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Your manure storage/disposal methods?

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    I have a 3 sided wood built container and twice a month we load it all up into the dump trailer and take it to the transfer station, which allows us to dump for free. We have 14 horses here and use shavings.


      Manure is spread on the pastures. Wet bedding is used as mulch on the fencelines. I have 3 horses and 9 acres of pasture.
      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


        I use a covered 3 bin system I made; for 3 horses. I turn it by hand occassionally (I would love a tractor). I use no bedding in the summer and pelleted in the winter. I layer the first two "cooking bins" with 4" diameter irrigation pipes to help circulate air so I don't have to turn as often. It composts from raw manure to 'dirt' in about 3-4 months, depending on conditions and turning frequency. I use it on the gardens, flower beds, lawn and grass paddock. Whatever I don't use is easily taken by locals with an ad on freecycle.

        I looked into having it hauled away, all quotes were in the $300-$400 ranges. Which irritated me because it is already composted and these guys were going to turn around and sell it for gardens etc.

        This is where I got the model for my system:

        My plan is to eventually pour a concrete pad to reduce any leachates even further. For now I am fastidious in keeping it covered during rainy weather and snow melt.
        Last edited by bumblesmama; Oct. 17, 2010, 07:51 AM. Reason: added link
        "It's about the journey, not the destination"


          Stored in a pile. We burn it. (**hangs head** - I know, not as good as compost/spreading)


            I have a 3 sided wood thing/pile. But mine are out 24/7 with access to one of three bigger fields, so it is a pretty small pile. A landscape guy comes and gets it a couple times a year, by which time I have about a truckful.

            The most important thing is that my pile is probably 100 feet from the barn and downwind from house and barn. These are key issues when thinking about manure disposal! I would rather haul muck tubs through the snow than have my barn smell.


              For those who compost, a few questions:

              1) Is it necessary to make a "compost pit" - concrete floor, wood sides?
              If I do this I will want it to look nice, i.e., not made out of concrete block.

              Is it just as easy to make 2-3 big piles and then just turn it? I have 3 horses but also want to add my food waste and leaf waste.



                My BO stores it in the spreader until full, then spreads over 1 of 6 fields in rotation. There are a max of 14 horses inside. This works well with our state's nutrient management requirements.

                monalisa- No you do not need a pit, when it is too cold or snowy for my BO to run the spreader she just piles it in an unused paddock. It just takes a lot longer to compost, yes you can add garden clippings and food waste as well. If you make a concious effort to layer the manure, grass, and food waste, it will compost faster than if you do it willy nilly.

                My dream manure set-up, yes I'm odd, would be a three bay concrete block structure with concrete base and PVC pipes for aeration.

                I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                  We just pile it and let it compost...

                  We are lazy composters and just pile the small quantity of manure that we pick out of the paddock.

                  It does turn into beautiful "dirt", eventually.

                  Most of our manure is on our pastures (out here in CA, we don't have real grass's a "dry lot" except for a few months in winter/spring).....and we just drag the pastures regularly.

                  The only manure we pick up is in the paddock. We don't have bedding.

                  This works for us on a ranchette (4 acres) with 3 horses and 1 Mini who live out 24/7.
                  Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                  **Morgans Do It All**


                    We have 3-4 horses here too. I use our farm tractor's front end loader to turn piles of compost..that"s my "tumbler". I am fortunate in that there is an old foundation wall at the back of my piles so I can easily pick up 99% of the compost. Being a guy on a tractor I probably turn my pile too often..:-) Only additional note I would make here is the need for some water occasionally to provide a catalyst for the composting...(we had a pretty dry summer/fall). All kitchen "garbage" is added to the compost.
                    I like to compost the wood shavings before spreading on the hayfields and pastures as I understand that wood shavings will initially deplete the nitrogen in the soil if spread raw from the stalls onto the fields.
                    One thing that intrigues me recently is that the local concrete manufacturer of septic tanks has occasional "mistakes" which would provide an instant compost "pit" three sides and a was 6' wide..just about my compact tractor bucket width(5'). So check around your area for these cracked or otherwise defective septic tanks and see what they'll do to get rid of them..maybe they will bring it to you for free. You may need to pay them to cut the top off and one side...but you will get a great instant compost pit...and their motivation will be to get rid of a large piece of concrete without paying to break it up or landfill disposal prices.