of the summer, spreading manure piles is the best way to kill worm eggs.

ReSomething
Aug. 1, 2012, 09:11 PM
http://www.ker.com/library/advances/439.pdf Depends on your latitude and average temperature, at least according to this article. Picking it up and getting it out of there is the most favored solution.

BeeHoney
Aug. 1, 2012, 09:46 PM
So my wonderful Mr.'s idea of spreading manure is to literally kick it to bits as hard as possible. We don't have a tractor, so proper manure spreading is out of the question, but I would prefer to pick all the poop and take to the dump (if we had a tractor I would love to make a poop pile for compost, but we don't).

His poo kicking drives me nuts! but I don't know if I have reason to be driven nuts over this.

Is kicking it helpful at all? I wonder if it just makes a wider area that the horses don't want to graze from.

Help please! Thanks :)


If this is all you guys argue about, I think your marriage is in great shape. :)


Picking paddocks may be "ideal" but it is completely impractical. Picking paddocks is for adults with too much time on their hands or for young people who need an exercise to build character. It can be a healthy outlet for an obsessive personality. Since most horses don't graze the roughs, most farms just leave the manure to rot into the soil. It isn't worth $8-12 an hour to pay someone to pick paddocks unless you are obscenely wealthy.


Breaking up manure piles in the heat of the summer so that the sun can kill the parasite eggs is a good idea, but using a harrow can spread parasite eggs more widely over the entire field. Bottom line: if you must harrow your field, don't do it in the spring or fall or when you have horses on it.

I doubt your husband's manure kicking is having any practical effect one way or the other with regard to your pasture. Whether or not he should continue doing something that irritates you is more of a relationship question than a horse keeping one.

Foxtrot's
Aug. 1, 2012, 09:56 PM
If you don't use Ivermectin wormer, the manure beetles will do your work for you, they say.

Riverotter
Aug. 2, 2012, 12:27 AM
I'm still trying to figure out what a tractor has to do with a compost pile...

When I bother to pile it, I pile it right into a raised garden bed and rake it a few times. Great stuff. Taking it to the dump is practically a crime. In the field, I kick it, if I bother with it at all. Kicking spreads it out to dry and disintegrate. The horses will eat there as soon as it's dried and starts to disappear, unless you have a really tiny paddock that they can't properly get away from that one little spot for a week or so. Then they get into the habit of religiously avoiding that area, at least IME.

oldpony66
Aug. 2, 2012, 07:53 AM
The tractor part of the manure pile, for me, is the occasional turning and subsequent spreading of the pile. My pile from last year was 3 horse's worth and only what I got out of their stalls/run-in in the winter. It is a HUGE pile that I would never get turned or distributed by hand (yes, we made it by hand, one pile at a time, but gosh it sure gets big.)
I harrow my pastures, but my horses think it's cute to put poop piles in the corners where I can't quite get to them, so sometimes I'll take a fork out there, pick them up and give them a good fling. I guess that isn't much different than kicking the piles. Get hubby a fork so his shoes stay clean(er) and let him go at it.

PRS
Aug. 2, 2012, 09:41 AM
I have chickens for just this purpose. They scratch through the manure and spread it out to dry. That equals fewer flies and fewer parasites. I have 4 animals on 5 acres. The horses have dedicated bathroom areas that they've established and they graze on the rest.

msj
Aug. 2, 2012, 09:51 AM
Go buy a bag of whole oats and give each horse about 1/2 cup twice/day. The hulls (NOT the whole oat) will come out in the manure and the birds will gladly pick apart each manure pile to get the hulls and very nicely spread it around.


Now, if hubby still wants to go kick manure fine but why not let the birds to the work and give him another job in the meantime.

I think you can also feed black oil sunflower seeds as well but I've never tried it so I don't know.

Alagirl
Aug. 2, 2012, 10:19 AM
Go buy a bag of whole oats and give each horse about 1/2 cup twice/day. The hulls (NOT the whole oat) will come out in the manure and the birds will gladly pick apart each manure pile to get the hulls and very nicely spread it around.


Now, if hubby still wants to go kick manure fine but why not let the birds to the work and give him another job in the meantime.

I think you can also feed black oil sunflower seeds as well but I've never tried it so I don't know.


LOL, actually some whole grains do make it through unharmed.

WBLover
Aug. 2, 2012, 10:54 AM
Call me lazy, but picking and/or kicking down the manure piles in the pasture just makes my head hurt, and back!!

I don't do a DARN thing to the manure in my pastures, but I do rotate the horses between 2 fields. I also have a very good ratio of acreage to horses, so the manure is never overwhelming to the fields. The horses get rotated every 3-4 weeks and then we mow. I find that the finish mower does a good job of spreading them, and even if it misses, sometimes the birds or dung beetles will make a good go at them. And sometimes the piles just stay there and eventually dry up. I'm 43 years old with a bad back, and I just don't have the body to withstand that much picking, and I don't own a harrow to break them up with.

I don't even work my compost pile. It gets driven in a dump cart to the VERY far back of my property about 300 feet away from the barn so I don't have excessive flies, and it breaks down just fine without me touching it. I've had a pile that has not grown in size for the last 3 years. It just breaks down by itself as I add more, and stays the same size. I don't stable my horses a lot either, mostly just during the winter at night, so I don't have a lot of stall cleanings to dump all year round.

I do a fecal egg count on my horses and worm as needed, but all I've had to do is Ivermectin for the bots because they have had ZERO fecal egg counts for the last 2 years on my lazy horsekeeping plan of action--LOL!

rcloisonne
Aug. 2, 2012, 01:51 PM
Unless it gets very hot where you are, kicking the horse poop around is the equivalent of seeding you pastures with worm eggs.

cloudyandcallie
Aug. 2, 2012, 01:59 PM
Unless it gets very hot where you are, kicking the horse poop around is the equivalent of seeding you pastures with worm eggs.

Not a good visual!:eek:
If you lime the field after spreading manure, and keep horses off of it for a while, you should be OK. Otherwise, pick up manure. (All the yankee BOs down here do not pick up or spread manure or lyme or fertilize pastures. )

bucksnort
Aug. 2, 2012, 03:57 PM
Thanks for all the input! We just have two horses at home and both are on worming programs (but am I going to start doing the fecal tests I think) so I'm not overly concerned about the worms.

We have about 3.5 acres of pasture that is divide into three. The middle one is a bit of a sacrifice pasture, I lock them in there at night with hay nibble nets, and then during the day I rotate between the other two every two weeks or so.

I shall throw on my boots and join in on the kicking!! :)

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Aug. 2, 2012, 04:04 PM
If you don't use Ivermectin wormer, the manure beetles will do your work for you, they say.

:yes: I stopped giving wormer on a routine basis years ago - I have fecals tested and worm according to the vet's advice. Which in our case is just twice yearly.

We have amazing manure beetles now. A poo pile left in the morning is half the size by afternoon and nearly gone the next day.

Mtn trails
Aug. 2, 2012, 05:06 PM
My horses also have dedicated poop areas and will walk across the five acres to reach it, do their business, then wander all the way back to where they were grazing.

Rabtfarm
Aug. 2, 2012, 08:41 PM
I am sorry, but I cannot help but feel that there is some sort of other deep seated angst about your sh*t kicking hubby and the fact that this really bugs.
you...just sayin. I personally cannot see where his poop kicking has much effect if any, unless he's out there for quite a while...in which case you both need counselling! Maybe there are some better uses of his time around the farm.
In the meantime most of us use a spreader/grate to spread and break up the poop all over the paddock, or manually go out there and pick the poop.
Of course it's always great to achieve "closed paddock" status worm-wise, whereby you are reasonably assured that your paddocks and horses are free of worms.
Good luck...and remember if the foo shits, wear it...

Bedrock
Aug. 2, 2012, 09:31 PM
I think you could sell "kicking" time. Do you know what a stress reliever it is to walk around your fields and kick those piles!!! I SWEAR BY IT!!! I THINK SOMEONE WOULD Make million selling "kicking" time instead of anti-depressant drugs!@
But by the way I am also Yankee Barn owner and I do fertilize, Lime and spray my pastures for weeds, I also mow them on a very regular basis and have very nice pastures for it!

bucksnort
Aug. 3, 2012, 01:54 AM
I am sorry, but I cannot help but feel that there is some sort of other deep seated angst about your sh*t kicking hubby and the fact that this really bugs.
you...just sayin. I personally cannot see where his poop kicking has much effect if any, unless he's out there for quite a while...in which case you both need counselling! Maybe there are some better uses of his time around the farm.
In the meantime most of us use a spreader/grate to spread and break up the poop all over the paddock, or manually go out there and pick the poop.
Of course it's always great to achieve "closed paddock" status worm-wise, whereby you are reasonably assured that your paddocks and horses are free of worms.
Good luck...and remember if the foo shits, wear it...

Haha! Actually I was being quite tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing which is just my personality. We aren't even married until oct and are still in the ridiculous lovey dovey phase. I shall keep counseling in mind though thank you ;)

buck22
Aug. 3, 2012, 06:16 AM
Picking paddocks may be "ideal" but it is completely impractical. Picking paddocks is for adults with too much time on their hands or for young people who need an exercise to build character. It can be a healthy outlet for an obsessive personality.
As I pick my paddocks daily, and I don't fit these descriptions at all, I think this comment is totally off base.

The measure of practicality is situational, whats unreasonable for one person may be completely reasonable for another.

In my situation, with only two equines on 2 acres, it takes all of 20 minutes to walk a fence line and pick piles. I might invest an hour a week tops maintaining my compost heaps.

20 minutes of my time daily equates to being able to observe the health of my animals by their manure (manure happens to be the best way for me to catch my geriatric's ulcer flare ups), smarter looking paddocks, less "roughs", possibly less flies, possibly less parasites, and HEAPS of beautiful black gold that enriches the soil and ensures a bountiful garden, allows me to grow lovely rose beds, etc.

With such a boon of rewards for such minimal effort required *in my situation*, it would be silly to let it lie.

2DogsFarm
Aug. 3, 2012, 06:39 AM
Now, now...
Mr bucksnort is not "kicking" - he is ergonomically & organically fertilizing your fields :yes:

I do the same and also "mulch" when I mow the pastures by mowing right over the piles.

My small flock of chickens does a great job spreading out piles too and has the added benefit of being amusing AND giving me eggs :winkgrin:

Now get yourself a nice pair of poop-kickin' shoes and join your fiance for another act of togtherness :D

Couples who kick together stick together!

trubandloki
Aug. 3, 2012, 07:12 AM
As I pick my paddocks daily, and I don't fit these descriptions at all, I think this comment is totally off base.

The measure of practicality is situational, whats unreasonable for one person may be completely reasonable for another.

That was my thought too. I would rather take the half hour daily to remove the manure from my paddocks than have to look out my window and see a mess and deal with sludge it causes.

My soil and my conditions would not deal well with a thick coating of trampled in manure. I know other places that never pick and it does not cause an issue.

WBLover
Aug. 3, 2012, 10:28 AM
Hey, pick or not pick, kick or not kick, embrace the diversity!

As I stated I'm just to lazy to pick or kick and it hasn't been an issue in my paddock--worms or otherwise.

Alagirl
Aug. 3, 2012, 01:18 PM
It's never bad to spend some time to walk the farm. check fences, footing, flora...find lost shoes, rocks, animals...

And all while cleaning and collecting precious raw materials for the compost! :yes:
Not to mention a bit of exercise. All of the above, minus the compost works for kicking, too...:winkgrin:

halo
Aug. 3, 2012, 04:30 PM
Environmental Management Recommendations

Lawns are areas that horses like to graze in a pasture and roughs are areas that horses prefer to defecate. The infective strongyle parasite is 15 times higher in roughs. Horses will avoid these rough areas for grazing as long as the pasture is not overgrazed. Hay can be supplemented to avoid overgrazing of a pasture. If your pasture does not have lawns and roughs, it is overgrazed and will have a higher parasite concentration.

Drag your pasture in the summer – it takes temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit to kill parasite larvae. Keep horses off of dragged pastures for 4 weeks. Pasture rotation is recommended.
Do not drag your pasture in the spring or fall. This practice only aides in spreading the larvae which can over winter and be infective the following spring.

Removal of manure from pastures and paddocks is beneficial. Manure should be composted. The temperature must reach 90-140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill infective eggs and larvae. Only composted manure should be spread on pastures.

Delay turnout to pastures in the spring/summer. A few weeks at 90 degrees kills larvae. Limited pasture exposure minimizes parasite exposure.

Interesting Facts about Parasites in Horses

Strongyles – Eggs hatch in the manure at temperatures of 45– 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The larvae can be infective in as little as 3 days in warm temperatures and can remain infective for several weeks in cooler temperatures. No hatching of strongyle eggs or development of larvae occurs from November to March in Minnesota. The eggs are killed by freezing temperatures. The larvae on the other hand can over winter and be infective the following spring. Infective larvae can persist over winter and are especially adapted for our weather in Minnesota.

Large Strongyles are well controlled in most deworming programs because of their simpler life cycle.


Small Strongyles invade the mucosa lining of the large intestine where they form a protective shell and can remain for several years before emerging. They are now the most important equine parasite because of their ability to produce disease and survive deworming programs. Transmission of strongyles is almost totally through pastures. Fecal egg counts are primarily concerned with small strongyle eggs.


Tapeworms – Horses get these from eating mites on pasture. Minnesota has a very high prevalence of tapeworms in horses at 98%. Tapeworms can cause colic because of inflammation of the intestinal mucosa.

Bots – The larvae are infective 7 days after the eggs are laid on the horse’s hair by the Bot fly. The oral stage is about one month. The larvae migrate and spend 8-10 months in the stomach and intestine after being swallowed.

Roundworms - These are a problem in horses less than 1 ½ years old. Eggs can remain infective for 10 years in the environment. Horses develop immunity after 2 years of age.

Pinworms, Threadworms (Strongyloides) – these and many other internal parasites are controlled with the dewormers that we use in our effort to control the more dangerous parasites.

Parasites are becoming increasingly resistant to deworming. The most effective way to slow resistance is through responsible use of current deworming (anthelmintic) products. Please work with your veterinarian to set up the best deworming program for your horse.

wateryglen
Aug. 4, 2012, 02:46 PM
I'm a shit kicker. I endorse it. Feels good. Cuts flies, no piles, breaks down super quick - I read in a horse mag somewhere that this is a recommended alternative to dragging when you don't have the equipment. Only need to do it every 4-7 days too btw. The fly larvae need like 7 days to hatch so dessicating the poop by spreading it out prevents breeding flies.
Wonderful destresser on a cool evening walk with the dog & cats. I can pick up branches & check fences & stuff.
Good for the soul ....and your marriage. I used to do it WITH my hubby too btw. Just sayin'!!

CHSatwork
Aug. 4, 2012, 04:55 PM
Get free range chickens. Best manure spreaders ever.

SwampYankee
Aug. 4, 2012, 07:37 PM
Sh!t-kicker and proud of it! Would love to put that on IRS forms as my "profession." :winkgrin:

Best idea is to get kids to do it--tell 'em they're working on their soccer form.

Upgrade to a chain harrow--a small one can even be pulled behind a lawn tractor or a 4-wheeler--if you get tired of aromatic shoes!

the_other_mother
Aug. 4, 2012, 08:46 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Im sorry, but I just find that so freaking funny!

Great visual!! :lol:

kcmel
Aug. 4, 2012, 10:26 PM
Picking paddocks may be "ideal" but it is completely impractical. Picking paddocks is for adults with too much time on their hands or for young people who need an exercise to build character. It can be a healthy outlet for an obsessive personality. Since most horses don't graze the roughs, most farms just leave the manure to rot into the soil. It isn't worth $8-12 an hour to pay someone to pick paddocks unless you are obscenely wealthy.
:lol::lol: You must have a lot of acreage! For those of us with only a couple of acres of paddock picking is essential to keep good grazing areas. I wish I had enough pasture that I didn't have to pick!

Stushica
Aug. 6, 2012, 07:21 AM
Best idea is to get kids to do it--tell 'em they're working on their soccer form.


This made me giggle last time I went out and Sh*t Kicked I rounded up all of the neighborhood and lesson kids and told them they had to help me (they do farm chores on their lesson day), they looked at me like a was freaking nuts for the first few piles but pretty soon they were running all over the place and having a blast!

..... I just wonder what the non-horsey parents thought when I sent their children home......:lol::winkgrin: