Using manure Whether composted or not, you will eventually need to move and use the manure. You can use manure onsite by spreading it as a fertilizer on an open area, pasture or field. You can also haul manure offsite for fertilizing or composting. Use caution when spreading manure on pastures grazed by horses.
How do you get rid of horse poop?
Often, suburban horse facilities have limited or no acreage for disposal of manure and soiled bedding. Several alternatives for handling manure include land disposal, stockpiling for future handling, removal from stable site, and composting. Some stables have developed markets to distribute or sell the stall waste.
What do farmers do with horse poop?
Livestock manure of all types has been used to build soil and fertilize crops for as long as people have been farming. While these nutrients are essential for plant growth, they can cause serious problems for all of us if they end up in our streams, lakes or well water.
What is the best thing to do with horse manure?
Composting. “One of the best options is to turn manure and organic material into a valuable soil amendment by composting it, which is practical even if you have just one horse,” notes Blickle, who adds that properly managing manure means you’ll have less mud in winter and fewer flies in summer.
How do you dispose of horse poop?
Permanent manure stores should have an impermeable base that slopes so that run-off can be collected easily in a sealed underground tank. You should dispose of manure by spreading it on land where it is of agricultural benefit.
Should horse poop be picked up?
Horse riders are not required by law to pick up their horses’ manure on the streets or during trail rides. Whereas dog owners have a legal duty to clean up every time their dog messes in a public place, with the exemption of people who are registered blind.
Do landfills take horse manure?
Unfortunately, significant quantities of horse manure and bedding are hauled to landfills each year.
What do you do with horse poop in pasture?
Using manure You can use manure onsite by spreading it as a fertilizer on an open area, pasture or field. You can also haul manure offsite for fertilizing or composting. Use caution when spreading manure on pastures grazed by horses. Don’t spread manure on pastures if there are more than 1 horse per 2 acres.
Can I spread horse manure on my lawn?
Never use fresh horse manure as fertilizer on your lawn, garden, or any other area. Composted horse manure is dark brown and crumbly and does not resemble manure at all. Mix this manure compost with garden soil for the best results. Manure compost is an ineffective fertilizer when spread on top of your lawn.
How often should you pick up horse droppings from the field?
How often Should You Poo Pick? We advise you should clear your field at least twice a week. But, the more regularly poo picking is done the easier it will be (we prefer to do daily as it only takes 10-15 minutes per horse if done as part of your routine).
How old should horse manure be for garden?
It generally takes between three and six months for the material to fully compost. You will know when it is ready as the material will have an even texture which is crumbly like dirt.
How old should horse manure be for gardening?
Horse manure is easy to compost and takes about four to six weeks to turn from stable waste to garden gold if you do it properly.
Can I put fresh horse manure on my garden?
If placed around growing plants, fresh manures will scorch the plants. Using fresh manure on the fallow beds should be fine, although if it is applied in autumn and winter it is likely that the nutrients it contains will be washed out and lost during periods of rainfall.
How long does it take for horse manure to decompose?
Manure that is piled and left alone will decompose slowly. This can take three to four months if conditions are ideal. It can take a year or more if the starting material contains a wide carbon:nitrogen ratio (as is the case when manure contains wood chips).
Can you sell horse poop?
You can either haul it to a supplier or run an advertisement in the local classifieds to sell the manure. Again, check with the local nurseries to get a good idea of what to charge. Cheaper is better. Contact local landscapers and let them know you have compost to sell.
What’s the law on horse poo?
A spokesperson said at the time: “One of the reasons that there are no legislation or enforcement powers covering horse dung is that unlike dog fouling, horse dung from a healthy horse presents no risk to human health.”
Horse Manure and Bedding: What Can I Do With It? — Snohomish Conservation District
-Return to the Soundtrack Helpful Horsekeeping Hints and Tips It is crucial to note that manure and bedding both have a valuable “after-life” that contributes to make horse ownership both safer for the environment and more cost effective for the owner. As livestock owners, we must exercise extreme caution to ensure that we do not cause more harm than good to our land and water resources, which are delicate and valuable. There are several applications for reusing animal manure and stall bedding, therefore converting a waste into a resource.
If you decide for the first option, look into commercial compost facilities that will accept animal dung in exchange for a small charge.
If you are in charge of manure management on your farm, you have three good alternatives (as well as numerous terrible ones!).
Composted Bedding for Stalls
Restore the original audio track. Practical Horse-Care Advice It is crucial to note that manure and bedding both have a valuable “after-life” that contributes to make horse ownership both safer for the environment and more cost effective for the horse owner. Our healthy soil and pure water are sensitive and valuable resources, and as cattle owners, we must exercise extreme caution to avoid causing more harm than good. In order to transform a waste product into a resource, there are several techniques to repurpose animal manure and bedding.
Look for commercial compost facilities that will accept animal dung for a fee if you decide for the first alternative.
You have three good alternatives (as well as numerous terrible ones!) if you handle manure on your farm.
Invest in Your Soil and Pastures
Applying organic manure to your soil and pasture can help to enhance the overall health of your property. In most cases, animals’ excrement contains the majority of the nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and so on) that they eat. All forms of livestock manure have been used to improve soil and nourish crops for as long as people have been cultivating their lands. While these nutrients are necessary for plant growth, if they get up in our streams, lakes, or well water, they can cause major difficulties for everyone who consumes the water.
Organic matter enhances the structure and workability of soils, as well as providing food for soil bacteria to feed on.
These hardworking bacteria and fungus serve an important role in the soil lifecycle by increasing the availability of nutrients to plants and decomposing toxins in the soil, among other things. For additional information on soil health, please see the following website:
Turn Your Waste into Someone Else’s Gold
The use of composted horse manure is in high demand among gardeners and landscapers because of its high quality. Keep in mind that if you wish to sell your manure, it must be well composted and devoid of weed seeds, as well as containing just the bare minimum of bedding materials. A compost that has an excessive amount of bedding combined with your manure is less enticing to gardeners and is better suited for use as a mulch than than a soil builder. SCD maintains a Manure Share list in order to connect manure “producers” with manure “users.” If you would like further information, please contact your Farm Planner.
- This, along with other practices such as rotating pastures, using gutters, putting fence along streams, and giving sacrifice areas, all contribute to healthy horses, clean water, happy neighbors, and a beautiful, thriving farm environment.
- To contact the Snohomish Conservation District’s farm planners, please call 425-335-5634 or send an email to [email protected].
- Idea 03 for Good Horsekeeping The Snohomish Conservation District brings you Better Ground as a service to the community.
How to Control Horse Manure Piles
If you own a horse, you are well aware that manure is inevitable. During a typical day, the average-sized Dobbin generates roughly 40 pounds of horse dung. Multiply the figure by 30 days to get a monthly total. When you double that figure by 12 months, you get more than 7 tons of garbage every year. If you have more than one horse, you’re talking about tonnage in the double digits. Batman, you’re a wuss! What are you going to do with that pile of, uh, things? Kate Light is a young woman who has a bright future ahead of her.
- We put the question out on the Internet, and a number of other horse manure managers chimed in.
- So put down your pitchfork and continue reading!
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- What You Should Do: Begin a compost pile.
- You may also incorporate yard/garden clippings and food waste from the kitchen, such as vegetable peelings, in your compost pile.
For example, you may reduce the size of your garbage pile by half in a couple of months by composting it. You can utilize the finished product as nutrient-rich topsoil for pastures, lawns, and gardens—or sell it. How to Go About It: Here’s what our horse manure managers have come up with thus far.
- Construct a composting system. An 8-by-8-foot square space encircled by three 5-foot walls will hold the waste of one horse, according to conventional wisdom. (You may need to make adjustments to make room for your horse population.) Although you can start a compost pile on unimproved land, a concrete pad will make it easier to manage the pile with a tractor in the future. This will be discussed in greater detail later.) Construct walls out of concrete, cinder block, or 2-by-10s that have been treated. If you’re short on time and money (and who isn’t these days? ), our manure managers recommend starting a compost pile on bare ground and without the use of container walls. Decomposition, on the other hand, may be delayed. When manure is piled deep enough from end to end, heat can collect and accelerate the decomposition process. This is known as containment. When using a free-standing compost pile, cover it with black plastic to help it absorb more of the sun’s heat. Then begin dumping your horse dung into the composting bin. In order to speed up decomposition, keep your compost pile as moist as a wrung-out sponge at all times. You can control its moisture level by spraying it with a hose from time to time, and/or by covering it with a plastic sheet when required to shield it from heavy rain or drying sunlight
- However, this is not recommended. It should be aerated. You’ll need to “stir” the pile in order to promote quick and even decomposition. When you do this, air interacts with the wet organic stuff, causing it to decompose more quickly. By spreading heat and bacteria around the pile, you’ll also allow sections that are colder and lacking in germs to join in the fun. Manual aeration and passive aeration are both effective methods of achieving aeration. It is possible to physically stir the pile every week or two if you have a tractor equipped with a front-end loader. The more frequently you flip it, the sooner that mound of puckey will be transformed into rich soil. It is possible to achieve the same outcome without a tractor by rotating the pile with a shovel—but it is a lot of labor-intensive effort.
Make a composter out of wood or plastic scraps. An 8-by-8-foot square space encircled by three 5-foot walls would hold the waste of one horse, according to conventional wisdom. (You may need to make adjustments to make room for your horse herd. ) Starting a compost pile on unimproved land is possible, but using a concrete pad will make it easier to manage the pile with a tractor. To learn more about this, please continue reading. Walls can be built out of concrete, cinder block, or treated 2-by-10s, among other materials.
- It is possible that decomposition will be delayed in some instances.
- When using a free-standing compost pile, cover it with black plastic to help it absorb more of the sun’s heat.
- Keep your compost pile as moist as a wrung-out sponge to help it decompose more quickly and efficiently.
- Infuse some oxygen into the mix.
- The combination of air and damp organic substances accelerates the decomposition process.
- The methods of manual and passive aeration are both effective.
- Turning the mound of puckey on a regular basis can accelerate the process of converting it into rich, healthy soil.
Solve the Horse Manure Pile Problem
It wasn’t long after Anna and Brian Smith of Camden, North Carolina, finished construction on their barn in 2007 that the couple noticed there was an issue. As a result of having four horses in the house, “the manure was really stacking up,” according to Anna. Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore is a model and actress. Keeping horses can drain your bank account, take your time, and deplete your vitality, but one thing you can count on is a constant supply of horse dung in ever-increasing quantities. Each horse generates around 50 pounds of the substance every day, amounting to more than eight tons per year.
What are your plans for all of this?
In this section, with Carrie’s assistance, we’ll go through the most effective methods of eliminating your horse dung mound.
Why It Matters
Anna and Brian Smith of Camden, North Carolina, discovered they had an issue not long after constructing their barn in 2007. In the case of Anna’s horse farm, “the manure was really stacking up,” she recalls. Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore is a writer and editor based in the United Kingdom. While owning horses can deplete your bank account, take up your time, and deplete your vitality, one thing you can count on is a steady supply of horse dung. Each horse generates around 50 pounds of the substance every day, amounting to more than eight tons per year on average.
– You have a lot of stuff.
According to Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Carrie Swanson, who co-authored (together with colleague Crystal Smith) an Extension booklet on manure management, “Unless it is properly handled, horse dung can pose threats to the environment and human health” (online at).
- Parasites. Strongyles, roundworms, and other intestinal parasites can lay their eggs in manure, which can be harmful to livestock. It is possible for the eggs (or larvae that hatch from them) to pollute pastures, feed, or water, and infect other horses if they are not handled appropriately
- Pests Stable flies, face flies, houseflies, and numerous other varieties of flies breed on manure piles, which makes them ideal breeding habitats. They can also provide as comfortable digging places for rodents.
- The quality of the water. Agricultural waste containing excessive nutrients and other toxins can flow into streams, lakes and ponds when it is not properly handled, disrupting the biological balance and causing environmental harm.
- Regulations. In addition to federal restrictions governing manure management and water quality, Carrie points out that there are also state and municipal regulations in place. “Depending on where you are, these may or may not have an impact on horse operations,” she continues. “The regulating agency differs from state to state as well, but the county Extension agent should be able to clarify the rules specific to the county in question.” Aesthetics is the art of looking good. The presence of a manure pile will have little impact on the value of your home or your relationships with your neighbors, and the stench will have much less impact. As the manure slowly molders inside a conventional pile, it emits foul byproducts like as methane gas, which is harmful to the environment.
A strong manure management program can help you prevent or at the very least reduce the severity of these issues. In addition, because horse dung contains minerals that plants require, it may be an extremely important resource. Horse manure management, on the other hand, may be complicated, and what works for one barn may not work as well for another. Make sure your program is tailored to your specific needs.
Manure includes nutrients for plant development and has the potential to enhance the soil’s condition, so why not put it to good use? If you have a lot of land, a tractor, and a manure spreader, this is a good option. The way it works is as follows: In certain cases, manure may be applied directly to your fields, where it will break down and provide nutrients to the soil over time. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Spread it out thinly. Based on soil testing, just the amount of fertilizer necessary to develop your property should be applied. Manure should be applied in the spring and summer, not while the ground is frozen or during rainy seasons, when it may simply wash away from the soil. (This will necessitate the storage of stall waste at various intervals.) Spreading fresh manure on fields where horses will be grazing in the near future is not a good idea. In certain cases, parasite eggs may be present, and they can live for several weeks or months depending on the environment. It will, however, have no effect on pastures that are being rested or grazed by other species. (A strong deworming regimen, including fecal egg counts to assess progress, will reduce the likelihood of this occurring.) Spreading in floodplains or other regions where water runs seasonally or after rains is prohibited, as is spreading near wellheads and other groundwater sources, in areas where the water table is high, or on slopes bordering streams and ponds If your fresh stall waste contains sawdust or wood shavings, fertilize with nitrogen to ensure a healthy crop. When wood products decompose, the microbes that break them down take nitrogen from the soil, which can limit plant development. The impact is counteracted with nitrogen fertilizer. Alternatively, to entirely prevent the problem, compost manure before spreading it.
To learn more about soil testing and building a nutrient management plan for your farm, contact your local Cooperative Extension office. A nutrient management plan will explain your farm’s manure production, soil fertility, and suggested manure application rates. It is possible to get assistance from your local soil and water conservation districts or a local chapter of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in identifying seasonal wetlands and other sensitive locations where manure should not be applied.
Composting converts stall wastes into a ready-to-use, nutrient-dense soil enhancer that is rich in organic matter. “It’s the most environmentally friendly alternative,” Carrie claims. “As a valuable resource, manure can help to minimize or eliminate the requirement for commercial fertilizer applications on agricultural land. In addition, properly composting your manure will eliminate weed seeds and parasite eggs that have been laid.” Use it directly on your property, and you’ll have no issue giving it away or even selling the extra to gardeners and farmers in your neighborhood if you have a surplus.
- Carrie explains that composting is simply “controlled breakdown.” Using aerobic (oxygen-using) bacteria, you may swiftly break down stall wastes without producing any unpleasant byproducts while also creating heat that kills parasite eggs and weed seeds.
- They will, however, work for you if you give them with the proper supplies and working circumstances.
- Composting is a particularly attractive option if your property is located in an environmentally sensitive location, which was a major concern for Brian and Anna Smith, who live on the coast of North Carolina.
- The way it works is as follows: Compost systems may be customized to fit the needs of any size farm.
- Many small horse ranches find that a three-bin arrangement works effectively for them.
Finally, empty the third bin and begin putting up waste in it while the bacteria in the first bin begin doing their magic, and the waste in the second bin begins to heal. Carrie believes that the way you construct and manage your compost system is critical. The fundamentals are as follows:
- A critical mass has been reached. As a general guideline, the pile’s base width should be twice its height
- For example, a pile 10 feet wide and 5 feet high would be appropriate. If you want to attain active composting temperatures, you need a pile that is at least 4 feet square and 4 feet deep.
- Thermodynamics. Between 110 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the microorganisms are most active, and prolonged temperatures of 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the pile interior can destroy parasite eggs and weed seeds. An increase in temperature that occurs gradually indicates that the germs have completed their task Compost thermometers (available at garden centers or online) should be used to monitor the temperature of the pile. Oxygen. Turning heaps using a pitchfork or a tractor on a weekly basis, or if the interior temperatures dip above or below the active composting range, is an excellent way to introduce air. Alternatively, static piles can be constructed using perforated PVC pipes stretched over the foundation with the ends projecting to pull in air. Despite the fact that static heaps do not require rotating, composting takes longer in this manner. One such possibility is an aerated static-pile system, which is comprised of automated electric blowers that circulate air via perforated pipes beneath the piles of dirt. Although the initial cost of using this approach is higher, it produces compost more quickly and requires less labor than turning piles. Moisture: Compost piles should be approximately as moist as a wrung-out sponge
- They should not be soggy or crumbly, and they should not smell bad. Covering your piles will assist in maintaining regular moisture levels. “People who live in really dry conditions may find that they need to add water to their compost piles,” Carrie explains. Ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the atmosphere: The amount and kind of bedding that ends up in your heaps impacts this ratio, which has an impact on the pace at which your piles decompose. Compost should have a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of between 20:1 and 40:1 (carbon to nitrogen). Horse manure with no bedding has a 25:1 ratio
- Oat straw has a 48:1 ratio
- And wood products have a 500:1 ratio. If you pile up a lot of wood shavings in your heaps, the activity will be slowed down. Even if you have adequate oxygen and moisture, compost will still be produced
- However, you may speed up the process by using less bedding, switching to a different type of bedding, or adding nitrogen (in the form of urea) to your heaps.
Carrie also points out that if the compost is mixed uniformly, it decomposes more effectively. In the case of static piles, which aren’t rotated, this is very significant. Some farms employ a temporary storage facility to combine materials prior to adding them to the pile of materials. “In really cold regions, composting will take longer over the winter months, and farmers may need to make provisions for larger storage rooms,” she explains. “However, the fundamental fundamentals remain the same.” Tip: State and municipal restrictions might have an impact on the functioning of a composting facility.
Consult your local planning office as well as your state’s departments of agriculture, environmental protection, and natural resources for further information.
Haul It Away
Trucking manure away from the site is the quickest and most convenient alternative, albeit it is not always the most affordable. If you have a large number of horses but do not have a lot of land or time to deal with manure, this is a good option. The way it works is as follows: In the event that you do not have a dump truck, you can put manure and stall waste into a trailer and transport the entire load to a commercial composting facility. Some facilities demand a fee for dropping off the cargo, while others will pick up the load for free.
- In many regions, commercial garbage services will supply a roll-off container for the waste and will transport it away after the container is completely full.
- Containers with capacities of 12, 20, and 30 cubic yards are common.
- The cost of the service varies, but it might cost several hundred dollars per month for containers of that size.
- According to Carrie, “the vast majority of the time, manure that is taken away by commercial companies is composted and utilized.” It doesn’t end up in landfills very often, in my experience.
- They may be able to put you in touch with farms who would accept manure or biomass facilities that will transform organic waste into energy, which is a relatively new but rapidly expanding application for stall waste.
Used shavings and manure are collected by Mid-Michigan Recycling for transportation to the Genesee Power Station in Flint, which converts wood waste into power. (Details may be found on the website.)
What’s Best for You?
Moving manure off-site is the quickest and most convenient solution, however it is not always the most cost-effective one. If you have a large number of horses but do not have much land or time to deal with manure, this is a good option for you. The way it works is as follows. For those who possess their own dump truck, you may put the manure and stall trash into the vehicle, tossing the entire load into a commercial composting plant. Others may take the load for free, while others will demand a fee for dropping off the cargo at their facility.
Rubbish management companies in many regions offer to rent you a roll-off container for your waste and then truck it away when it’s completely filled.
Ordinary containers have a capacity of 12, 20, or 30 cubic yards.
Prices vary, but for containers of that size, the service might cost several hundred dollars every month.
According to Carrie, “the majority of the time, commercial businesses truck off manure, which is composted and used.” It doesn’t end up in landfills very often, in my experience.” Consult with local conservation and environmental organizations to determine if there are any other disposal choices available in your community.
Mid-Michigan Recycling, for example, collects old shavings and manure for transmission to the Genesee Power Station in Flint, which uses wood waste to generate power.
Manure Management: Learn How to Deal with Horse Manure
There’s no getting around it. If you have horses, you will have manure on your hands. The average horse excretes roughly 50 pounds of dung each day, which equates to approximately nine tons of manure per year. Smart horse dung management is essential for effective fly control, as well as for environmental preservation and protection. When it comes to manure management, the most common error horse owners make is not actually managing it, but instead simply allowing dung to accumulate on their property.
It’s possible that it’s even against the law.
In the words of Blickle, “one of the greatest solutions is to compost manure and organic waste, which is feasible even if you only have one horse.” He also points out that correctly managing manure means less mud in the winter and fewer flies in the summer. Composting the garbage generated by your market booth can cut the volume by nearly half. It is possible to construct or acquire a composting bin in order to retain the manure and garbage in situ. Pesticide-resistant parasite larvae and eggs, weed seeds, and disease-causing bacteria are all killed by the heat created by the composting process.
Consult your local county extension office or conservation office for information on how to properly compost your horse’s manure.
Both of these organizations give information and instructional materials at no cost to the public. Simply enter your county’s name and the terms “conservation district” or “extension office” into Google to find out more.
Manure Removal Services
To discover horse manure removal services in your region, search for “horse manure removal near me.” You may also inquire with local waste and shavings supply firms, as some of them may provide a fee-based service for picking up and hauling manure. An example of how a manure removal service often operates is that the provider places a huge container near the barn in a convenient location where you may deposit manure and stall debris on a daily basis. The firm comes to collect up the waste on a regular basis, and it is usually taken away to a composting or topsoil business.
Manure Handling Don’ts
Maintaining a large stockpile of manure on your property produces an unappealing, stinking, and bacteria-filled breeding ground for flies. It also has the potential to cause runoff, leaching, and pollution of groundwater and surface water. Flies seek out wet organic material to eat on and deposit their eggs in, and the larvae of these insects use manure as a food source as well. The removal of the dung pile disrupts the fly life cycle, resulting in a reduction in the number of flies. For the reasons stated by Blickle, “we need to conceive of manure as a valuable resource that is truly a secondary advantage of owning animals.” Waste disposal in landfills is prohibited unless it is done in a “sanitary landfill,” which is one that has impermeable liners to prevent toxins from leaching/running out and causing contamination of groundwater and other environmental issues.
As a result of the same reasoning, you should reconsider dragging pastures.
You disseminate infective larvae throughout pastures where horses graze when you pull (harrow) fields to break up dung mounds, which can actually aid parasite proliferation.
Despite the fact that your horse is a dung factory, you may turn that manure to your benefit by adjusting your approach. Blickle points out that we should “see manure as a useful resource that is truly a secondary advantage of owning cattle.” Cleaning your horse’s stall, while we’re on the subject of dung, may actually provide you with valuable information about the health of your horse provided you know what to look for. A difference in the amount of manure produced, as well as its look and consistency, are all indicators that should be noted.
Manure Management Tip1 – Reduce Flies
By eliminating a major breeding location for flies, proper manure management, whether by removal or composting, can help restrict the spread of the insects. It is possible to take further efforts to reduce the fly population by using a feed-thru fly control product such as Farnam’s SimpliFly, which interrupts the fly life cycle by preventing larvae from maturing into adult flies.
SimpliFly should be used beginning in early spring and continuing throughout the summer and until winter weather reduces fly activity.
Manure Management Tip2 – Rethink Pasture Dragging
Horses will naturally avoid grazing in places where they defecate, so many horse owners drag their pastures in order to break up and spread out the manure heaps on their property. While this may make the pasture appear more attractive, it can also aid in the proliferation of parasites by spreading infective larvae over regions where horses do graze on a regular basis. It is best to drag the pasture during hot and dry weather and then keep horses away from the field for at least two weeks, ideally four.
9 Steps for Composting Horse Manure – The Horse
Was it ever brought to your attention that one horse produces around 50 pounds of manure per day and more than eight tons of manure per year? Add to that the 8 to 10 gallons of urine a horse produces daily, as well as a wheelbarrow or more of soiled bedding, and you’ll have a virtual dung mountain on your hands in no time. A large amount of space may be taken up by a mountain of dung, which most horse owners would presumably prefer to use for something considerably more pleasant than manure storage (such as a paddock or training area, for example).
- It is possible that you or your neighbors may be plagued by odors and insects, and that unattractive feces mounds will reduce the value of your home.
- Composting is an excellent waste management approach for avoiding these issues, and it is especially beneficial for horse owners with tiny property.
- Composting is a process that involves the controlled microbial degradation of organic waste that takes place in an aerobic (with air) environment.
- The composters are attempting to build up the process such that it produces a more homogeneous output in a shorter amount of time than nature would offer.
Our responsibility as a compost manager is to ensure that they have the greatest environment possible in which to do their duties.” An added benefit is that, when manure and other stall waste decompose, the microbes produce enormous amounts of heat, which kills weed seeds, fly larvae, worm eggs, and other disease-causing pathogens, among other things.
Youngquist recommends that you start by determining approximately how much manure you are responsible for handling.
Are you scooping up manure from stalls on a regular basis, or do you pasture the majority of your horses?
Compost also saves you money: over the course of a year, the manure produced by a single horse is worth $300 to $500 in compost value, depending on the variety.
A step-by-step guidance on the most practical and cost-effective tractor path is provided below.
1. Choose the right location.
Was it ever brought to your attention that a single horse produces around 50 pounds of manure per day and more than eight tons per year? Toss in the 8 to 10 gallons of urine a horse excretes every day plus a wheelbarrow or more of soiled bedding, and you’ve got yourself a veritable manure mountain on your hands in no time. A large amount of space may be taken up by a mountain of dung, which most horse owners would presumably prefer to use for something considerably more pleasant than manure storage (such as a paddock or training area, for instance).
- Reinfection of horses who graze near their own excrement can occur as a result of larvae hatching from worm eggs contained inside the manure itself.
- Aside from that, runoff from damp dung has the potential to cause major water quality concerns in streams, wetlands, and drinking water supplies.
- According to Caitlin Price Youngquist, PhD, who is a soil scientist and an area Extension educator at the University of Wyoming in Worland, composted horse manure is a fantastic source of slow-release soil nutrients for a pasture or garden.
- Composting is a process that involves the controlled microbial breakdown of organic matter that takes place in an aerobic (with air) environment.
- ” Bacteria and fungus require air, water, and nutrients in order to function properly.
- This heat is used to kill weed seeds, fly larvae, worm eggs, and other disease-causing pathogens.
- Youngquist recommends that you start by determining approximately how much manure you are responsible for handling before moving on.
- What percentage of your horses are pastured, and how much dung do you pick up every day?
- Composted manure is also cost-effective, since one horse’s manure is worth $300 to $500 in compost value over the course of a calendar year.
A step-by-step guidance on the most practical and cost-effective tractor path may be found below.
2. To bin or pile?
This is entirely up to you, but a bin system often makes things more orderly and manageable in the long run. “Bins may be constructed from a variety of materials, including straw bales, pallets, treated timber, and ecological blocks (stackable concrete),” explains Youngquist. Generally speaking, you’ll need at least two to three containers or heaps. Pile 1 is where you should place manure and stall waste on a daily basis. Pile 2 is where you will check temperatures on a regular basis and stir the compost as needed.
Pile 3 is currently in the “curing” or “finishing” stage.
Each pile should be at least 3 cubic feet in size, which is roughly the same size as a washing machine, in order to compost and create heat.
3. Keep it covered!
During the rainy season, covering the compost pile with a tarp, a plastic sheet, or a roof keeps the important nutrients in the compost from washing away and causing environmental concerns. As an added bonus, it prevents compost from turning into a soggy mess in the winter and crispy-dry in the summer. To keep your tarp from blowing away in the wind, fill repurposed milk or detergent containers with pebbles and place them under it. Create a tarp layout that is as chore-efficient as possible, because you will need to pull the tarp back every time you clean your horse’s stall and paddock.
4. Get air into the pile.
During the rainy season, covering the compost pile with a tarp, a plastic sheet, or a roof keeps the important nutrients in the compost from washing away and causing environmental issues. As a bonus, it prevents compost from turning into a soggy mess in the winter and crisp-dry in the summer. To keep your tarp from blowing away in the wind, fill empty milk or detergent bottles with pebbles and place them under it. Create a tarp layout that is as easy to maintain as possible, because you will need to pull the tarp back every time you clean your horse’s stall or paddock.
5. Keep it damp.
Compost should be approximately as moist as a sponge that has been wrung out. If you live in a dry area or during the summer, find a time-saving method of watering your compost, such as turning the pile with a garden hose or hosing down the manure and stall waste on a regular basis before disposing of it. Compost should be somewhat moist but not soaking wet. (If you squeeze a handful of material, you should only get a drop or two of moisture out of the edge of your hand if you wear a glove.)
6. Monitor the heat.
The heat generated by the beneficial microorganisms can cause the pile to get rather warm—between 110 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Youngquist, compost must be heated to at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit for at least three days in order to eradicate parasites and pathogens. A long-stemmed compost thermometer, which may be obtained from a plant nursery or garden store, makes it simple to keep track of temperature changes. In Youngquist’s opinion, an increase in temperature indicates that the bacteria are working for you and doing an excellent job.
“When the temperature drops, it’s a good indication that it’s time to turn and mix the compost.” If the temperatures remain low after many turns, it signifies that you have entered the curing phase and have exited the active composting phase,” she says.
7. Curing compost.
This is the time period during which the completed compost settles and “stabilizes.” Worms and other microscopic insects crawl in and continue to break it down. According to Youngquist, once the compost has been cured, the compost should be covered to prevent weed seeds from flying in and establishing a colony in it. It takes a month or more for compost piles to cure; the longer it cures, the more stable it becomes and the less probable it is that nutrients would drain out when the first raindrop falls.
8. Finished compost.
The amount of time it takes to complete a pile depends on how carefully you check the air and water levels in your pile and how frequently you turn it. It should take around three months, but it may take longer during the winter months when microbial activity slows down. When the material is equally grained, crumbly, dark in color (like soil), and has an earthy scent, you will know your compost is ready. Its temperature should be no more than 90° F.
9. Put that black gold to good work!
The amount of time it takes to complete a pile depends on how carefully you check the air and water levels in the pile and how frequently you turn it. Three months is a reasonable estimate, however it might take longer during the winter months because of decreased microbiological activity. When the material is equally grained, crumbly, dark in color (like soil), and has an earthy scent, you will know that your compost is ready for use. If it is 90° F or less, it is OK.
Troubleshooting Compost Pile Problems
|The compost has a bad odor||Not enough air||Turn the pile to add more aeration.|
|The compost has a bad odor and is soggy||Not enough air and too much water||Mix in dry ingredients such as straw or shavings, add aeration, and cover with a tarp.|
|The inside of the pile is dry||Not enough water||Add water when turning the pile. It should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge.|
|The compost is damp and warm in the middle, but nowhere else||Pile is too small||Collect more raw materials, and mix them into the old ingredients. Piles smaller than 3 square feet have trouble holding heat.|
|The pile is damp and smells fine, but is not heating up||Too many shavings, wood chips, or bedding (carbon source) and not enough manure (nitrogen source)||Mix in a nitrotgen source (e.g. straight manure, fresh grass clippings, blood meal, alfalfa, or nitrogen fertilizer)|
What decides how soon your pile will finish is how actively you check the air and water levels in your pile and how frequently you turn it. It should take approximately three months, but it may take longer during the winter months when microbial activity slows. When the material is equally grained, crumbly, dark in color (like soil), and smells earthy, you will know your compost is ready. Its temperature should be less than 90° F.
Finished compost is a valuable soil additive that has been filled with micro- and macronutrients that release their nutrients over time. It provides “life” to soils by introducing beneficial bacteria and fungus into the environment. Compost, according to research, makes plants healthier and more disease-resistant than other soil amendments. Compost also aids in the retention of moisture in pasture soils during the summer months, which is essential if your fields are to survive a hot, long drought.
The Best Way to Dispose of Horse Manure
Image courtesy of IGeorge Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images If you have horses, you will have manure on your hands. The average horse excretes 31 pounds of manure every day, on average. Proper manure management is a key component of excellent horsemanship and horsemanship education. Instead of considering your horse’s faeces to be a hindrance, consider it to be an advantage to you.
Composting manure is the most effective method of dealing with it since it transforms over time into a natural fertilizer. It is an environmentally beneficial method of removing manure from the environment.
Composting, according to the Clemson University Extension in South Carolina, is “the process of controlling the natural decomposition of organic matter in a wet, aerobic (oxygen-demanding) environment. ” Microorganisms break down the manure as it decomposes, resulting in the formation of compost. When the process is complete, which takes around one to three months, the fecal material transforms into a black, rich fertilizer.
Horse dung compost/fertilizer is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, as well as trace levels of calcium, salt, and magnesium, among other nutrients. When organic matter is introduced to the soil, it improves the permeability of the soil, the retention of water, and the overall structure of the soil. Horse dung compost that has been well-aged and of high quality is excellent for plants. Your own property or that of local farmers, gardeners, and landscapers can benefit from its usage and sale.
How to Compost
According to the Rutgers Equine Science Center, a compost site must be well-drained and at least 100 feet away from any bodies of water before it may be used. Ensure that it is level and that it is enclosed on an impermeable base. Keeping the compost pile wet and turning it on a regular basis is essential during the composting process. In order to compost effectively, you may use either the pile technique (which uses freestanding dung heaps) or the shedrow approach, which differs depending on the size of your land and the number of horses on it.
The bucket on your tractor will be used to spin and aerate the contents of the bucket.
Specific varieties of bedding decompose more easily and have greater value as fertilizer than others. According on your financial situation and the quantity of horses at your facility, you can try experimenting with different bedding materials. Manure that does not include bedding, such as that collected from fields and paddocks, composts the most quickly. Straw bedding composts quickly, but wood chips or shavings take longer to decompose and make it more difficult for soils to absorb the nutrients in composted manure.
For usage on your own farm, distribute the compost on your pastures, gardens, or agricultural fields in the spring or autumn if you want to utilize it for that purpose. Spreading compost in the winter is not recommended since it will not mix with frozen ground and may be washed away by snow. References Photographic Credits For usage on your own farm, spread the compost on pastures, gardens, and agricultural fields in the spring or autumn if you intend to use it for that purpose alone.
In the winter, avoid spreading compost since it will not mix well with frozen ground and may be washed away by snow. References Credits for the photographs