horse manure

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by j_cornelissen, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. j_cornelissen

    j_cornelissen Junior Member

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    hi there,

    I got hold of quite a bit of horse manure, and although I know the phosphate content is much lower than that of most other types of manure, I wondered if I could just apply the manure:
    a. straight under fruit trees / shrubs

    b. dug in the ground for direct planting of seedlings

    or whether I should let it rot for a while (mind you given the drought conditions here in melbourne this will take a while)

    any advice will be much appreciated,

    cheers Jan
     
  2. Phil Hansen

    Phil Hansen Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    Hi there,
    Horse manure often has quite a bit of grass/weed seed through it (compared to cow manure) so I would suggest that you compost it first to burn the seeds, then apply it directly or incorporated into the soil.
    Phil
     
  3. openeyes

    openeyes Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    Hi,

    As it happens I have just tried this on a garden bed as an experiment.

    Firstly let me say it makes an incredible mulch - keeping the soil moist. So if you get consistent rain or do deep watering you have a great soil moisture. Assuming the manure has not got any worming solution from the horses then worms just go crazy so that is another great bonus.

    Although many plants seem to be very happy with the manure some are not. Any of the gross feeders like corn and pumpkins love it and thrive. So did my beans, basil, coriander, parsley, capsicum, lettuce and rocket. But tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, celery and pumpkin seeds (wouldn't sprout) were all stunted.

    I did have a few other issues at the time (very dry and quite hot) but I think this will give you a good starting point.

    My recommendation would be that if you have existing plants of the gross feeders then they will go well with it added straight onto the soil. But everything else it really should be well composted and I would add some other materials like rock dust and items with higher phosphorus and potassium.

    I also had quite a bit of grass and other weeds sprout so if I was doing more than 100 m2 then possibly the weed load could be too much. Mostly though I find dealing with small young weeds are not that hard to manage. Also if applied to something like corn that is already 6 inches high then the weeds will not thrive.

    Really it is a excellent additive to you garden. I have a show grounds close enough that I collect it every month for addition to my garden.

    Good lick and happy gardening.
     
  4. j_cornelissen

    j_cornelissen Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    thanks guys,

    I understand that composting it lowers the nitrogen content, so Iguess I'll have to put up with the weeds

    interesting info on the tomatoes, was planing to use it exactly for that, does anuone else have similar experiences.

    Re the regular rain, yes we have regular rain, about 1 mm a month (when it happens we usually get the camera out.....)

    thanks, Jan
     
  5. Luisa

    Luisa Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    This is an interesting thread, we use stable manure in our garden beds (aged but not composted) but I'm curious to know why you would be concerned about deworming medicines in the horse poo. Gut (parasitic) worms are very different from free living (ground) worms so I would not expect there to be any impact from the meds on the ground worms. To be honest it didn't occur to me there even might be, they are so different. Is there some evidence that dewormers are detrimental to ground worms?
     
  6. Burra Maluca

    Burra Maluca Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    This link https://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15216554 seems to think there is.

    The disappearance of artificially formed dung pats of grazing cattle treated with sustained-release boluses containing either ivermectin or fenbendazole was compared with the disappearance of pats of untreated cattle through two successive grazing seasons. As earthworms play a major part in dung pat disappearance in northern temperate pastures, possible long-term effects of dung from treated cattle on worm populations were also examined. In a permanent pasture, the earthworm fauna was quantified within 50 m2 enclosed plots provided with control dung pats, ivermectin pats or fenbendazole pats. In each plot, worms were extracted from the soil at dung-free locations and from 6-week-old dung pats + the underlying soil. Numbers, biomass and species composition of earthworms thus obtained were unaffected by the drug treatments. Whether the treatments had an impact on dung pat disappearance depended on season, weather and local differences between plots at the experimental site. The disappearance of dung with ivermectin was significantly delayed throughout the first grazing season, but this effect was only seen in spring of the following year. The disappearance of dung with fenbendazole did not show any consistent pattern compared to control pats.

    I always compost my donkey poop as our summers are so dry that it never seems to rot - it just dries out and turns to dust. I heap it, keep it damp and cover it to stop it drying out and them mulch everything with it, with an extra layer of straw on top if I can get hold of enough so that it keeps its moisture.
     
  7. thepoolroom

    thepoolroom Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    If you're worries about weeds sprouting, try spreading the horse manure over your garden bed and then planting a green manure crop. Any weed seeds that do sprout will just be dug in with your green manure. By the time you're ready to dig in, the manure has broken down a little as well.

    I did this and had excellent results:

    https://green-change.com/2009/02/15/green-manure-crops/
     
  8. Luisa

    Luisa Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    I've just had a quick look across the Net and most horse wormers don't seem to contain either of these active ingredients. A few have ivermectin, and I guess you'd need to look closely at the details to be sure, but most seem to have other active ingredients. I don't know but I'd guess that cattle having different digestive systems would have different parasites in their guts, needing different active ingredients, so the results of this research may not be applicable to horse manure.

    However it's an interesting piece of research as I would not have predicted any impact from a quick think. Thanks for the link.
     
  9. lovingmygarden

    lovingmygarden Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    I have always used horse manure on my vegie gardens, including the tomatoes and they have all thrived. It is one manure I have always had readily available.....including at one stage from horse racing stables (who of course use wormers) and I have always had plenty of worms and my tomatoes have never suffered in the slightest.....infact they are always huge!!!. I just dig it in really well (once it is about a week old), I also dig in chook manure either in pellet form or from the coop and mulch heavily of course. But I can honestly say I have always had plenty of worms.
    Hope this helps :D
     
  10. Hamishmac

    Hamishmac Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    Hi all,

    I researched this a bit since one of my inputs into the worm farm, compost heap, and direct onto the garden was horse manure where we knew the timing of worming. There are a few peer reviewed and published studies. I can probably find the original articles if anyone is really interested.

    Antiparasitic agents: I was looking at Ivermectin and the 'bendazoles.

    Sources: Independent peer-reviewed journals and Merck data.

    General findings of interest to me:

    Detectable amounts were shed in manures.
    They did decay in the environment. Ivermectin had a decay half-life of 7-14 days, so for example by 35-70 days 3% of the original dose remained.
    Although the target organisms were parasitic gut worms like strongyloides and helminths, there was detectable activity against other annelids like compost worms and beneficial nematodes, and in addition dung beetles.
    Some of these are too small to be seen with the naked eye, so I wouldn't be able to see adverse effects for myself.
    Detectable activity could include death or reduced reproduction rates.
    The studies only looked at direct effect on target species and didn't measure indirect effects of upsetting the soil balance of flora & fauna.

    What it meant to me:

    We haven't stopped using wormer on the horses.
    I don't gather manure for a few days if I know there's been worming going on.
    I no longer add the small amounts direct to the worm farm that I used to. (one study showed compost worms particularly badly affected.)
    It now all gets composted before use, and even if not properly hot composted, at least it has been lying around ageing for a few weeks, giving time for drug breakdown to occur.

    It is still fantastic stuff and I'm more than happy to use it on the garden after this process!

    Hamish
     
  11. IntensiveGardener

    IntensiveGardener Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    Hi,
    I'v used horse manure (partly decomposed) to grow amazingly good tomato crops. I'v also put it in many a compost heap with great results :)
    When used straight Horse manure is an unbalanced fertilizer NPK: 3:1:3
    Horse manure has various special qualities,
    Firstly it is THE BEST thing to add to a heavy clay soil as it lightens the soil far better than any other manure increasing its tilth and structure.
    Secondly, It is HOT! No other manure heats up as much, or for as long when heaped. This is the stuff that gardeners used to make hot beds out of. It will heat up in even a small pile if the moisture level is right and this makes it very usefull for compost making.
    It also means that even though the manure is full of seeds when raw it is very easy to heat it up enough to kill the seeds :)
    Horse manure makes a rather poor nitrogen fertilizer (its about 0.69% Nitrogen) when fresh but an absolutely A grade soil conditioner when composted. I suggest you compost it for best results, get your soil life and structure going by feeding it the premium compost you make then worry about nitrogen (you may not have to). Nitrogen can be bought very cheaply in any nursery in organic products like blood and bone or dynamic lifter. Soil structure and biological activity cannot be bought.
    In organics you have to think less like a chemist (NPK etc..) and more like a biologist. Feed the soil life and then let it feed your plants, it is much easier and works much better.
    IG
     
  12. j_cornelissen

    j_cornelissen Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    this is all great info, hopefully minimizing a number of issues I have with the soil in my garden (clay / dry)
    conditions have been such that it was no longer realistic to keep my veggies going by watering them, hopefully the soil quality will improve enough so it'll retain enough water (even in extreme conditions) to keep my veggies alive

    btw figtrees / citrus trees will do well on horse manure?
     
  13. j_cornelissen

    j_cornelissen Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    added some manure to the compost pile yesterday, mixed it, bit of water and checked this morning. As promised it had heated up overnight!

    So yes thanks for info and tips, I'll keep you posted

    Btw had a read on another forum where most people were mainly concerned about the potential dangers of pathogens in the manure, got the impression this forum was frequented by germ fearing scare mongers, so stopped reading that one.
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: horse manure

    It'll be those "nasty" germs that are making your heap hot as we speak. There's way too much paranoia out there about germs. The Pine O Cleen ads make me want to scream! Who needs a toilet bowl that you can eat out of anyway? :pottytrain5:
     
  15. j_cornelissen

    j_cornelissen Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    same here, having a biomedical background, and knowing what the effect of a lack of exposure to bacteria for kids might be ("bored" immune systems will start looking at other things to react to, like house mites), it is something that angers me every time I see those ads
     
  16. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    From the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on Ivermectin. For what it's worth.

    "Environmental Fate:

    "Breakdown in soil and groundwater: Ivermectin is rapidly degraded in soil. At the soil surface, it is subject to rapid photodegradation, with half-lives of 8 hours to 1 day reported. When applied to the soil surface and not shaded, its soil half-life is about 1 week. Under dark, aerobic conditions, the soil half-life was 2 weeks to 2 months. Loss of ivermectin from soils is thought to be due to microbial degradation. The rate of degradation was significantly decreased under anaerobic conditions. Because ivermectin is nearly insoluble in water and
    has a strong tendency to bind to soil particles, it is immobile in soil and unlikely to leach or contaminate groundwater. Compounds produced by the degradation of ivermectin are also immobile and unlikely to contaminate groundwater.

    "Breakdown in water: Ivermectin is rapidly degraded in water. After initial distribution, its half-life in artificial pond water was 4 days. Its half-life in pond sediment was 2 to 4 weeks. It undergoes rapid photodegradation, with a half-life of 12 hours in water. When tested at pH levels common to surface and groundwater (pH 5, 7, and 9), ivermectin did not hydrolyze.

    "Breakdown in vegetation: Plants do not absorb ivermectin from the soil. Ivermectin is subject to rapid degradation when present as a thin film, as on treated leaf surfaces. Under laboratory conditions and in the presence of light, its half-life as a thin film was 4 to 6 hours."

    To read the entire form: https://www.ancare.co.nz/data/usr/Parade ... l_MSDS.pdf

    Sue
     
  17. jcj57

    jcj57 Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    Have used this for years, just needs some blood and bone added to make it more rounded as a fertiliser. Stable manure is excellent as it is high in urea and is good as a mulch. Any seeds that sprout I have let grow to about a foot heigh then mulched it back in as green manure. I also have a post - trying to locate some horse manure in the Ipswich area. Where are you?
     
  18. j_cornelissen

    j_cornelissen Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    I'm in melbourne, bit of a trip...

    funnily enough had been keeping my eye out for some manure when out and about in country victoria only to find some 3 blocks away in suburbia!

    good luck with your quest for poo
     
  19. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    Paddock ponies are the best to collect from as they would in general contain less chemicals like wormers. I always apply mulch over horse manure to slow weed growth down when applied to my fruit trees.

    Race horse manure is a completely different story, I live next to race horse trainers and they have been quite open to me about what is used in the industry and what could be used, I would not use manure sourced from race horses in my food system full stop, but I have used it on my lawns, which I mow using the grass clippings as a high nitrogen source in my food systems (compost mainly). Race horse manure stinks too. Our three horses manure has a nice earthy smell to it. We follow Pat Colbys live stock ideas with keeping our animals without chemicals.

    the key word here is degraded, notice it's not bio-degradable, most plastic bags are now degradable and I wouldn't go adding those to my food system as they do not break down into organic matter. Binding to soil particles.... it's still in the soil, it could be absorbed by root crops if you added it straight into your vegi garden, I'm sorry I do not trust sweeping statements made by chemical companies like "Plants do not absorb ivermectin" One of the big problems you can have is chemical mixing while "ivermectin" may not pass into their test plant, mix it with another common chemical and god knows what the out come could be, this is now a major problem in catchments boarding chemical food farms, two or more "safe" chemicals mixed together create one nasty chemical.

    If you really want to add race horse manure to your food system, hot compost it in a good layered system for a couple of months. Piling it up in the corner for a month won't do that much to the chemicals or the feed seeds.
     
  20. trishandpete

    trishandpete Junior Member

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    Re: horse manure

    I think if anyone was interested there would be a supply in Williamstown. Plenty of horses, within 20min of melbourne CBD. T
     

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