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Manure disposing on small acerage?

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  • Manure disposing on small acerage?

    Hi All,
    I need some suggestions on what to do with manure. The problem...I only have 2 acres and I don't know what to do with it. Spreading really doesn't work as I only have a small area and I would only end up with a manure paddock rather the a small grass paddock. I have quite the pile now and it's starting to be a problem. I have tried the "free manure" sign didn't really work. I live just outside of Ocala,Fl. but the manure remover companies don't won't to deal with such a small farm not to mention about 45 minutes from ocala.
    Any Ideas?
    Thanks !!!

  • #2
    I rented a regular dumpster from Allied Waste when I was at Pimlico. They come in various sizes and are very reasonable price wise. I told them up from that it was for manure and they were fine with that. It got dumped into the same truck as all the other garbage, so you can throw regular garbage in there as well.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      try posting it on your local freecycle or craigslist.
      If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


      • #4
        Nurserys and organic farms might want it too.


        • #5
          We use a dumpster from a dumpster company. They come once a week and we throw all of the garbage in it as well. After having a manure pile we switched to the dumpster and like it a lot better.


          • #6
            We keep ours in one big pile that my husband keeps turned with his tractor. It is amazing how quickly it compost and then we use it for mulch in our flower beds, garden, family comes and gets it by the truck loads, at least this way when you spread it your not just speading manure lumps all over the place. Flies are really not even a problem in the summer as long as he turns in once a week.
            "If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or you asked the question wrong."

            "Its a lot like nuts and bolts. If the rider is nuts, the horse bolts."


            • #7
              If you make a real compost pile it will quickly break down to a mere fraction of its original size.

              You can use pelleted bedding - it results is less waste, and breaks down very quickly, especially in a proper composting system.

              Your local extension agent or soil and water conservation people may have free information on making and managing composting systems on your land.

              Good luck.
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling


              • #8
                I used to rent a small dumpster and it was around $100 a month. Then I tested the yard waste people and put out 2 bags of manure (I put 30g trash bags in my muck bucket and muck into that so it is easier to move). Well the yard trash took it. So I have since canceled my dumpster and every Tuesday the yard trash takes my manure!

                Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                • #9
                  How many horses are you keeping?
                  How big is your pasture on the two acres?
                  Are the horses kept in or out?
                  Can you rest the pasture (or part of it) for a period of time?

                  These questions would help because with pelleted bedding it composts down very fast (as opposed to just a manure pile) and
                  through the miracle of biodegration (sp?) it shrinks really fast.

                  I have a teeny place and love this time of year when it is time to spread the good stuff and leave the field to sleep for the winter.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                  • #10
                    spook1, I am also horsekeeping on tiny acreage; this is what I do. I keep 2-3 SMALL manure piles. We don't have a tractor, so I make the piles small enough that I can turn them by hand in 30 minutes or less. Keep them moist and aerated (this is why the turning is important) and they break down very quickly into very tiny piles of beautiful compost. Gardens Alive! sells a very nice compost accelerator that can speed up that process even more.

                    We spread some of the composted manure (also mixed in there are leaves, vegetable leavings from the kitchen, and other such matter) on the paddocks and use some in the veggie/herb/flower gardens. When I have an excess that is not wanted by family or friends, I pop an ad up on the local craigslist and/or freecycle. Invariably, I have several people interested. After two years, I've even developed a few "regulars."
                    Equinox Equine Massage

                    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                    -Albert Camus


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      I rented a regular dumpster from Allied Waste when I was at Pimlico. They come in various sizes and are very reasonable price wise. I told them up from that it was for manure and they were fine with that. It got dumped into the same truck as all the other garbage, so you can throw regular garbage in there as well.
                      That only works some places. Here in PA, manure removal has to be by a certified manure removal company & not just any old company. Of course, we bed in straw so our used bedding is taken for growing mushrooms.


                      • #12
                        Look into worm composting. You will need alot of worms, but they will reduce the volume of your manure dramatically.


                        • #13
                          I'm with flashy.....when my horses lived on my property, the barn itself was in a small area and boardered by a creek. No easy way to remove manuer. My husband dug a row of ditches about 2 feet deep with a rototiller if memory serves. I'd load a ditch up with manuer, let it steam down a bit and when it was full, he'd turn it over to the next ditch. This rotation insured true decomposition and it never smelled or attracted flies. (we had free roaming chickens, though) I was surprised we grew some gorgeous mushrooms in those ditches, although I wouldn't eat any! In winter when the creek froze, my pony would drag large buckets of the compost off the island for landscaping use.


                          • #14
                            I put out a "Free Manure Compost" sign and the neighbors take the pile away. Works great!
                            Looking for horse activity in the Twin Tiers? Follow my blog at http://thetwintiershorse.blogspot.com/


                            • #15
                              I don't have the reference here but you can do a search on "composting horse manure" and find a lot of information.

                              If you want to compost, you'll need a system of manure bins. I built mine out of lumber and stall parts. Three is ideal, two is do-able. You need a tractor with a loader and you'll have to turn the pile at least weekly and make sure the pile is kept nice and moist. (all of this "care and feeding" is available on-line, I can send the actual reference later if you want it) When done vigilantly, using good bedding (sawdust or pellets are ideal) you can keep the manure pile size pretty small AND make a product that can be given away or used in your own garder.

                              I Freecycle and Craigslist all of my manure, use maybe 5% of it on my own place, and wind up spreading maybe once or twice a year, max. I don't like to spread, but will do it if the pile of compost is getting too big.

                              I haven't tried calling local landscapers, garden supply places, etc. but that's another possible route of disposal. Of course they will turn around and sell it at $150/ton, but I don't care, as long as it's GONE.

                              A dumpster for me would be a last resort. I have not disposed of one ounce of manure so far, in over two years, other than giving it away, spreading a little or using it in my own garden. Hate to think of something so useful just taking up space in a landfill.

                              ETA: "need" is too strong a word WRT bins and loaders. You certainly can do it by hand. Quite the workout, but that is good. I load my spreader by hand when I use it--great for the shoulder muscles!
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks guys! I kinda like the dumpster idea. Here's the situation at my place... Total of 2 acres, house, yard for the dogs,hubby shed for all his toys, 166x75 riding arena, now the horses....a 2 stall barn in a small enclosed area about 120x80 and the a small grass paddock maybe 300x200...? not exactly sure. But it has great grass! The horses (2) go out on the grass paddock two or three days a week but only for a few hours and never when it's wet. Always have good hay in front of them.

                                So the horses have nice beded stalls but they have free acess to them as they want and I am lucky they don't poop in the stalls!! just pee! So I have to muck of the barn area twice a week.

                                I did call a few landscape and nursey place and they weren't interested. I had a huge pile and when they came to do my riding ring we had them take it with the other debris. But now I am getting a huge pile of mostly just poo and very little shavings.


                                • #17
                                  If you can compost it you might be able to get people from a gardening club to take it! People are reluctant to take fresh manure as it can burn plants and stink up the neighborhood.... Nothing like having your neighbor call the Boro Manager on you!

                                  I offered fresh manure for compost piles on Freecycle but as I live in a agricultural community everyone is up to their eyeballs in fresh manure!!!! I ended up getting two farmers to take my manure, if I deliver.... One guy is still farming and the other one is retired but grows veggies and sweet corn for sale in his roadside stand.... Plus, I rented a plot of land in a community garden so I never have to worry about where to put my manure....

                                  If you can't get the dumpster people to take it then I think you're going to have to compost--unless you spray the poop balls with perfume and sell them for scenting one's lingerie drawers! Or you could spray them with lacquer and market them as rare "road apples"....

                                  There's a good book out there called "Let It Rot" that tells you how to manage your compost pile!

                                  Good luck!
                                  Have we learned nothing from the Romans???


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                    ETA: "need" is too strong a word WRT bins and loaders. You certainly can do it by hand. Quite the workout, but that is good. I load my spreader by hand when I use it--great for the shoulder muscles!
                                    Absolutely! My "bins" are nothing more than temporary posts and chicken wire just to delineate spaces for the piles of different ages and my own and Mr. CH's muscle is all that's used to turn the piles from one area to the next, as well as to load the spreader. There is very little smell and few flies (I do release fly predators in the composting area to help with that.)

                                    The piles shrink down to lovely "brown gold" very quickly. This time of year, the horses can hardly poop enough to keep up. Mr. CH and I are constantly battling over who gets the compost for which gardens!
                                    Equinox Equine Massage

                                    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                    -Albert Camus


                                    • #19
                                      How do you get rid of your "household trash"? Here in Arizona we are provided with large garbage cans which get dumped 1x per week. I simply purchased some extras and I put the manure in that and the garbage removal people have no problem with that.

                                      When I say a a few, I mean I have 6 (maybe 7, I have to count) for the horses .. but I have 5 stalls, bedded deeply in straw and we pick up the paddocks every day too. Keeping it in closed containers really does help with the fly situation.


                                      • #20
                                        Put an ad on Craigslist. I did and the response was phenomenal. Make sure to put as much info in there as possible so you can limit the number of contacts that will never work out (ie. town you live in, days of the week they can come, whether or not you have a tractor to load it or if they will need to bring a shovel, etc.)

                                        I did this and have lots of people come and take away literally TONS of manure. I have had repeat "customers" come back 3-4 times already. They love it. We also have dumped it where we plan to have a garden next year. By then it will be very well composted. We threw seeds into the compost this time just to see what would happen and they plants grew much better and faster there then in the soil mixed with compost. Definitely more prolific. So next year we will plant directly in compost. Of course, we have a lot of shavings in our compost so it isn't straight manure. Broodmares with foals waste a lot of bedding. We have to strip their stalls almost every day. We didn't use worms or anything. However the worms did find their way into the compost on their own.

                                        Signs only work if you are on a very busy road and even then the potential viewers is considerably limited. Craigslist is the way to go.
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