Horses, on average, produce an impressive 50 pounds of waste per day. Experienced horse owners know that all of this waste must be removed from stalls and corrals frequently to ensure that the horses and the surrounding environment remain healthy. Manure left unattended to can lead to an overabundance of flies, water quality issues, and, overall, an unpleasant experience for the rider. Mucking stalls is just the beginning of the manure management process. Once the manure is removed from the living quarters and riding areas, it must be properly managed.
There are several methods of manure management available for equestrian properties. Hauling it to the landfill or composting it are just a couple of ways to get handle the manure produced on-site. Having it hauled off-site can be costly, therefore, many property owners and managers are turning to manure composting as a means of management.
The process of composting manure is relatively inexpensive (it’s basically free after the initial setup is complete), fast (the weather in southern California is perfect for it), reduces fly populations (correctly composted manure should be almost completely free of weed seeds and fly eggs), odor free (if there is a bad smell, something has gone wrong with the process and can be fixed) and results in a free, great product of compost that can be applied to landscaping or around the property.
The resources below explain how to properly compost horse manure. With a little bit of management, a pile of manure can be reduced in less than two months to a pile of compost that is 50% smaller than the manure pile at the beginning of the process.
Horse Manure Management Resources
- A Horse Keepers Guide
- Adjusting C-N Ratio
- BMPs for Horses
- Economics of Composting
- Horse Composting Info Sheet
- Horse Manure Management Bay Area
- Horse Manure Management