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Possible to drag pasture to break up manure without harming the grass?

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  • Possible to drag pasture to break up manure without harming the grass?

    Perhaps just wishful thinking, but...

    I'm wondering if it is possible to use some type of drag to break up manure piles in the pasture, while not damaging the grass. I've been picking the manure into my spreader and spreading the manure just so it breaks down faster. This works beautifully, but it is a lot of work on top of everything else going on here...

    If there were some magical way to just drag the pastures to disperse the piles so they decompose faster without ripping apart my grass, I'd be a happier camper.

    Am I dreaming?



  • #2
    sure, one big tractor tire cut in half.
    schhhhmmmmmmmearrrrrrsssssssss the piles into thin pancakes
    and does not bother grass roots

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

    Comment


    • #3
      They sell all kinds of pasture drags that do what you want.

      We use an old piece of chain link with a log on it so it doesn't bounce over the piles.
      You can use concrete blocks for weight also.

      the chain link is attached to a pipe and two chains are used to pull the pipe.

      You can make the chain link piece as big or little as you like, ours I would say is 10' wide and maybe 5' deep and it is made of the heavier gauge, yard chain link, not the dog kennel light chain link.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nope, it is commonly done with a harrow of some kind. you can do it with one of those square ones with small teeth many people use to drag rings with, or weighted chain link fence (strap some cinderblocks on the top) or a spike harrow with the tines adjusted so as not to dig too deep, which is what I have (was on sale when I needed a harrow).

        Best of luck. I pick close to the barn and drag/mow the rest of the farm -- life is too short to pick 8 acres of pasture by hand.

        ETA: we are all posting at the same time. And it is actually good to rough up the grass a little bit, it encourages new root growth and aerates everything, sort of like a light discing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Since the extent of my "farm equipment" is a 17HP riding mower, I just "mulch" the piles when I mow the pasture.

          With just 2 horses on 3ac this works fine.
          I set the deck to the High setting and have at it.
          Grass is left standing around 6", weeds get cut down and poop piles are dispersed.

          In fact, I just mowed pastures last week & the grass is looking darn good!

          Of course, YMMV with more acreage or more horses.
          *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
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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          • #6
            Chickens!! Mine spread the manure nicely and don't hurt the grass.
            --
            Wendy
            ... and Patrick

            Comment


            • #7
              I just use a harrow I got from TSC. We have 2 -4 ft sections, I use 1 section when I use the 4 wheeler to pull it and use both when using the tractor. We have 5 horses and the harrow works great when the tines are facing backwards to break up the manure and not rip up the grass. We turn it the other way to drag our ring. My husband just mowed the pasture and the grass looks great!

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              • #8
                First, if you feed your horses about 1 cup of whole oats/day, the birds will initially break up a lot of the manure balls.

                Secondly, I use a York rake that I drag behind my mower to break up what's left. If it's dry enough after the initial dragging, then about 3-4 days later, I'll try to drag again.
                Sue

                I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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                • #9
                  We just use a harrow. One side will dig in a little more the other just breaks up the piles. Either way it doesn't hurt the grass any.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been using a rake, but wouldn't recommend for a large acreage
                    "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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                      They sell all kinds of pasture drags that do what you want.

                      We use an old piece of chain link with a log on it so it doesn't bounce over the piles.
                      You can use concrete blocks for weight also.

                      the chain link is attached to a pipe and two chains are used to pull the pipe.

                      You can make the chain link piece as big or little as you like, ours I would say is 10' wide and maybe 5' deep and it is made of the heavier gauge, yard chain link, not the dog kennel light chain link.
                      We too have used weighted chain link - works great
                      Epona Farm
                      Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

                      Join us on Facebook

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                      • #12
                        another ditto on the chain link.
                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks, everyone! I appreciate all the responses.

                          I use chain link with a couple of small cinderblocks attached to drag my arena, so I may try that (probably with only 1 block). Perhaps that will do the trick and save me a boatload of time.

                          I actually have considered the whole oats, too. But I don't know if I want to store yet another type of feed here.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use the harrow, too. I do flip it upside down and hook it to the 4-wheeler. After reading this, I think I'll leave the spikes down next time to aerate a bit. :-)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I harrow, you can buy old harrows at farm auctions for next to nothing, and attach them behind just about anything. I quite often use my truck to do the hilly pasture.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                And it is actually good to rough up the grass a little bit, it encourages new root growth and aerates everything, sort of like a light discing.
                                I agree.

                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                We use an old piece of chain link with a log on it so it doesn't bounce over the piles.
                                You can use concrete blocks for weight also.
                                This is what we've used, too.

                                Anymore I don't drag- too much acreage. The bush hog does a dandy job of scattering manure.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Twodogs makes a valid point...you can "break" up your paddock droppings simply by mowing the paddock which is a good idea to keep the inedibles at bay(like weeds, etc). In the meantime dragging your arena chain link gate over the paddock will do the same if you are between mowings.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My grass always look best after it's been lightly disked or aerated. The horses pound/pack the ground and loosening it up a bit is good for it.

                                    TSC carries some small harrows. I got mine on line about 8 years ago.
                                    Tines up to break up manure, tines down to drag the arena and I add a couple of old fence posts for added weight to aerate between the "big guys" doing it.
                                    You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      the only down side to a toothed harrow is that, if you have weed seeds there, you can disturb them up to the surface where they they flourish.

                                      no grass can compete against a well place weed plant

                                      Tamara
                                      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My neighbor puts a rake looking thing on the back of his tractor to do mine. He's been doing it 5 years and all is well.

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