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Horse Manure question

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Horse Manure question

Post  milaneyjane on 10/10/2010, 10:39 am

I was looking on Craigs List in our area and there are several places offering free manure for the taking. One place said it has been composted along with some straw etc... What should be my question/concerns? How much is too much to add?

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  milaneyjane on 10/10/2010, 10:45 am

This is the one ad:
TONS! of our organic horse poop in plastic bags for you to throw directly on your garden, mulch trees and shrubs, or start a compost pile! Mild enough to put directly on plants, many people are throwing this on their garden now to compost over the winter. Our POOPY CORRAL friends rave about how well their plants grow in our stable's byproduct. Horse manure mixed with urine soaked sawdust and a little uneaten hay makes for a great fertilizer for any garden.

EZ to GET! Packaged in plastic bags for your ease of handling, plus we would love to get the bags back in usable condition so we don't have to buy them and the used ones won't sit in a landfill for the next 200 yrs.

This is the other
We have free composted horse manure.
You can take all you want, we can even help load for large amounts.

This has been tested-
8 parts nitrogen
2 parts phosphate
14 parts potash

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  camprn on 10/10/2010, 10:58 am

it sounds good to me! bring it home and let it sit for the winter, add it to the garden as you plant. it should be good. I am purchasing something similar from a local non-profit educational farm. I pay about $3.50 for 40 pounds and it has TONS of worms in it! Very Happy

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Caution

Post  ander217 on 10/10/2010, 10:05 pm

I recommend caution in using horse manure from unfamiliar sources. You might try a small amount first in one area only. We picked up free "composted" horse manure a few years ago only to find it full of weed seeds. If it isn't composted at a high enough temperature, it won't kill the seeds. Also you need to know if there is a chance their manure is contaminated with chemicals or medications used on the horses, or insecticides or cleaning chemicals used in the stalls. Some of those are pretty nasty things to be adding to a garden.

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/11/2010, 8:59 am

That is wonderful milaney. You should be in horse poo paradise. bounce


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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  Squat_Johnson on 10/11/2010, 2:31 pm

I bought a truckload of "composted" horse manure this spring. I spread it over all my beds, and later had wilting/dying plant problems that I attributed to broadleaf herbicide that I think was sprayed on the pasture, eaten, and later spread on my garden. If it is truly organic, it should be no problem.

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/11/2010, 6:30 pm

herbicide should not kill plants after goin through a process like that. sorry---I think you had a different problem which could be a list of many many.
It could of been freshly sprayed herbicide by someone near by or ...etc.....
I don't think I could ever say horses ate the herbicide and passed it on and later it killed plants.


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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  sceleste54 on 10/11/2010, 9:10 pm

I put "composted" horse manure in my front shrubbery beds one time... had the most beautiful crop of oats ever seen in our neighborhood.. lol!

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Re: horse manure

Post  trustinhart on 10/11/2010, 10:35 pm

funny post sceleste54!!! rofl rofl rofl

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/12/2010, 1:09 pm

Yes that is funny and discouraging.

manure should be composted to 160* for many hours and don't have my book on that anymore.? If we are getting our composted manure from others----It would be a good to compost it more before using.
My grandfather is so interesting. Some of the things he says will go through one of my ears and out the other.
But one of the things that he has mentioned but I have been scared to try is :
He baked his horse manure in a pan in a Gas Grill for 2 hours to kill the seeds before adding it to his SFG (many years ago). I thought it was the craziest idea I ever heard of but could not help but wonder.

The reason I don't think herbicide that may be in horse manure will kill a plant:
Giant Pumpkin Growers spray the plots with herbicide a month before they plant
their giants. The plants grow giant pumpkins. The pumpkin plants did not die due to the previous application of herbicide to the plot. It is known that you can plant new plants in
areas 2 weeks after herbicide was applied. It is not recommended that you grow food for consumption for at least 4 years after it is applied...... But I do not think there are many farmers out there who apply herbicides to their grazing land that horses are grazing on. They do apply herbicides to the fence lines and the horses don't want to eat dead grass when they have a field of green grass. Just my thoughts and knowledge of the local farmers here.


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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  Old Hippie on 10/12/2010, 1:32 pm

Better to do it on a gas grill than in the oven in the house What a Face

Why not try doing a small quantity of it once? It would be better to do it with manure instead of the compost, I would think so you don't kill the good organisms in the compost as well as the bad. Or do you think that would apply to the manure as well?

GK


Last edited by Old Hippie on 10/12/2010, 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : missing words)

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/12/2010, 2:47 pm

Grandfathers view is that rather it is heated in a compost pile or has "regulated" heat in a oven or gas grill----the outcome will be the same so long as the manure is not over heated that it kills the nutrients. The reason he tried it is cause he was in a hurry to add Organic Matter to his garden so he could plant right away.
He did try heating the manure in the house and that did not smell too good so he switched to grill.

What I would like to do is chop the horse manure up finely before adding it to the compost. I haven't come up with a convenient way of doing that. I don't like the big chunks of horse manure in the compost. I have had ideas--but never experimented with it. I have a large Mulcher-shredder. Been afraid the manure would get stopped up in there and would have to break down the shredder to un stop it.

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  Old Hippie on 10/12/2010, 2:59 pm

hmmmmmmmmmmmm, what about making a slurry of it and adding it that way to take care of the chunky bits?

Anyway, if you add it to the compost in chunks, doesn't it sort of break down and take care of itself the same way as plant material does? Just wondering.

GK

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  Squat_Johnson on 10/12/2010, 4:07 pm

I don't have any proof about herbicides and horse poo. When my garden looked like it had been sprayed with round-up, I googled " manure herbicide damage", and the top hit is information about this happening mostly in England.

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicgardening/herbicide_damage.php

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  Megan on 10/12/2010, 8:23 pm

The last time I was around composted horse poo (childhood), it was in a pile about 15 feet high and wider than that in diameter. It grew the craziest random veggies... the outer parts were pretty rank, but the core was pure gold.

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Which herbicide?

Post  ander217 on 10/12/2010, 8:26 pm

@CarolynPhillips wrote:
The reason I don't think herbicide that may be in horse manure will kill a plant:
Giant Pumpkin Growers spray the plots with herbicide a month before they plant
their giants. The plants grow giant pumpkins. The pumpkin plants did not die due to the previous application of herbicide to the plot. It is known that you can plant new plants in
areas 2 weeks after herbicide was applied. It is not recommended that you grow food for consumption for at least 4 years after it is applied...... But I do not think there are many farmers out there who apply herbicides to their grazing land that horses are grazing on. They do apply herbicides to the fence lines and the horses don't want to eat dead grass when they have a field of green grass. Just my thoughts and knowledge of the local farmers here.


Yes, herbicides do pass through horses and their manure can kill broadleaf plants if you believe this: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-214365.html
"Based on the published reports it appears these herbicides pass through the animal basically intact," said Jeanine Davis, PhD, associate professor and extension specialist in horticultural science at North Carolina State University. "After being excreted in the urine and manure they still act like herbicides."

My father owned an agricultural spraying service (I now garden organically if that tells you anything). There are all kinds of herbicides - some for broadleaf weeds, some for grasses, some for brush and vines, etc. Some are preemerge, which means that they prevent weeds from sprouting, and others are postemerge which kill plants as they sprout. Others are for applications against larger established weeds or grasses. Some are banded, or sprayed between the plants, while others are broadcast over the top of plants, all depending on the label requirements of the particular herbicide.

Farmers regularly spray herbicides on growing food crops, but they are target specific and are tightly regulated as to what is allowed to be sprayed on specific crops. It is likely that the pumpkin growers in your area sprayed something to kill the grass which does not target broadleaf plants such as pumpkins. I don't know why a herbicide sprayed before planting pumpkins would make the soil unfit to grow food crops for four years unless they are trying to get an organic certification or are spraying something illegally. Pumpkins are a food crop, too, regardless of why they are being grown.

Farmers also sometimes spray certain hay crops with herbicides. Our neighbors across the road who raise bermuda grass hay for horses routinely spray their hayfields each spring to kill the wild onions and garlic. They bale their first hay cutting only a few weeks later, so it is likely the horses get some herbicide residue in that hay. How much would depend on the weather conditions, timing, and other factors. And while horses aren't as likely to eat dead grasses in the summer when green foods are available, they would be as likely to eat grass in a fencerow sprayed with 2-4D as hay in winter months.

Again, my experience is to use caution when getting free horse manure unless you know what is in it.

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/13/2010, 9:00 am

Thank you for the link to that forum discussion on herbicides in manure.

I guess I don't read enough of what is happening across the world.
I am glad that we do not have an herbicide manure problem locally.

I sympathize with the gardeners who have to deal with this problem. I am sorry that
I did not believe that herbicides could still kill plants after passing through
a horses digestive system and then go through the long process of composting.

I stand humbly corrected.


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Herbicide in manure

Post  ander217 on 10/14/2010, 8:38 am

Carolyn, I didn't mean to sound "preachy". I tend to worry too much and get carried away sometimes.

My concern about herbicide in manure comes mainly from hay. If poor weather conditions limit a local hay crop, farmers may purchase hay from hundreds of miles away so you never really know what might have been sprayed on it. Sometimes farmers also spray unwanted weeds that come up in the pasture, - here it is usually Johnson grass or Canadian thistle. It doesn't happen often, but you may use horse manure for years without any problem then one day you add an application and it kills your entire garden.

I've never heard of a problem with cow manure, but I'm wondering if it might have the same problem or does their amazing digestive system do a better job of neutralizing it. Hmmm.

Stealing LaFee's word from another thread, you've got to know your "doody". Smile

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  WardinWake on 10/14/2010, 4:52 pm

Howdy Folks:

Good thread and good info.

We have a horse farm a mile from our house and get as much as we want and they load it for free. I have not experienced any problems with using their "doddy". I mix it with goat, chicken, municipal compost, and leaves from various sources and allow it to fully compost before adding it as part of MM. The only time I have had a problem with any compost is when I got in a hurry and the compost was not finished.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  madnicmom on 3/9/2011, 9:30 am

In my local town's gardening forum, a lady posted yesterday the following:


got manure?

Want some for your gardens?

Well guess what? with 3 horses, I've got some! OK, more than "some" I've got a whole pile of it!

I usually put 8-10 loads on my garden in the fall, 4 or 5 more in the spring, tilled in with all the leaves from our yard, makes for a nice rich garden soil...

I'm very, very,very willing to share.. you drive out here and take all you want!




Ok, my question to you all - What do I need to look for? She is an experienced gardner, so I don't feel "right" questioning her about the quality of her manure.

Thanks in advance,
Kim


Last edited by madnicmom on 3/9/2011, 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  sheslostit on 3/9/2011, 10:28 am

As a horse owner and now a gardener...i would use it, but I would also ensure by composting it at home in addition to the barn. This way the oats/grains that pass thr the manure are destroyed. We don't have a large number of animals so our pile doesn't get very big to compost rapidly except during the hot humid summer. And also talk to the barn owner find out if they spray their pastures. Honestly, at our place, we only have one pasture, therefore we do not spray at all, since the horses have to be off the pasture for a few days to be safe for them. I am planning to use some from my barn this year, but I know the conditions of the pastures and animals. I would also ask the barn owner if the animals are routinely dewormed...because if not there may be a large parasite burden in the feces, which could be potentially an issue for us...therefore wear gloves and practice hygiene methods (which really should be done with ANY feces). Good luck!


Last edited by sheslostit on 3/9/2011, 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  walshevak on 3/9/2011, 10:30 am

I would BE the newbie and let her explain why she thinks the manure is good. As in explain to me why I'm supposed to ask about pesticides and herbicides. And other questions that you may even know the answer to about how to use and when not to use. Ask about her experiences and goofs. Let her be the educator and I'll bet you find more and if she really is an experienced gardener, you might even learn a few things.

Kay

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Re: Horse Manure question

Post  dixie on 3/9/2011, 9:12 pm

Ander: "Farmers also sometimes spray certain hay crops with herbicides. Our
neighbors across the road who raise bermuda grass hay for horses
routinely spray their hayfields each spring to kill the wild onions and
garlic."

Can you find out what they use to spray for the wild onions? Our field has been taken over with wild onions this year. We don't have any animals grazing on it & it's not used for hay. I had read about using Roundup after cutting the onion tops so they would absorb it, but the small area I tried that on didn't really work that well.

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