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Dangerous Frozen Poop Situation - Need Help

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  • Dangerous Frozen Poop Situation - Need Help

    So grateful to you COTHers in times like these...... you are my lifeline and sanity at time :-)

    A horse pooped multiple times in the aisle and left overnight. And it froze solid to the ground. The problem is, every time I am doing chores, hauling hoses, wheelbarrows, buckets, or trimming or ANYTHING, I nearly break my neck tripping over the darn cement (aka frozen poop piles) bricks.

    I've tried hacking at them with every metal implement I have, and can't even make a dent. Please tell me what to do before i break my damn neck :-)

  • Original Poster

    oops sorry my browser window sent this twice....

    oops sorry my browser window sent this twice....


    • #3
      Hot water will melt the ice on the manure, but then you need to get it up very quickly. I would then quickly put down some shavings to absorb the water before you have a sheet of ice to fall on.


      • #4
        Hot Water ??

        Hair dryer ?


        • #5
          This one gave me a chuckle.
          I bitch all the time when someone uses the trailer in the winter to clean it out as soon as they get finished for the same reason.
          Getting it loose is not as straight forward as pouring hot water on it. Especially in a isle way. You get the pile up but are left with an ice patch. I bought a portable propane “jet” heater to help with this situation and to keep the Farrier and especially the person holding horses happy.
          Possibly an old towel soaked in boiling water, wrung out and wrapped around it? Or hot water with some calcium chloride (type of salt) which doesn’t freeze unless it is well below 0. Even in the freezing cold the residual water will evaporate in a day or so.


          • #6
            A blow torch, seriously, it won't take much to loosen it.
            "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


            • #7
              Even though I freeze my ass off, I "muck out" my paddocks daily. I hate the poop piles in the warm months attracting flies and in the winter I think the horses would break their necks running around and hitting them

              You have the heat guns that are used to heat and strip wallpaper - I'd give that a go. You would only have to soften it a bit before a shovel or pitchfork could do the rest

              Good luck - let us know what works!

              True Colours Farm on Facebook


              • #8
                Originally posted by Calamber View Post
                A blow torch, seriously, it won't take much to loosen it.
                When the temps have been in the single digits for days/weeks on end it takes a lot longer then one would think with a little propane bottle torch depending on the pile. The stuff would make good insulation. An Oxy-Acetylene torch should make short work of it.


                • #9
                  I know some kids that would love this thread.

                  OP, if you come up with the best way let us know. Because as we all know s**t happens.

                  So does a lesson learned.

                  But not always being the last one to use our trailer. As someone pointed out today.


                  • #10
                    I just use my manure fork, but then my floors are concrete, so the pile comes off easily. Are your floors dirt, thus the problem loosening them?
                    What you allow is what will continue.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gumtree View Post
                      When the temps have been in the single digits for days/weeks on end it takes a lot longer then one would think with a little propane bottle torch depending on the pile. The stuff would make good insulation. An Oxy-Acetylene torch should make short work of it.
                      She said it was from only one horse and several piles, I would not recommend lighting a manure pile on fire!:')
                      "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                      • #12
                        Would a hair blow dryer work to unfreeze it?
                        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                        • #13
                          Do you have a tractor with a back blade or front end loader? You could just push the manure loose from frozen base, then pick it up.

                          Other items to use if no machines, could be a thick 3/4 to 1inch steel rod, hit it with a sledge or heavy hammer, driving rod directly into the pile, break it apart in small sections. Pick axe if you can swing and hit what you aim at, will be faster than sledge method. Both methods reduce bigger pile to smaller size pieces by putting small metal tip end in, break the ice bond. Gives more force to small spot over shovel with wide edges, in breaking stuff up. WEAR safety glasses, goggles, for flying, frozen chunks that come loose. Frozen poop can hurt like rocks hitting you.

                          Wow, using all these FIRE based things in a dirt aisle, with lots of dust and chaff that "happens" without cement, seems like a real big danger to the BARN ITSELF! I didn't notice any of them saying "Have your fire extinguisher handy while using blow torch, Acetylene torch, Salamander heater that have REAL FLAMES involved as they burn fuel!! You folks sure live to live dangerously!

                          Good luck OP. Tripping on that stuff is so AGGREVATING. I would be NOT happy with whoever let horse wander to leave piles in the barn aisle.


                          • #14
                            I'd try a bucket of boiling water and a heavy duty coal shovel. Try to slide under it.
                            Unrepentant carb eater


                            • #15
                              Send in the Marines!!!!!!


                              • #16
                                Try ice melt or just plain salt. If you can loosen up the edges you might be able to slide a flat shovel under it.
                                "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                                • #17
                                  I had a similar problem except it was only 2 or 3 chunks of poo. I took a shovel and rammed it down on top of the poo and that broke it up enough that I could sweep it up.

                                  This polar vortex makes me want to use up all my vacation and go to Florida for a whole month.


                                  • #18
                                    Well, if you had a big enough cold chisel and a mallet you could try to break it free from whatever it's stuck to. Single bitted ax and a mallet? Poo croquet anyone?
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible


                                    • #19
                                      Bucket of very hot water poured onto pile, then put the bucket upside down over the pile and put a towel or blanket over it. Check back in 15 minutes or so, and remove pile. As cold as it's been, you have to make sure it won't freeze again after you've dumped the water on it.
                                      It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                      www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                                      • #20
                                        oh darn - please tell us what works once you get it up.

                                        I have pried them up w/ a metal pitchfork - ram really hard underneath more than once and then pried up...