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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,017

    Default manure spreading on the small acreage

    Do you find it better to drag or try to pick and compost? I work full time and the picking is really getting ahead of me, but it's just not in the budget right now to buy a 4 wheeler/spreader. I've heard about making a drag from a section of chain link fence - has anyone tried that and had success?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2006
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    I tried it and failed. I am on a very steep slope though. What do you have that you can use to pull the drag thingy ? My problem was that I only had the lawnmower, and it was not up to the job ! Now I have the tractor, so things are (theoretically) a lot easier ..... only trouble is I am too little to safely drive the tractor on slopes (Phil is quite an elderly tractor, and his brakes are 'quirky'). Anyway, if you have almost enough pasture, have you tried cross-fencing it in two, so you can rest one half, in which case you can get away with tromping round the resting half every now and then with yer big boots on, kicking the poo-piles to smithereens. That way you only have to poo-pick the 'communal' area.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    We drag the pastures and compost the stall waste.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    3,932

    Default

    I self care board on 2 acres +/-. I pick daily, compost and spread the finished compost by hand. Just got finished in fact for fall. I work full time too though my schedule is pretty flexible most days. It *is* a lot of work, it is easy to let it get away from me if I don't keep myself on a routine, but if I keep up on it its only about 25 min of work per day, and its good exercise, which I really can't afford to turn down.

    If I had to care for more than 2ish acres, or I had more than 2 horses, I probably would devise a method of dragging as it would be a bit much.
    Just because you’re afraid, doesn’t mean you’re in danger. Just because you feel alone, doesn’t mean nobody loves you. Just because you think you might fail, doesn’t mean you will.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2008
    Location
    AB
    Posts
    609

    Default

    I pick everything. 2 horses on a 6 acre property, divided into 3 little pastures. They are in the barn nightly, so that is cleaned daily, as is their little holding pen where they eat all their meals except what they get overnight inside. I pretty much go on a spree every spring and fall, marathon picking, then drag and mow. I try and keep up a bit throughout the rest of the year, but it depends on the weather and how busy I am.

    I don't think it would be feasible for me to spread it. Really, they poop A LOT!!! I obviously overfeed them I put it in a little dump trailer and every couple weeks take it over to a big pile at a nearby garden centre where I talked them into making their own compost rather than purchasing it all

    Just the other day I mentioned to my husband that I was DONE picking. He looked at me and laughed and said, "You realize that you will never be done, right?"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Location
    Silvana, WA
    Posts
    907

    Default

    I pick stalls and sacrifice paddock to compost, and drag my 2 acres of pasture twice a year (spring and fall). You can pull a chain link drag behind a truck, SUV or tractor (we use our tractor), just drive slowly.

    My pasture is cross-fenced into three 2/3 acre pastures. The two best are dragged, limed, fertilized and seeded in the fall and then rested during the winter. The worst section is used as a sacrifice pasture during the winter for the geldings to let off steam when the ground isn't too saturated. And then it's dragged, limed, fertilized and seeded in the spring and then rested for the summer.

    We use our tractor to spread the finished compost on whatever section of pasture or garden is suffering the most and give some to friends and neighbors. We don't have a compost spreader so the hubby just dumps/spreads it with the tractor bucket.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,287

    Default

    I had success making a drag from a section of panel fencing (comes in 16' sections and is really thick... look it up at Tractor Supply as "goat panel" or "horse panel") anyway we had a little section left over, added some scrap 6x6 post pieces (4x4 would have worked) and a chain. Hooked that over the bumper of my truck and it worked just fine for a couple of years. In fact it was still working just fine but I bought a "real" harrow that I could flip over and have tines. Otherwise I'd still be using it.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,096

    Default

    I use KateWooten's sh*t-kicking method
    I do not pick anywhere except right behind my stalls (& of course inside them).

    Piles in the sacrifice area just get foot-scattered and pasture piles get "mulched" when I mow 2-3X as year.

    I compost and hand spread the pile painstakingly by dumpcartful and rake onto the garden & wildflower meadow.
    I am tractor-less

    This time of year I'll dump the wheelbarrow directly from the stalls onto the garden & berm in front of the barn.
    This stuff composts over Winter.

    My pile is given away to any & all who ask as my use only takes about 1/3.

    This year a neighbor has promised to spread for me, but so far the ground has been too wet for him to get his tractor to the pile.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    I was hoping to drag the home-made spreader (the panel fence sounds intriguing too) behind my small, easy to handle 4WD car not-quite-SUV. Pasture is basically level. I have it cross fenced into 3 based on topography, where the barn is, etc. but I really don't have enough grass to do big-time rotation. The section where the barn is, is heavily wooded and the grass there...is a nice diversion but in the winter won't maintain them (even w/ plenty o' supplemental hay and grain.) The third lot is pretty small...maybe 1/3 acre. I can probably use it and the barn lot w/round bales in the spring to plough and reseed the "big" pasture and make do for enough time for it to get well under way. But for right now I can't take them off it for weeks. I wish. But there's really more poo than I can just let sit there. For one thing, one of my 2 critters is a draft cross - BIIIIIIIIIG piles



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,161

    Default

    I use my riding lawn mower to break things up. Kind of fun.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,882

    Default

    I had great luck dragging - I did a chain link section behind a four-wheeler. It worked wonderfully, until I broke it. I need another.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,493

    Default

    Dragging in the Winter spreads parasites that may be slowed in development, but won't be killed.

    Yes, you can use a section of chain link, or a box spring, and pull it behind a riding mower.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2009
    Posts
    1,891

    Default

    Yeah, we used to use a piece of old chain link fence and chained cement blocks to it for weight. In fact, I've got to make another one.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    4,922

    Default

    I pick it all up -- stalls, gravel paddocks, small pastures. We have maybe 2 or 3 acres of pasture, cross fenced and just two horses out for limited time (one is IR). But I compost the manure and then it is spread after composting, with those areas being taken out of rotation for awhile. Just dragging on the field doesn't work so well in our climate. Composting to the proper temp will actually kill the parasites and by picking the manure up, it really helps with fly control, and I don't end up with big areas (bathroom places) that won't get eaten. Stalls and near paddocks are picked daily while the pastures are done every couple weeks or so. Not that big of job with the garden tractor trailer and two of us out there with pitchforks.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2009
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, CND
    Posts
    2,191

    Default

    Chickens.

    Lawn mower works well too.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2008
    Location
    Canton, GA
    Posts
    890

    Default

    I had level ground and a pretty good riding mower. My drag was a six by six foot section of chain link fence, reinforced with rebar - much better than wood. I put four old tires on it and it made a great drag, really broke up the manure well. You can't get as close in the corners or along the fence line with a regular vehicle, but it would work better than no drag at all.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    2,667

    Default

    I tried the chain link fence with fence posts for weight and it didn't work for me. I now use a VERY heavy solid oak pallet I found by accident. Its pulled behind the gas powered golf cart or toyota 4 WD based on how muddy it is. I live in a swamp in Fl. Fell for it
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2,493

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prudence View Post
    I use my riding lawn mower to break things up. Kind of fun.
    Thats what I do. It IS fun. Chops that stuff up and spreads it nicely.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
    Posts
    9,620

    Default

    Those who are using a section of chainlink fence, what are you using to weigh it down? I use a chainlink with 2 cinderblocks attached to drag my arena, but it actually pulls up some grass if I take it over the pastures... I was going to try just 1 cinderblock instead, as I don't think the bare chainlink will do enough on its own...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    205

    Default

    For years I have used a square metal-tubing gate frame with chain-link inside, and a couple of iron bars to weigh it down - all stuff I got from the local dump/recyclers. I tow it behind my car over gently rolling hills. 2 lots of 5 acres and two 1/2 acre paddocks.

    In the winter the horses (2) live in the smaller paddocks 24/7 and I do a daily walk-around with a wheel barrow and make a pooh pile by the road fence. The local gardeners come and take it away.

    Everyone is happy!



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