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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    crazytown
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    1,769

    Default What do you do in the winter with frozen poop in paddocks?

    Just thinking ahead.. If your horses are out 24/7 but you pick out sheds and around round bales on a daily basis, how do you deal with poop without breaking your muckrakes? use pitchfork?? Wait until it thaws and do a big clean??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,846

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    Use a pitchfork... or wait til it warms up . I'm dreading winter already cause I've been so anal about keeping their pasture pretty darn clean. But come winter and snow, I'm not sure how easy it'll be to keep it clean.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
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    25,002

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    Well it's simple in the snow, just scoop and toss. Easier to find too...dark spots in 2" of snow and big holes in 8" of snow, LOL!

    If they're just freezing to the ground...yup, I use either a metal pitchfork or the metal shovel. Depends on if I got the paddock raked smooth before the ground froze hard...shovel on smooth paddock and fork on lumpy paddock. I do tend to get out there often with the tractor and just drive it around once with the rake and smooth out the lumps so they don't freeze overnight. Helps stop hoof bruises too.

    You will have a new game too...frozen poop flinging! Because half the time you get the shovel or fork under the edge of a pile the poop balls will all separate and fly in different directions. The other half of the time they'll let you scoop them. And once in a while they fly straight up and bonk you.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    46,929

    Default

    Train them to go in one spot, preferably under cover, so snow is minimal, then put a thin layer of sand there, so horse apples don't freeze on the ground.
    Be sure they have a better, soft and sandy spot to lay on and roll, so they don't get ideas about your horse apple spot.
    You can also let that spot go for a few days and pick it all up when it defrost for a little bit.

    Works for us.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2008
    Location
    AB
    Posts
    641

    Default

    I break it from the ground with a spade, just put the tip under the edge of the pile and it usually pops right up. I do this to all the poops, then just use my regular fork to put them in the bucket. My guys make it easy though, they only poop in a 4' x 4' corner of their paddock.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2004
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    325

    Default

    I've been known to take the pickaxe to them as well.....



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2009
    Location
    it used to be country
    Posts
    689

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Train them to go in one spot, preferably under cover, so snow is minimal, then put a thin layer of sand there, so horse apples don't freeze on the ground.
    Be sure they have a better, soft and sandy spot to lay on and roll, so they don't get ideas about your horse apple spot.
    You can also let that spot go for a few days and pick it all up when it defrost for a little bit.

    Works for us.
    In Va the only spot that does not include MUD by midwinter is either the pasture or the barn. Sand does not stay, we do have a good base of rock dust, but even that gets muddy by Feb.
    How do you train them where to go?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    46,929

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    Quote Originally Posted by harveyhorses View Post
    In Va the only spot that does not include MUD by midwinter is either the pasture or the barn. Sand does not stay, we do have a good base of rock dust, but even that gets muddy by Feb.
    How do you train them where to go?
    Clean everything very good and leave a pile where you want them to go.
    Helps if you choose a place that they naturally have been using some of the time, so you already know they like it for their bathroom.

    Keep cleaning very often and keep leaving a few horse apples on the spot you decide on, until you are sure they know where to go and they are not missing any more.

    Once they know where to go, you can even clean it all the way and they will still continue to use the designated spot.

    When you add a new horse, you may want to do again very often cleaning and leaving a little bit on the right spot, until the new horse catches on.

    Never had it fail with any horse we had, they all learned in a few short days.

    On the frozen to the ground horse apples that are that stuck frozen on the ground, I choose to leave them until it warms up, since they are in a good, out of the way spot anyway.
    Don't know what I would do if it stays frozen for more than a week or two.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    829

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    My guys are pretty neat, but are also out 24/7. I carry both a regular pitchfork and a metal rake to clean the paddocks. I can get most of it up on a daily basis, but sometimes freezing rain or a blizzards beats me and I just can't get it up until the sun melts it a little or the snow melts down. I get as much as I can on a daily basis and this works pretty well!

    I must look like a crazy OCD person out in my paddock scraping like a mad lady!!!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

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    Thankfully I have no problems because mine go in one location, and that's it. Andre has his pile that he's working on. I think his plan is to get it so high he can climb out over the fence. The mares have their pile. In the spring we scrape up the piles with the tractor and add to the one big pile. The big pile is spread on the fields as it composts.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 2, 2009
    Posts
    1,258

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    Our poos are frozen solid for about 4 months during the winter. They cannot be shifted even with the tractors or the Bobcat, so they remain there and once the thaw comes we take the tractors into each field and mechanically remove all poo piles from all fields.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2008
    Posts
    80

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    I have used an ice chopper. It allows me to get under the poop piles and break them loose from the limestone in the paddock. I try to do this in early afternoon when it has warmed somewhat.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,321

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    Winter here = feet and feet of snow, so from Christmas until Easter I am exempted from picking up the sacrifice paddock because it is 3-4 feet deep in snow and the poop magically disappears. Of course, in the spring it all becomes visible again--that's when I get out the harrow and run it over the sacrifice paddock for an hour or two, mixing all that old poop in with the sand.

    The area that is my "horse porch" is bedded with a combination of dirt, sand and pellets and almost never freezes, and if the horses spend a lot of time under there most of the poop, even if it's frozen, is easily picked up with my metal fork, which I use for everything anyway. Plastic forks--hate 'em.
    Click here before you buy.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
    Posts
    73

    Default

    I kick it with my steel-toed boot.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2004
    Posts
    947

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    I use a heavy metal shovel to break it loose and cart it off. I try to stay on top of it and get some out every day, but sometimes I fall behind. The BO will regularly clean paddocks out with his mini cat.

    I think it's important to get it out because walking on the frozen turds must be very uncomfy for the horses and potentially result in bruised soles.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 1999
    Location
    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
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    6,282

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    Quote Originally Posted by harveyhorses View Post
    In Va the only spot that does not include MUD by midwinter is either the pasture or the barn. Sand does not stay, we do have a good base of rock dust, but even that gets muddy by Feb.
    How do you train them where to go?
    In VA it doesn't freeze for all that long. You either wait till stuff thaws and dries, then drag and seed, or you just do it regularly enough so that you can keep ahead of it with picking and it's not a huge job.

    Or, it's a huge job on the days you can get out there to do it. Sometimes, that's how life is.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    I just leave it lay.

    In winter the barnyard is Layer of Poop; Layer of Packed Snow; Layer of Poop; Layer of Packed Snow; Layer of Poop... and so on until Spring Thaw. Then when the first of spring mud comes, those Poop/Snow/Poop spots are the driest areas around because they're still frozen under the surface. By the time they thaw out and get muddy, there are dry spots elsewhere.

    Then the horse's feet churn it into the dirt and it grows weeds.



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