If you own a horse or board other peoples horses you have had that problem. We lived in Virginia and I learned the hard way that you can’t simply clean a horses stalls and spread the manure. You will get weeds so you need a plan in place to get the most out of horse manure which you will find in this article.
So what do you do with horse manure? Most find this the simplest way to take care of manure. Find a safe place to pile it away from your horses and barn. Let it compost for at least 3-6 month through winter is best (more on this later). Then spread it over the pasture in late winter or early spring months.
Why Can’t I Spread Horse Manure Right Away?
This will depend more on where you live and what your horses are grazing on all day. Some people do this and have no problem and other have issues. Your horse only has one stomach unlike cows that have four stomachs yes that is correct.
So seeds from weeds are more likely to pass through a horses digestive system then cows. You can literally be letting weeds take over your pasture if you are not careful. There is also the case where if you are spreading it back right out into the horse pasture parasites will also be right back out where your horses are in full battle mode.
It is one thing to have your horses eating where they graze and drop their own droppings. It is a whole new ordeal to bring in their manure from their stalls. If you have cows or goats then rotate your horses and other livestock and you shouldn’t have any problems. Also make sure to worm your horses.
So yes it is an option to just spread your horse manure right away. But let me tell you when horse manure composts for a while it becomes an amazing fertilizer for just about anything because it isn’t too rich for light use and enough for heavy use.
Easiest Way To Deal With Horse Manure
We over the years have found this the best way to spread manure and not parasites that your horses might have.
Setup an area nothing fancy where you can dump the manure. It doesn’t have to be boxed in a matter of fact when it is exposed to the elements it composts quicker.
You just want it away from waterways and most plant life. It can be to rich in mass quantity we found this out the hard way by originally stocking next to an apple tree. We moved it and saved the apple tree luckily.
There may not be this option where you live to dump manure out by a safe area every day. So another option is to dump with wheel barrow closer to the barn and just move with a tractor (or something with a bucket) to a safe point once a month or whatever works best for you.
Once you get a system down it works out much easier. We spread once or twice a year in winter time and early spring. Used to use a self propelled spreader but now we spread by hand then drag it to further break it up. You can use any old mattress to drag or anything you can find. My granfather used to use thorn bushes to drag his pastures a long time ago and it still works.
That is pretty much all there is too it. Having at least two people to help is best when spreading. You can use the manure for gardening purposes, plants, or anything else. We use for a variety of things including when we plant our food plots for the deer works great. Also we plant pumpkins right in the piles they come out great every year and that is what we use to carve with for Halloween.
Horse Manure Storage
Nothing fancy you can use a slabe of concrete if you don’t want it seeping into the ground. Although rain will cause seepage anyway. So I suggest anywhere away from plants and water sources. You can fence in if you plan on planting anything there like pumpkins.
Can You Put Horse Manure Straight On The Garden?
I would not put fresh manure directly on a garden since it is still very rich before composting. Put in a pile and let is compost for a few months over winter preferrably and it will be perfect the following spring.
How Long Do You Have To Wait To Use Horse Manure?
You should wait at least six weeks if you compost correctly. So you want to have a pile or piles at least 3 feet by 3 feet wide and about 3 to 4 feet high. To be safe I would wait double that if possible or you run the risk of it burning because of being too rich.
How Do You Get Rid Of Horse Manure?
If you put a sign out front of your house (free horse manure) somebody would likely take some or all of it. If you can let it compost for 6+ weeks then put a sign out it may go that much quicker. But even ads in craigslist or facebook could help. People want it since it does work well after composting on almost anything.
How Do You Compost Horse Manure?
Pile it at least 3′ x 3′ and 3-4′ high. Let it sit in the elements for 4-6 weeks and it should be ready by then. If you want to be extra safe let it sit 3+ months through the winter and your garden or whatever you use it on will thank you.
Can You Burn Horse Manure?
Yes, technically you can burn horse manure in most states check your local laws. But this is a waste of perfectly re-usable resources I would suggest advertising through free methods and using a sign. People want this stuff and it can be used on small gardens to big food plots.
How To Spread Manure Without A Spreader?
Manure spreaders are almost always very expensive so you can spread by hand and a lot of people do that. Get a trailer loaded up with manure and hook up to 4X4 crack the tailgate if you can and let it rip around the meadow have somebody in the back pushing it back so it goes a bit more evenly.
The main thing here is make sure it is composted enough to where it falls apart. Depending on where you live this could be 6 months or 2 years. The longer the better. You can test by picking up by hand and seeing if it is dry and dustier.
Or you can do more slowly by having somebody drive and somebody getting rid of wearing gloves and using a shovel. Then you can just drag the pasture to even out and break up even more. Do just before the rainy season and you should see great results. Bit more work then a spreader but it gets the job done.
So this just mainly one of the options but it can be the most easiest by far. Let it sit and get rid of it by spreading. Think about different ways to use it on your land. Or you can of course get rid of it by advertising or even paying somebody to come and pick it up.
I would not burn it as there is no need to do that. Doesn’t matter how old the manure is it can be used for some purpose. Take your time the first time until you get a routine worked out. After that it may only need to be done once every other year even.