Turning Manure into Profitable Compost

| 10/15/2012 12:03:51 PM

I started working with horses in 1968, and we always looked at what works best for horse stalls as the material composts.  It can be a mess to choose what to use, and how to make it pay in compost, as bedding can be expensive.

What are some of the options?

My Observations:

I had encountered all of these while I was growing up, except the peat moss.  Everyone had their favorite idea on what was best for their horse.  I worked at a race track that had been turned into a boarding ranch, as well as for high end quarter horses trained for show halter.  We used shavings.  But we also had 200 stalls that we maintained for horse shows in the pacific northwest right at the border of Washington and Idaho near hwy 90.  Every trainer had their own idea what was best. 

Horse Stalls

 What Bedding Material is Best for Horse Stalls and Composting?

The good and bad part for me, was that I had the job of cleaning each stall, for a fee of course, and making sure that they were stripped of all material.  Some of the stalls were easy, as they did not use much material, especially those that just let their horses sleep in the dirt.  And then there were those trainers that threw in about 4 or 5 bales of straw for the horse to make a comfortable bed with.

Since we had a big compost pile, we would spread it on a field, or give it to whoever wanted to take it home for their purposes.  Landscapers or gardeners would come and take it if it was 3 years old, but some of the hay had not fully composted properly yet.

10/18/2012 10:24:32 PM

Chris, one of my good friends has 20 horses. Most of his horse waste goes on his corn field. I would expect that if I asked he would give me just about as much as I wanted. I may acquire some for my raised beds at my urban ranch where I live. It would have to be well composted first as it would be used to grow the plants for the big garden (Terra Nova Gardens). There's nothing better than horse poo to make gardens grow better. Have a great horse apple day.

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