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From Pile to Product: Essential Tips for Long-Term Horse Manure Management

Managing Horse Manure: Essential Tips for Equine Health and Environmental Preservation

As horse owners, its no secret that we generate a substantial amount of manure on a daily basis. Manure management may not be the most glamorous aspect of horse ownership, but it’s an essential responsibility that every horse owner must take seriously.

Proper management of manure can help maintain the health of our horses and the environment.

Importance of Manure Management

Many horse owners may wonder why proper manure management is essential. Poorly managed manure attracts flies, which can lead to a variety of equine health issues.

Flies can cause weight loss, lower milk production, and even spread diseases such as equine infectious anemia, anthrax, and botulism. The environmental impact of manure is also significant.

Large amounts of manure can pollute water sources and lead to excessive nutrient levels in the soil, creating an imbalance that can negatively impact local ecosystems. Improper manure disposal can also lead to unpleasant odors, which can cause friction with neighbors.

Options for Managing Manure

As horse owners, there are several options for managing manure. For short-term storage, the manure can be collected in a pile or stored in a wheelbarrow.

But for long-term solutions, several other methods of manure management exist, including composting, spreading, hauling, and more. Composting: Composting is an excellent option for long-term storage.

It involves the process of decomposition, where microorganisms break down the manure and other organic materials into a rich and beneficial soil amendment. The resulting compost has various benefits, including enriching the soil with nutrients, improving soil structure, and reducing weed growth.

Spreading: Spreading manure in pastures can be a cost-effective way to manage manure while also providing added nutrients to the soil. But, it’s essential to keep in mind the potential risks spreading can pose to the health of animals and humans in the surrounding environment.

Spreading also carries the risk of contaminants and pathogens finding their way into the ground and ultimately into water sources. Hauling: Hauling manure to a designated disposal site is one of the best ways to manage manure if on-site storage is not possible or practical.

You can find several specialized companies that offer manure removal services.

Horse Poop

It’s no secret that horse poop can pile up quickly. On average, a 1000-pound horse can produce up to 50 pounds of manure a day.

The amount of manure produced varies depending on a horse’s diet and living conditions. Horses that live in stalls might create more manure since they dont have the liberty to move around like horses in pastures.

The importance of proper manure management for horse health and property should not be overlooked. Left unmanaged, horse manure can cause several health issues and lead to contaminated water and soil.

Some of the consequences of poor manure management include:

Infection: Flies that thrive on horse manure can spread various diseases among horses. Water Contamination: Manure that seeps into local water sources can introduce pathogens that can cause human illness.

Field Destruction: Over time, unmanaged manure buildup can contribute to soil compaction, making it difficult for grass to grow, ultimately leading to field destruction. In conclusion, proper manure management is crucial for maintaining the health of horses and the environment.

With several options for managing manure available, it’s essential to consider factors such as the number of horses, the size of the property, and local ordinances when selecting a manure management method. By implementing proper manure management techniques, we can help to preserve the health of the environment for future generations.

Cleaning Frequency: Importance, Recommendations, and Benefits

As horse owners, it’s important to make sure that our horses are living in clean and hygienic environments. Maintaining a clean stall or paddock is essential for the health and wellbeing of our horses.

Keeping stalls and paddocks clean can also minimize fly populations while reducing the risk of infections.

Importance of Cleaning Frequency

Keeping a clean living environment for horses is crucial. Improperly maintained stalls and paddocks can increase the risk of infections.

Manure breeds harmful bacteria that can cause serious health issues in horses. Not to mention that a dirty living space can lead to an increase in the fly population.

Flies can be detrimental to the health of horses, with their bites causing infections and weight loss in horses. In addition to the health benefits, a clean environment can be beneficial for the horse’s behavior and mental health.

A horse that is unclean or living in a dirty environment might become agitated, reducing their overall well-being.

Recommended Cleaning Frequencies for Stalls and Paddocks

Stall Cleaning: Generally, horse stalls should be cleaned at least once a day. Horses that are confined to their stall for extended periods should have their and bedding cleaned twice or thrice a day.

Paddock Cleaning: Paddocks should be cleaned on a weekly basis. However, if the paddock is small, and the horse is confined for more than 12 hours a day, it may need additional cleanings during the week.

Importance of Short-term Storage

Proper short-term storage of manure is just as important as how frequently it is cleaned. Excellently managed short-term storage of manure can limit the spread of flies, control odors, and reduce the growth of bacteria.

Fly Prevention: Flies are attracted to manure and can breed in it quickly. Flies can breed in manure and reach adulthood within just a few days, making proper short-term storage manure critical.

Keeping manure away from horse living spaces limits the growth and spread of flies.

Recommended Distance for Dumpsites

A reliable recommendation is to store manure in a container with a cover away from the barn and paddock areas. A distance of 100 ft or more is recommended.

Dumpsites located at a distance of at least 50 meters from residential areas and water sources ensure that the manure doesn’t contaminate groundwater resources.

Benefits of Consistent Manure Management and Cleaning

By following proper manure management practices and keeping a clean living environment for horses, we can ensure a variety of benefits, including:

1. Improved Health of Horses: Proper manure management policies can reduce the spread of infections and disease among horses.

2. Reduced Odors: Effective manure management can eliminate the ammonia-like stench in barns.

3. Enhanced Fly Control: Consistent manure management can break the fly breeding cycle, reducing the risk of illness in horses.

4. Water Conservation: Proper manure management can limit contamination of water sources.

5. Reduced Labor: By adhering to a firmly established unadulterated manure management schedule, manure removal processes may be more noticeable and move smoothly.


Good manure and cleaning practices are core to horse care. Keeping horses in clean living situations reduces the risk of illness and infection while preserving the environment.

The final care of the equine should be prioritized, ensuring that their living space is clean and hygienic. The frequency of cleaning and the disposal of manure should be considered carefully, alongside appropriate short-term storage.

By following proper manure and cleaning practices, horse owners can maintain a safe and secure living environment for their horses while promoting their good health and wellbeing. Long-Term Management: Options and Considerations

Long-term management of horse manure is essential for maintaining healthy land, reducing economic costs, and promoting environmental sustainability.

Depending on a horse farms size, horse-to-land ratio, labor, cost, and environmental concerns, horse owners can choose from a variety of long-term management options. This article will explore and critically examine long-term manure management options and factors to consider when selecting a method.

Options for Long-term Management of Manure

There are several long-term management options when it comes to horse manure. These include:

Spreading: Spreading horse manure on farm fields is a common long-term management practice.

Spreading manure adds nutrients to soil, which can increase crop yields and boost soil fertility. It’s an inexpensive option, and horse owners can spread their own manure with appropriate equipment.

Hauling: Hauling manure offsite for resale is a great option for large horse farms or horse operations located in urban areas. Selling the manure can provide an alternative source of income, and it gets the manure offsite, eliminating nutrients that would otherwise enter the soil.

Composting: Composting is a long-term management option that involves transforming manure into fertilizing soil amendment. Composting also reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and prevents groundwater contamination.

Horse owners with available space and resources can compost onsite, while composting services are commonly provided by offsite compost facilities.

Factors to Consider for Choosing a Method

Several factors come into play when choosing a manure management method, including:

Horse-to-land ratio: The horse-to-land ratio influences the amount of manure produced. More horses on less land will generate more manure than fewer horses on more land, and will require more intensive manure management.

Farm size: The size of the farm will influence the management practices available. Large horse farms can more easily maintain onsite composting, while smaller farms might opt for offsite management.

Cost: The cost of long-term management methods varies widely and is dependent on the chosen method and equipment required. Labor: The level of labor available also influences manure management, as composting requires more labour than spreading, for example.

Environmental concerns: Finally, environmental concerns such as greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient runoff, and contamination of water sources also need to be considered. Horse owners should look to manage their manure in a way that is eco-friendly and safe for the environment.


Burning Horse Manure: Burning dried manure, including commercial pellets, is possible, but the levels of chlorine and sulfur could make it hazardous. Some horse owners opt to use the heat energy released from burning manure to heat their homes or outbuildings, but this practice releases greenhouse gases.

Getting Rid of Horse Manure: Removing manure from onsite provides better management by decreasing disease vectors and parasites. Horse owners can hire disposal services, sell manure to gardeners and farmers or spread the manure on land outside their horse farms.

Flammability of Horse Manure: Horse manure is flammable when it’s dry, which is why keeping it moist via composting is important. Horse manure mixed with sawdust or wood chips can also be dangerous if allowed to become dry.

Old Horse Manure: Old horse manure should be managed as carefully as fresh manure. Long-term management options for old horse manure include onsite and offsite management, composting, and donating to local farmers who can use the manure as a natural fertilizer.


Long-term management of horse manure is essential for maintaining healthy land, reducing economic costs, and promoting environmental sustainability. Regular cleaning schedules minimize horse stress and prevent the buildup of manure, while long-term management solutions, such as composting, spreading, and hauling, allow horse owners to manage waste responsibly and economically.

Factors such as horse-to-land ratio, farm size, cost, labor, and environmental concerns, should be considered when choosing a method. By adopting proper long-term manure management practices, horse owners can help protect the environment, preserve natural resources, reduce disease transmission risks, and promote their farms and horses health and wellbeing.

Proper manure management is essential for maintaining the health of horses and the environment. Manure can attract flies and bacteria, contaminate water sources, and cause long-term damage to soil health.

It’s crucial to clean living environments regularly, adopt long-term management options such as composting, spreading, or hauling, and consider factors such as horse-to-land ratio, farm size, cost, labor, and environmental concerns when choosing a method. By following proper manure and cleaning practices, horse owners can promote a healthy living environment for their horses, protect the environment, and preserve natural resources.


– Can horse manure be burned? Burning horse manure is possible but may release potentially hazardous levels of sulfur and chlorine.

– How can I get rid of horse manure? There are various options, including removal services, composting, spreading, and donation.

– Is horse manure flammable? Horse manure can be flammable when dry, which is why proper moisture levels need to be maintained.

– What can I do with old horse manure? Old horse manure can be managed through composting or donating it to local farmers.

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