Guest Author - Kim Wende
Managing your horse's manure is very important for their health. Managing the manure will help keep the flies down and assists with parasite control. Moist manure is the perfect breeding ground for flies. Before you dispose of the manure take these things into consideration.
An average 1,000 pound horse produces 50 pounds of manure a day. This is a lot of manure that can be put to good use with composting.
Composting the manure or giving it away is an option, but it will depend on where you live and what your county and state regulations are.
Composting if done properly will kill the parasites, weeds and bacteria because of the high temperature it reaches when piling it up. The compost pile should be at least three or four feet high and located away from streams or other water sources.
For the first few weeks you will need to turn the pile on a regular basis to speed up the decomposition process and to allow air to reach all areas of the pile.
Manure should be composted for six months to a year to ensure it is dry and properly decomposed. Composting the manure reduces the volume by as much as 40 to 60 percent.
There is a lot more to properly composting manure so if this is something that you're serious about doing I suggest you do your research. If the manure is composted properly there are those that will buy the manure such as gardeners and landscapers. People who grow roses also love the composted manure.
Composted horse manure is great for gardens, lawns, pastures and other crops. Composting improves the marketability of the manure as it is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. It also feeds the earthworms and balances the pH levels of the soil.
If you can't do composting, then consider spreading the manure daily. When spreading the manure make sure it is spread thinly and then dragged to break up the piles so that the parasite eggs die off quickly. Don't let your horses graze on the freshly spread manure as you will need to wait awhile to ensure the parasites are dead.
If at all possible composting is the best way to go and could bring you in extra money to pay for your horses upkeep.