What to do with compost

 

Manure happens. Or any iteration of that phrase that suits you.  As horse lovers, we often don’t know what to do with compost, but never fear; here are some ideas. 

 

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  • You might know that your darling horse produces about 50 pounds of manure daily. A DAY!! And depending on where your horse lives, you will have a few options to deal with that manure.  The “greenest” option is to compost the horse manure, but you are still challenged with what to do with the compost. Lots of options here for compost use.

 

perfect horse manure compost

Various stages of horse manure recycling goodness.

 

How to dispose of horse manure

 

  • You might find a manure recycling program in your area. I’m not kidding about this. A waste management service that picks up your household trash will also pick up your manure and compost it at their facility. Great for farms with no compost areas.

 

  • Some communities have compost-sharing programs. Local farmers and residents can share their compost with neighbors. The group in my area will specify what animal created the manure, just in case your flowers prefer pig compost over horse compost. Check your local feed stores and co-ops for details on a group in your area.

 

  • You can also place ads to sell/give away your horse compost. Some gardeners will never use horse manure because of the myth that dewormers will poison their plants. Not true. Or they think the worm eggs in manure will poison their plants. Also not true. When done well, the composting process generates so much heat that any eggs are destroyed. Five days or so at 140 degrees F will kill all eggs. Dewormers are broken down in a few weeks.

 

manure spreader putting compost on the fields

No raw manure spreading! Only compost.

 

Use recycled manure on the farm

 

  • You can also use the compost to spread on your pastures in spring and fall (not winter). Spreading raw manure leads to the spread of parasites and can have serious environmental hazards if it runs off into streams. However, composted manure is awesome for fields and pastures!

 

  • Perhaps your barn needs a veggie garden? Or flower beds around the barn? Just use the compost. Tilling compost into the soil makes for a wonderful spot to grow amazing veggies. Carrots anyone?

 

  • In the winter, use your compost to pile on top of pipes and water lines that might be shallow enough to freeze. This adds layers of warmth that can prevent frozen and broken pipes. And a super-topic of conversation for your non-horse friends about steamy piles of poop.

 

compost covering water line into barn

Outside of all the barns in winter is a stack of compost where the pipes come into the barn. No frozen pipes this winter!

 

 

One idea to keep pipes safer in the winter. 

 

 

For more on the composting process, read this riveting article about how to start your own horse manure compost piles

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03/11/2024 12:28 am GMT

 

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