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Manure Management

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  • Manure Management

    What does everyone here do to manage manure?

    We drag our pastures regularly but cannot afford to buy a manure spreader for the piles we clean from their run-in. I just dont know what to do because it piles up in my muck bucket and I know that's not healthy. I usually end up dumping it next to our burn pit but as rainy as its been lately we cannot burn anything.

    Does anyone have any tips?

    Thanks!
    God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses. ~R.B. Cunninghame Graham

  • #2
    We have a dumpster for ours and have it hauled away. It has its pros and cons (pro- it doesn't sit around growing into a huge, unmanageable heap. Con- it is an added 4-8 week expense). But it works. We haul it away here because the water table is not very far down, so the land owners don't want to risk it seeping into their well water (I have no idea if that is valid or not, but they've been doing it for 12 years or more, so whatever), and we don't have enough big areas to spread.

    There are ways to develop some pretty nice, easy compost piles that others can tell you about. Takes a little effort, but when done right, not too much, and it's worth it.
    Amanda

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    • #3
      I posted an ad for free manure compost on craigslist and had enough responses to take it all away. Admittedly, probably part of the attraction was that we could load it with our tractor scoop.

      Comment


      • #4
        I dump wheelbarrow loads in areas I need fertilized/built up. Leave those small piles for a few weeks, then go spread what's left out by hand. Ends up with lovely soil, good pasture grass (with some oats and a volunteer sunflower or two here and there!) and no parasite issues.

        For the pastures, I feed BOSS, flax and whole oats. I've never had to drag yet. Birds do all the work. The only issue is the stallion, as being a stallion, he must do the poop piling thing. Everyone else, a poop pile here, a poop pile there... lost of birds, a fox or two, probably some mice/moles/other critters... and no problems.

        I *did* need to drag/hand rake when I was feeding a processed feed. So now feed costs me less, AND I've got pasture management.
        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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        • #5
          We have a dumpster that gets hauled away. The man composts it and sells it. The only con is the fact that I have to pay for the removal. I do compost some for garden use and spread some. Life is easier with the dumpster vs. the old, treacherous manure pile. As much as I hate the expense, the dumpster is really the only feasible option for my location.
          Beth

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          • #6
            Why don't you compost it properly and then use it to fertilize your fields, lawn and garden?

            You can't improve upon Mother Nature.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

            Comment


            • #7
              Yep, compost it and let it cook down. Reduces over half in volume and it is saleable.
              Cheryl in WNY
              Horse Kids Kit & Bobby

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              • #8
                Hubby built a three sided containment area at the back of our property. When I clean my stalls, I separate the poop from bedding and just dump the poop in the containment area. We turn it often, let it dry and spread it in the fields in the late fall early winter. We have nice grass in the spring! We dump/spread the shavings in the woods behind the pasture, our neighbors kids ride quads back there and he likes the shavings for the trails. Added bonus is I get to ride on the trails, too.

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                • #9
                  I have compost piles around my farm that I turn occasionally with my tractor. I wanted to compost the manure before spreading it on my pastures. I bought a spreader also that we'll put to use as soon as we can get out in the fields...the mud is beyond belief.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                    I dump wheelbarrow loads in areas I need fertilized/built up. Leave those small piles for a few weeks, then go spread what's left out by hand. Ends up with lovely soil, good pasture grass (with some oats and a volunteer sunflower or two here and there!) and no parasite issues.

                    For the pastures, I feed BOSS, flax and whole oats. I've never had to drag yet. Birds do all the work. The only issue is the stallion, as being a stallion, he must do the poop piling thing. Everyone else, a poop pile here, a poop pile there... lost of birds, a fox or two, probably some mice/moles/other critters... and no problems.

                    I *did* need to drag/hand rake when I was feeding a processed feed. So now feed costs me less, AND I've got pasture management.
                    I use it for filler, too. I have very little acreage and a lot of horses, but between dragging and filling, the place always looks good WHEN I keep up with it (looks like a friggin' manure farm when I fall behind, though!).

                    Pinto, how do you save money with that ration? Around here, oats costs almost as much as (mature horse/maintenance) processed feed.
                    Sportponies Unlimited
                    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We also use it as fill for low areas on our property. I dump it and then about once a month my husband spreads it.

                      How much does it cost to bring in a dumpster to take it and how do you get the manure into the dumpster?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have 8 horses and we compost our manure.......paddocks and stalls are picked daily and pastures are picked every few days...........we have 3 concrete bins that are 10 x 10.........when one is full it is moved to the second and then the third.......when it hits the third bin it is usually ready to be put out on pasture........we do not have a manure spreader so we do it the old fashion way........by hand with the manure fork.

                        Dalemma

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                        • #13
                          Question... How long should a pile of manure sit around and compost before spreading it on pastures?' Is there a certain time to make sure all parasites/eggs/larvae are killed and that the manure is not too "hot"?

                          I have never done this before, only giving away or hauled, but considering for future...
                          lindasp62
                          Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
                          Brennan Equine Welfare Fund
                          http://www.brennanequinewelfarefund.com/index.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am having trouble figuring out the turning thing. Without a front end loader how do you turn one of those piles?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You don't say how much acreage you have or how many horses but:
                              For my 5ac and 2 horses I do a combo:

                              1-composting - in a non-structured kind of way. I made a 3-sided Lincoln-Log pile of surplus fenceposts to one side of my arena and dump stall cleanings there. Over the Winter they compost into the most beautiful stuff. Gardener friends takes nearly 2/3 of that and the rest I use in my veggie garden, flowerbeds and spread in the pastures. I hardly ever turn the pile or do anything you are "supposed to" to maintain a compost pile

                              2-after the gardens die back in Fall I dump fresh stuff on them and this composts by Spring.

                              I don't have a spreader. I use my dumpcart to haul piles to the gardens and then spread by hand with a rake.

                              I've considered a dumpster but so far in nearly 5 years I haven't had a problem with excess "stuff"
                              *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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                              • #16
                                Call around to the landscapers in your area, see if any of them make compost. I have a guy who takes it all away once a year to use in making soil. Bonus for both of us: he made a dumping area out back for me at no charge, and I don't charge him anything for taking it. I have 6 horses, so it's quite a pile when he comes out to get it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                                  ...the mud is beyond belief.
                                  This is my first year at the new house and acreage. Boy, mud, mud, mud. I take back all the nasty things I said about my prior barn owner and her muddy mess. I have lots of ideas for the spring and how to address the issue, but for now it's mud, mud, mud.

                                  As to the manure . . . compost it! It's black gold when it's all done. It's just hard to pick out of the MUD.
                                  If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We manually clean the pastures (as well as the stalls) so we have lots of poop. We switched from shavings to pellets and compost the poop. The manure pile has decreased dramatically since switching and the composted poop is ready to leave in three weeks (DH adds a compost accelerator to a new pile and turns regularly). We then trade the compost to a landscape supply company for mulch, sand and other things.
                                    Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                                    http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      We make lotsa poop!
                                      I clean stalls and paddocks daily and heap it into a concrete container which is emptied and taken away to a nursery for compost. We use shavings and pay for this service.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by flea View Post
                                        I am having trouble figuring out the turning thing. Without a front end loader how do you turn one of those piles?
                                        For people who have very small acreage and only one or two horses, you may be able to use the auger on your tractor or purchase a large composting bin that gardeners use. Those you can rotate with a handle. You could drag the pasture and then use the rotating composter for stall waste - which would be even less if you used pelleted bedding. That might work.

                                        Too bad folks have it hauled away. Makes growing a good pasture impossible unless you rely upon chemical fertilizers. $$
                                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                        -Rudyard Kipling

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