Manure Management in Pastures: Readers Share Tips

More than 830 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What do you do with the manure in your pastures/paddocks?"

results of poll on manure in pastures

Results were as follows: 

  • Harrow/spread it: 40.31% (335)
  • Remove it: 32.49% (270)
  • Leave it: 17.45% (145)
  • Other: 9.75% (81)

Readers shared what they do with their pasture manure in the comments below.

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  • combo scopping for compost and harrowing
  • It is the neighborly thing to do!
  • spread it and use it for land fill in low spots
  • soil is poor needs fertliaer for better pasture.
  • compost and sell to local nursery
  • In our big pastures we spread, in our dry lots adjacent to the barn we remove.
  • Put it in a pile and compost it.
  • remove it then harrow in once a year
  • Compost and mulch gardens with it.
  • Run the bush hog over it to break it up and spread it
  • I'm anxious to know--what's the "right" thing to do?
  • The paddocks are cleaned daily and the pastures are harrowed several times a year.
  • dry lot-remove,spread-pastures,harrow
  • compost it for gardens
  • i also remove it from the sacrifice area.
  • Pastur is a tottally different management problem than a paddock ! ! !
  • Remove it daily.compost it then sell it!
  • Don't worm with Ivermectin in Spring so dung beetles don't die from it
  • compost & spread when 2 years old
  • Chickens scratch through the manure and spread it.
  • I collect it, compost it, then spread it
  • Remove it in smaller paddocks but leave it in larger fields.
  • We remove manure from paddocks and harrow the pastures
  • goes to the garden
  • I have two horses and we pile it and compost it and use it on our garden (vegetable).
  • One 2-yard dumpster holds 1 wk for 5 horses, picked up weekly (it is also covered)
  • Pile it to compost, then spread it, or pack it in empty feed bags and give it to my favorite gardens
  • Remove some, then compost, remainder is harrowed to break it up.
  • harrow/spread
  • with a vacuum !
  • rotate with cattle pasturing
  • sweeper
  • Put in dump trailer and take to local dump
  • Use in my own gardens, and give away to friends.
  • moved to a compost pile
  • compost it
  • compost it and then use in gardens
  • spread it out :)
  • Compost it for at least 4 months, then spread it in areas with poor soil.
  • collect and spread on the hay fields
  • An organic farmer found me and says my horses produce the best manure in the county!
  • give it to neighbors for mulch/fertilizer
  • AT MY BOARDING BARN THEY DO NOTHING
  • give it away for fertilizer in a garden
  • I give it away free to people for their gardens. They come and load it by hand on the trailers.
  • spread after composting
  • we spread or move it to build up new ground
  • compost it
  • It is removed daily and composted under plastic tarps prior to using in gardens and spread on pastur
  • Remove it, mow it with riding lawn mower, let it dry, pile it , use it around my trees as mulch
  • compost it
  • Compost Pile
  • Remove some to compost, harrow some in mid-summer, late fall.
  • And what a nightmare it is finding someone to come get it!!
  • remove it, compost it, give it to gardeners
  • in pastures it is spread as fertilizer in paddock it is removed and composted for garden and flower
  • Pitch fork and a wheelbarrow.
  • We compost it and use it as a fertilizer
  • NATURAL MANURE BUNK ON PROPERTY
  • dump it in eroded areas
  • Once temps over 90 degrees to kill eggs we harrow to break up the "roughs"
  • I compost it and spread the compost on my garden.
  • Remove, compost, then use it, have no trouble in making it available to others
  • Used to harrow it, no time so I just have to rely on the dung beetles.
  • compost it
  • Barn cleanings are composted 1 year and spread
  • My neighbor actually WANTS it ;)
  • Some is spread with the mower, otherwise we leave it.
  • compost it
  • harrow bigger paddocks but collect & sell from smaller yards
  • Keeps our garden well supplied
  • It is spread around the cornfields.
  • I bought an aerated compost system from O2Compost in WA to kill weed seeds and parasites.
  • Harrow it. Luckily my boys are tidy & make their own piles. =)
  • I pick up daily, one wheelbarrow load/day for 3 horses, not really that much work.
  • Spread w/Newer Spreader. Love it!
  • In pastures we leave it, in paddocks we harrow it.
  • compost it and use in gardens
  • Use some in gardens and give the rest away to people who come pick it up for their gardens.
  • The acreage is large so we don't drag the fields; very hot summers here
  • Compost and use for garden, even composted a horse last year.
  • pick it up, compost it, no problem giving it away by the pick up truck load
  • Compost it for use in the garden
  • We spread the manure on the trails on our small ranch.
  • We have a farmer who comes to take it for free He spreads it on his fields.
  • Compost it and then spread it
  • we let it compost and sellit as topsoil
  • pile and compost
  • pasture poop we compost for garden, stall waste we dump
  • give it to a tree farm
  • All stable and pasture manure is collected and used by an organic coffee plantation
  • Iuse all picked up manure & put it into sand holes horses have dug grass grows over end of holes.
  • I have compost bins, use the composted manure to fertilize pastures.
  • Remove it first, let it compost down then spread
  • compost
  • clean out stalls and spread in ruts out in the yard
  • All winter its put in the area that becomes the summer vegetable garden. Also, landscape plants
  • use as fertalizer
  • the owner of my barn is a complete slob
  • I spread it in the manure field (half acre) and then mow it. The horses love to sleep in it.
  • compost and use in garden
  • Grass grows over it later!
  • it is composted and the public picks it up
  • this routine promotes the healthy breakdown of the manure by dung beatles and earthworms feeding soi
  • piled to create heat & kill bugs then spread and drag in spring before irrigation begins
  • Remove it from paddocks daily; harrow it in the pastures twice a year.
  • Remove it from pens and stalls to compost heap
  • Compost it
  • I have far more pasture than I need so I don't worry about the manure
  • compost
  • once it's cooked we use it in the yard - fill holes, garden, flowers...
  • Organic 100% Natural fertilizer the best!
  • Remove it to dumpster twice daily and Waste Management hauls away for a fee.
  • remove paddocks, leave in pasture
  • We compost it grass clippings and then spread it.
  • i dump it over 400 feet away from my property and my farmer neighbor uses it in his soybean field.
  • spread where horses do not graze
  • Usually don't have high volume, but do heap it into piles, let it heat, then spread after about 1 wk
  • picked up in some, harrowed in others and cross grazed with sheep &cattle
  • The nice people at Waste Management haul it off every week for me.
  • leave it in large pastures, but harrow if too concentrated. remove it from paddocks and smaller lots
  • Leave it in pastures, remove it from paddock and composst for a year then spread on trees, shrubs,ga
  • We have a farmer that comes to pick it up and he uses it to compose commercially.
  • 4 horses. Corrals, stalls cleaned daily. A year's worth goes in 2 garden plots.
  • Our pastures are large enough to handle it and the horses tend to use only certain areas
  • Share with others for garden and lawn use.
  • Spread when pasture is mowed. Have chickens to help spread it around
  • take it to neighbor's field and he tills it into the soil
  • compost all year and spread in Spring...best fertilizer; grass great; horses on Strongid 2X
  • remove it, compost it and spread it back on pastures & gasrden
  • Large pasture spread and sacrifice paddocks picked up daily
  • Spread some and some of it I build into a compost heap for my veg. garden
  • We remove it, compost it and use it in pasture/garden; seel some, too.
  • Romove and haul to remote composting facility
  • Pile it, then remove
  • I use it for lanscaping fill on my property
  • drag our paddocks - rain washes it away
  • Leave in the large fields, remove from paddocks, fertilize blueberries on property
  • compost & use as fill soil again
  • compost it
  • We just have a pasture
  • Chickens break it down to powder then I remove
  • big pasture!
  • compost the stall manure and harrow/drag the pasture manure.
  • at the ranch where I board it is removed by sanitation company
  • put it in the dumpster and the city hauls it away every wewk
  • Remove and compost
  • compost it
  • It gets composted then spread on my hayfields
  • The birds pick out the grain & the rain decomposes it quickly.
  • Also remove the big piles
  • Paddocks are picked; pastures are left
  • Remove it, compost it, give it away, and spread some of it.
  • our gardening friends love getting our manure!!!!
  • compost pile
  • remove it from the paddocks, and leave it in the pastures
  • move it to a pile, compost, use for garden (and give away)
  • Pick up daily, haul away weekly
  • Pile
  • remove from paddocks, spread and harrow in fields.
  • Remove it, compost it and spread on our farm fields.
  • Remove from paddocks/dry lots; leave in pastures
  • neighbor spreads on his garden
  • drag tthe pasture with a flexible ine harrow
  • in addition to spreading the manure on the pastures, manure is removed from the dry lot
  • I board- they unfortunately leave it-- I'd pick it up
  • Others come and haul it away. use to mix with topsoil.
  • Compost it for local gardeners and my own garden!
  • We compost it, then spread it
  • I know I *should* harrow and rotate fields, but not enough acres.
  • Barn Manager spreads on fields
  • Collect it for the gardeners and worm growers in the area, cuts down on flies.
  • I spread it around the base of our pine trees of which we have many.. helps keep in the moisture
  • compost it for the garden
  • Remove it, compost it, and then use it in gardens.
  • We spread it out with a drag and use manure spreader for mucking stalls
  • Pile it in 1 pile
  • remove from paddock area harrow in pastures
  • burn it on the burn pile w/ other trees, limbs, molded hay, etc.
  • Remove and Compost
  • kick it then leave it
  • Then the wind carries it away
  • Also Harrow/spread it....
  • compost and then spread
  • Mulch it and spread it on our gardens in the fall,.
  • I have 20 acres and one horse, 3 donkeys

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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