Composted Horse Manure and Stall Bedding Pilot Project

Why Study Compost as Bedding for Horses?

The purpose of this project was to study and promote the use of compost as an alternative horse stall bedding and encourage horse owners and managers to think more creatively about manure management. Our objective was to reduce bedding use, and improve manure management practices at equine facilities in Snohomish County, Washington State.

Recreational and professional horse owners contribute to maintaining agricultural open space and supporting the agricultural infrastructure and local economy. Horse …

Extension Recognizes Pennsylvania Farms that Adopt Sound Management Practices Protecting Water Quality and the Environment


penn state extension environmental friendly farm signPurpose

The Environmentally Friendly Farm program was developed by Penn State Equine Extension and is designed to recognize farms that adopt environmentally sound management practices that protect water quality and the environment. The program is supported by funds from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Innovation Grant. Strategies are employed on Environmentally Friendly Farms to maintain productive pastures, reduce soil erosion, limit nutrient runoff from animal facilities and barnyards, safely store manure, recycle nutrients, and control animal access …

Low Cost Aerated Static Composting Systems for Small Acreage Equine Operations

Why Study Low-Cost Composting?

The equine industry in Massachusetts, estimated to be over 50,000 animals, is of a size to make significant impact on non-point source pollution. An average horse generates about 45 lb. of manure per day, almost 10 tons per year as well as bedding. Thus, in Massachusetts approximately 500,000 tons of manure plus associated stall bedding are produced each year. Management of manure and mud on horse farms is a challenge for horse owners and equine facility …

Benefits of Bedding Reuse for the Equine Industry

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Why Studying Bedding Reuse for Horses?

To examine the financial, operational and health benefits of re-using composted bedding in the equine industry.

What Did We Do?

Stable waste, consisting of manure, urine and wood shavings, is a readily compostable feedstock that generates heat and can be transformed into finished homogenous compost, which can be used as bedding for horses and other livestock.  This transformation can be completed in as little as 2 …

What's the P Index?

The P Index is the Phosphorus Index, a risk assessment tool to quantify the potential for phosphorus runoff from a field. The P Index helps to target critical source areas of potential P loss for greater management attention. It includes source and transport factors. Source factors address how much P is available (for example, soil test P level and P fertilizer and manure application amounts). Transport factors evaluate the potential for runoff to occur (for example, soil erosion, distance and …

How can I prevent leaching of nitrate into groundwater from manure applications?

Nitrate contamination of groundwater occurs when excess nitrate in the soil profile moves along with water that is moving down past the root zone of the crop. In most cases, it is not possible to keep water from moving past the roots, so the only other option for preventing nitrate leaching is to avoid having excess nitrate present in the root zone during times when leaching events are likely to occur. Determine the available nitrogen content of manure prior to …

Can we spread chicken litter onto our horse pastures?

Spreading fresh manure on pastures being grazed by horses (or any type of livestock) is not a recommended practice. However, manure of any species that has been properly composted for a period of 30 days (specific environmental conditins will alter this guideline) may be spread on pastures. The heat generated during composting kills internal parasite eggs/larvae and potentially harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella. It is important to compost properly. Ruminant manure spread on horse pastures should create few parasite problems …

How do you calibrate a manure spreader?

Calibrating a manure spreader is critical to ensure that the appropriate rate of manure nutrients is being applied to a field. For some livestock operations, this practice may be a required practice as part of their permit. Calibration will differ depending on the equipment and type of manure being applied.

If you know the capacity of the spreader, you need to determine the width of each pass and the distance it takes to empty the spreader to determine the rate …

How long should horse manure age before applying it to my flower and vegetable gardens? How much should I apply?

Material that has decomposed adequately will be brown and crumbly. It will have a fresh, earthy smell. The pile will also no longer heat up when you turn or mix it. When you examine the pile and it has reached this point, it can be used in the garden. There are several factors that will affect how quickly the manure will reach this point and how much you can utilize around your garden.
1. Does it contain bedding? Manure that …

Horse Manure Management

With proper planning, manure management can be beneficial to both the farm and the environment. This article provides information on environmental and health impacts of manure as well as proper manure storage and management.

J.G. Davis, A. M. Swinker, and Crystal Smith

Introduction

Manure management is a vital part of modern day horse ownership. Many horses spend a significant portion of their day in stalls, accumulating large amounts of manure and stall waste. Horse owners generally have a limited amount …