Make Your Horse a Welcome Addition to the Neighborhood
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that dealing with manure is probably not a favorite task of most horse owners. But it’s certainly a part of the work involved in caring for a horse. This week, I thought I’d offer some tips to horse owners on the topic of horse manure storage and management. I hope they prove helpful to you.
- The Importance of Location: When considering where to put a manure pile, it’s best to put it in an area that is not prone to flooding. Runoff from a manure pile can pollute water sources used by humans. The location of a manure pile should be accessible to horse owners but not too close to other homes. I recommend that you create a diagram of your farm that includes a manure storage area so you can determine the most logical place for it. Drawing a diagram can even help you to figure out where you can put the pile so it will be downwind from your neighbors’ homes.
- Consider the Number of Horses Living in Your Barn: A horse owner must calculate the amount of manure storage space that will be needed. This is done by multiplying the average amount of waste a horse produces per day by the number of days it will stay in the storage area. The amount of bedding a horse has in its stall should also figure into your calculations. Of course, if there is more than one horse living in the barn, it will affect the final calculations. The goal is to end up with a manure storage area that can accommodate all of the manure produced by the horses in a barn until it is time to haul the waste away.
- Disposal of Horse Manure: Before that pile of manure grows too large, I suggest that you have plans for its disposal in place. Some horse owners spread the manure in a pasture or in their gardens. Other owners hire a company to haul the manure away on a regular basis. There is also the option of composting horse manure. This is an option if you want to dispose of your horse’s manure in an organic way and take advantage of the benefits of composting.
- Shielding a Manure Pile: You may want to consider putting a tarp or a heavy plastic covering over the manure storage area. This can prevent run-off when it rains. Some horse owners go the extra mile and erect a fence near the manure storage area so it’s not immediately visible to visitors. Using a fence to obscure a manure pile allows you to control the appearance of your stable area or farm. I imagine that there are other features of your farm that you want to highlight!
- Proper Manure Storage Prevents Small Intruders: By keeping a manure pile on a concrete slab in a partially enclosed area, it can reduce the incidence of problems with parasites as well as insect and rodent infestation. Keeping the amount of manure under control is the key to storing it in a successful way until it can be used or removed.
I hope these tips take some of the hassle and mess out of horse manure storage. Thanks for reading! – Alan