Question about horse manure


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One of the places I walk the dogs is a big county park, which also has rings and stables and such for equestrian events.

So the stables haven't been used since last September, and there's lots of dried horse poop mixed with straw in there. Is this aged enough to be used in my garden in a couple of months? Is this a good idea, even? Because I can load up a bunch of five gallon buckets, it's free for the taking (I checked with the Parks Dept.)
 
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Grab it! Six or seven month old horse manure won't be too "hot" for your garden, and the straw is just an added bonus. I get steer manure from a feed lot, but I have to let it set for about six months before using it.
 
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Wonderful! A-poop-gathering I shall go, then. :poop::poop:(y)
Be sure to check for herbicides before applying. Most of the hay used these days has been sprayed. Just put 1/2 shovel full of the stuff into a bucket full of water. Let it sit a couple of days and then pour it on a broad leaf weed like a dandelion. If the plant isn't harmed then the stuff is OK.
 
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Hmm never thought of that. I use straw (not hay) as mulch and have successfully grown directly in straw bales.
So is hay more likely to be sprayed with pesticides than straw?
 
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Hmm never thought of that. I use straw (not hay) as mulch and have successfully grown directly in straw bales.
So is hay more likely to be sprayed with pesticides than straw?
Here in Texas we don't have straw. Believe it or not I have never seen straw but hay is BIG BUSINESS. It is used as horse and cattle feed. I don't know what type of plant straw comes from but hay is bailed coastal bermuda, hi-gear, sorgum or alfalfa and the growers don't want weeds in it as it detracts from the price. The hay here is specifically grown as a high protein feed and the growers use special fertilizers to make it so. Almost all of commercial hay has been sprayed with a chemical called piclaram which goes through the horse or cow and contaminates the manure. So I don't know if straw is sprayed or not.
 
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Ah I figured maybe a regional difference. I never buy hay, and the straw I get hasn't harmed anything in the five or so years I've been using it. So I think I'm ok, but just in case (since I don't really know what's in the mix) I will do a little test as you suggested.
 
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Ah I figured maybe a regional difference. I never buy hay, and the straw I get hasn't harmed anything in the five or so years I've been using it. So I think I'm ok, but just in case (since I don't really know what's in the mix) I will do a little test as you suggested.
I would because you don't know what the horses have been fed. They might have been fed Texas hay.:eek:
 

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Believe it or not I have never seen straw ... (snip) ... I don't know what type of plant straw comes from
Oh, what a happy day!! (y)
I get to tell @Chuck something!! :p :D

Straw is a by-product of seed (or grain) production. For example, after wheat has been harvested, the dry plant that remains after harvest is straw. It can be made from timothy, rye, alfalfa, wheat, oats, barley or specialized grasses grown to be sold as seed.

That's why it is better for mulching or straw bale gardening. No seeds (or at least, a lot less) to grow as "weeds."



Happy dance! Happy dance!!
 
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Oh, what a happy day!! (y)
I get to tell @Chuck something!! :p :D

Straw is a by-product of seed (or grain) production. For example, after wheat has been harvested, the dry plant that remains after harvest is straw. It can be made from timothy, rye, alfalfa, wheat, oats, barley or specialized grasses grown to be sold as seed.

That's why it is better for mulching or straw bale gardening. No seeds (or at least, a lot less) to grow as "weeds."



Happy dance! Happy dance!!
It's a good day. I learned something.:geek:
 

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It's a good day. I learned something.:geek:
And from what I've seen, you will never forget it. :notworthy: :notworthy: :geek:

Hay makes better food for livestock, since the plant puts the majority of the nutrients into the seed heads.
 
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I learned something too!

I do know that pure barley straw is sold for algae control in ponds around here. (This state is riddled with ponds, lakes large and small, creeks and swamps.) Algae blooms can make a pond a green, soupy mess in days, and some types are toxic.

Not sure how barley works, but it doesn't harm any other plants (or fish etc) and doesn't kill algae...But it prevents its growth. So it's environmentally friendly and safe.
 
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Over the road horse manure is often for sale. I'm sure the horses produce their manure all year round but i think it's the daughter whose in charge so depends on her funding requirements maybe as to ehen its bagged up and put out the front with sn honesty box. My sister in law said never never use it because of the weeds that grow so I've never never done it. Obviously i could, just sit on it for 6 months. I could walk up with my wheel barrow, no lugging in and out of the car. Does seem a waste ot to use it being so convenient.
 
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@DeborahJane, I've read conflicting info on the issue of viable seeds in manure. I might be importing some cool new plants to my garden via the horse poo! :LOL:

Have tons of weeds as it is, and I always mulch over the compost so I think it will be fine. I'll update this thread if anything interesting happens!
 

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Ok, I have now spent an hour of my life, reading about horse poo.:oops:

As near as I can figure, a small amount of seeds will remain viable, but probably not enough to make poo gathering a bad idea.

Weed seeds were fed to calves,horses, sheep, hogs, or chickens. Nearly 25% of the seeds fed to hogs and cattle were recovered in the manure, while only 10 to 12% were recovered from horses and sheep. Chickens were the most effective in destroying weed seeds with only 2% of the velvetleaf seeds fed recovered, while none of the bindweed, sweet clover, smooth dock, smartweed, wild rose and pepperweed seeds fed were recovered.
Of the seeds recovered from calves, horses, sheep or hogs, an average of 25% germinated. Although few in number, 62% of the velvetleaf seeds that survived the trip through a chicken germinated, suggesting that the gizzard may have actually scarified the seed and stimulated germination. Combining seed recovered and germination of weed seeds fed, sheep, horses, pigs, and calves passed 6, 9, 9, and 10% viable seeds, respectively, while poultry passed only 1% viable seed owing to the grinding action within the gizzard.
https://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages/pest/docs/umn-uw-ext-weed-seed-survival-in-livestock-systems.pdf

Passage of viable weed seeds has been documented in wild birds, deer, mice, swine, cattle, sheep, poultry and horses. In most cases, mastication and digestion reduces seed viability by over 90%.
(...snip...)
Very little has been published on horse digestion and passage rates relative to weed seed survival, which could be different from that of ruminants such as sheep and cattle. Previous MSU horse research with chemical markers indicate that over 95% turnover occurs in 72 hours. Recently, our group conducted a horse feeding trial where feed was dosed with known quantities of weed seeds.
The weeds included leafy spurge, spotted knapweed, Persian darnel,
wild oat, curly dock and quackgrass. Alfalfa seed was also used in the test because of its seed coat and size characteristics, and availability. Manure was collected at nine intervals to 72 hours, and the manure was sub-sampled and grown in the greenhouse to detect passage of viable seeds. In this preliminary evaluation, total passage of viable weed seeds through 72 hours ranged from 0 to 2% (weeds) to over 10% for alfalfa. If horses eat high levels of noxious weeds, it appears that a low level of viable seeds will pass and could contaminate lots, pastures and public lands.
http://animalrangeextension.montana.edu/forage/documents/horsesweeds.pdf




:poop:(y) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :whistle:
 
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Cattle have very inefficient digestive systems, much worse than horses. If composted, the manure heats up enough to take care of most of the undigested seeds. The others can be taken care of with a judicious application of a hoe. The manure we use (and compost and age for six months) hasn't resulted in weeds taking over the gardens, but it is steer manure.
I wouldn't think that horse manure would be a weed factory, but there is one sure way to find out. Let us know . . . .
 
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@MaryMary , thank you for your mad research skills!
I think it will be fine. I will post any interesting information to this thread later... We're still a good three months before a safe planting date date here, but I have the weekend off and plan on walking dogs and picking up some horse poop. :)
 

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