Got a load of poop - literally :)

(Zone 6a)

Ok, so I've got 3 or 4 big dumptruck loads of horse poo - I think the exact words of an in-law that aranged for this to be dumped was "We've got the awfulest mess of horse manure up on the back property!" Any sugestions or tips on how best to use it? I think the plan is right now to dump some on the compost pile...and to also spread some in the (veggie) garden and till it in. I haven't seen the pile myself yet (it's back in the field on the unused driveway), so I don't know if it's very fresh, old and broken down a little, etc. Not sure yet. I think that might make a difference.

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

Yes would make a difference in the way you used it. Putting some in/on a compost pile would work. If fresh I would wait a few months for the pile to do some aging before spreading very much on garden area. Of course if you could till it in would work. Do you still have snow. DonnaS

(Zone 6a)

No snow here right this minute. It did snow an inch a couple days each...just a few days ago, but it's gone now. Should be in the 40's and 50's here for the next several days...thank goodness! And DRY I hope.

(Zone 6a)

Question: Has anyone heard of large manure piles catching on fire??? My father-in-law's dad is insisting that we turn the pile or spread it out because it might catch on fire. All it's doing right now is steaming a little, which seems completely natrual to me. But I just can't imagine coming home to a blazing pile of horsey poo! LOL So do you think there's any danger of that happening? I think I'm going to have to spread it out anyway...he read something about this happening in the newspaper so now he's convinced it's going to happen to OUR pile!

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

hc .. I've heard of such, also .. but .. beleive that's usually associated to when there is quite a bit of any bedding materials, and/or uneaten (undigested) hays and grasses involved also! Also .. if there's a chance that any chemicals, especially any that are flammable!

The heap can certainly generate ample enuff heat to ignite such. The core of the pile in certain conditions can reach some 150 degrees, and can certainly cause spontaneous combustion!

Here's a few links .. that do address the possibilities of such happening .. and, when you least expect it too!

* *

- Magpye

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Also found this lil tidbit hc ...

Guard against spontaneous combustion. Self- ignition can occur in large masses of organic material, such as piles of wood shavings, manure piles and tightly packed stacks of insufficiently cured hay. In damp hay, for example, decomposition begins near the center of the mass but, because there's no ventilation, the heat thrown off by the process builds until the ignition point for the drier surface hay is reached. The spontaneous fire that erupts may occur several days after the storage area has been filled. If you store large amounts of new hay during the summer, be sure it is well cured before it gets into your loft. Also avoid leaving piles of other organic material undisturbed for long periods of time.

- Magpye

(Zone 6a)

Thanks. I had to go thin it out a little and I saw the pile for the first time. It's not as big as I thought, but it's big. Maybe 3 feet tall and about 15 feet or more around (sort of a circle). What I noticed is that it's pretty well broken down already, which is good! I'll use some in my beds :) It's got sawdust and hay/straw mixed in and it steams like crazy when you turn it. I thinned it out to maybe 2 feet or so. Should be ok. Even if it does catch fire, there's nothing around to burn.

Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

I am green with envy. Only here can I make such an admission regarding the subject at hand. :-)

SE GA, GA(Zone 8a)

Horse manure really won't do you any good since you are in Ohio. It works much, much better in GA and it won't catch on fire here either.

Since I am the self-appointed compost inspector and manure disposer for this site, you should ship it down to GA immediately so I can get rid of it for you.

I just read an article recently about how people in (India?) burn manure as a source of heat as well as something to cook over.....sound appetizing?

I am anxiously awaiting that shipment.

Good Gardening!


(Zone 6a)

I could see it being used for heat...but cooking? Not sure I'd be up for that :)

I'll send it right down...gimme your credit card number...LOL ;)

Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

Gee, I hope the shipment isn't hijacked along the way. It probably wouldn't be hard to track...

Spring Hill, FL(Zone 9a)

You should be sure the horse manure is well composted before spreading it or you risk incorporating the worst weeds known to man in your beds. Not as likely if the horses are not pastured but I learned the hard (hard to pull out!) way many years ago that horses eat weeds and their digestive systems don't do the job that cows do.

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