If you have horses on your property, you have had to do some pre-planning in order to make things safe and secure for your equine partners. One thing that people tend to look past is manure management. With a horse, comes LOTS ofmanure. Manure can be quite a hassle if you do not have a good plan for it. It can also become a danger to your horse.
If you have not already found a way to manage your horse’s manure, we have an answer for you – composting! Composting is a fairly easy way to control manure around your property. Composting has many benefits associated with it:
1. Reduces manure pile size
2. Reduces flies, runoff, and odors
3. Heat generated by composting kills worm eggs, fly larvae, pathogens and
4. Compost is a valuable asset to your pastures, gardens or yards
To create your compost system you must first find a location on your property that will work best. The most ideal spot would be on a higher area of property, away from neighbors and property lines, if possible. Next, you must begin to build the bins for the manure or manure piles. If you choose to do piles, the pile needs to be about three cubic feet in size in order to create heat. If you choose to build bins, they should be about 8’x8’x5’. This will allow you to store manure for about six months (keep in mind, this is for one horse!). You may want to create at least two piles or two bins for extra storage. Once you have started composting your manure, you will want to tarp your bins or piles. This will keep the compost from becoming too wet in the winter and too dry in the summer. You will also need to turn your compost pile in order to get air to it. This will speed up the composting process.
Composting generally takes between three to six months. The compost material will be textured and crumbly like dirt. Composting is a very easy and efficient way to manage your manure. Good luck!
For more information on composting, visit http://www.piercecountycd.org/tip_compmanure_p.html