Did you know one horse produces about 31 pounds of manure and over two gallons of urine per day?
Manure management on equestrian farms can be a challenge; keeping neighbors happy, horses healthy, and meeting zoning and health standards. Transporting manure off-site can be costly with frequent hauling and on-site disposal leading to permitting violations or odor complaints if not managed properly.
COMPOST HORSE MANURE AND REUSE IT AS BEDDING MATERIAL
Composting horse manure is a viable alternative to disposal. It is cost-effective, provides horses health benefits, and increases eligibility for local sustainability grants for your on-site composter.
Green Mountain Technologies customer, Archway Equestrian, a 40-horse hunter jumper equestrian facility in Western Washington composts 40 cubic yards of horse manure with the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow.
Bill Weaver, owner of Archway Equestrian, found the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow eliminates and reduces costs for hauling and bringing new bedding on-site. The course sawdust can be quite expensive for show barns like Archway and composting horse manure reduces the need for these shavings by 50% because they are able to mix composted horse manure with the shavings as bedding. Although the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow is a significant upfront investment, Archway Equestrian paid off their investment in under two years.
After 14 days of composting, Bill mixes the final product, a chocolatey brown substance rich in beneficial bacteria, with new shavings and spreads it along his stable floors. The product can be re-composted four times and used as bedding.
Even Bill’s next-door neighbor, owner of a local landscaping company, approves of the product. After proper nutrient testing, he has started to use the compost product for his landscaping needs. Bill hopes to sell the excess product wholesale in the future for $30 a cubic yard.
POSITIVELY CONTRIBUTES TO HEALTH OF THE HORSES AND CLEANLINESS OF THE STABLES
Unforeseen benefits to the health of the horses and stable cleanliness resulted from Bill’s implementation of the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow. Confirmed through laboratory results, Bill found the compost free of pathogens but retained its nutrient rich composition and moisture. His barn farrier and vet also noticed positive changes in the horses’ health and hooves. Caitlin Youngquist, PhD, at University of Wyoming conducted a study on the effect of compost on horse health and found that using composted horse manure as stable bedding resulted in reduction in skin disease such as rain rot and pastern demititus, and reduced dust in stables that can cause respiratory problems in horses and people.
INCREASING ELIGIBILITY FOR LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS
With a long-term goal of sustainability, Bill and his wife researched options for composting at their facility for three years until they settled on the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow. With help from King Conservation District, Archway Equestrian was able to fund almost ¼ of the investment in the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow using $22,000 grant funded by the Landowner Incentive Program.
Bill remarked in his testimonial that he appreciated Michael Bryan-Brown’s ongoing presence throughout the process of purchase and installation. He also enjoyed that Bryan-Brown was available to help with any tweaks that needed be done to make sure the Intermodal-40 Earth Flow ran smoothly.
Green Mountain Technologies has made working with the equine community a priority because we understand this particular client’s unique needs and we recognize the value in composting and reusing the nutrient rich properties of horse manure.
Interested to learn how you could make this possible on your farm? Reach out to us here to learn more!
1 “Effective Horse Waste Management: Equimed – Horse Health Matters.” EquiMed, 27 Apr. 2017, equimed.com/health-centers/healthy-barn/articles/effective-horse-waste-management
2 “Effective Horse Waste Management: Equimed – Horse Health Matters.” EquiMed, 27 Apr. 2017, equimed.com/health-centers/healthy-barn/articles/effective-horse-waste-management