I Was Tired of Picking Manure

Ashley and Ruby the farm dog

I’ve always struggled with manure management.

During the summer, when the weather is warm, the horses are on pasture and there’s hardly any manure to pick, chores are great!

But then winter comes, I confine the horses to the paddock and they start depositing thousands of pounds of manure in a small space…meaning I have to pick it up. Now, I don’t despise picking manure in general – it’s actually pretty relaxing! Picking stalls isn’t bad. Neither is picking manure outdoors during the warm summer months. But when it gets cold and the manure freezes to the ground in a solid chunk of ice, it’s not too fun to deal with.

In fact the only way to deal with it is to hit it a couple times just right with a metal shovel and hope it pops off the frozen ground (pro tip: always keep your mouth closed, you never no what kind of fragments will come flying).

Year after year, I vowed to be better at managing the manure. And year after year, I’d give up half way through the winter when I just couldn’t keep up with it any more. In January, it sounds like a great idea to just let the manure lie where it is. After all, the whole world is frozen and there are frequent fresh coverings of snow to hide everything. Then March comes and you realize what a terrible mistake you made when the whole pen is a muck filled disaster.

This year, I knew something had to change. I didn’t want to spend an hour every day chiseling away at frozen poop, but I also didn’t want a manure nightmare come spring.

And that’s when I came up with my solution. It has made life so much easier!

Curious? Check out my newest YouTube video to see how I’ve drastically cut down on the amount of manure I have to deal with.

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  1. We do this but use hay nets (tied into pillows) to reduce waste. There are some caveats with the manure in its natural piles (grass has a hard time), and a spreader would be ideal, but one can also go out and manually fling it. Have fun!

    1. Yes, I remember you doing something similar! I tried putting the hay into hay nets, however my nets were small and they ended up moving all over the pasture. Maybe I’ll have to try something bigger (if I recall correctly, yours were big enough to fit an entire small square bale?). Thankfully, right now they are cleaning everything up pretty well – hardly any waste! I like the idea of the nets slowing their consumption down a little bit though. Maybe I can try dragging the manure piles out somehow to spread them and make it easier on the grass come spring…So many ideas!

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