Hey y'all! I have access to free aged horse manure and I am keep on coming across a problem. I ask each person if they use antibiotics or a dewormer and so far all of them use a dewormer. Obviously, this is a big issue. My question is this...if it has been aged for a year do you think it is still an issue?
For those who want to know, the free manure is found off of Craigslist.
I can't answer your dewormer question, hopefully others will chime in. You may also want to ask about what the horses are eating. Persistent herbicides on horse pastures can be eaten by the horses, pooped out, composted and still kill your garden plants. See this Mother Earth News article for a bit more info.
It's hard to look a gift horse in the mouth but you have to wonder what else has been in that mouth
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It's my understanding the dewormers are short-lived and can be assumed to have broken down within 60 days of aging (hence why they have to keep giving the horses the dewormer). That's standard of practice with vermiculture (worm farming), which means it won't kill composting worms.
I use horse manure all the time and worry about persistent herbicides to the point that I test, but wormers and the like not. After my manure has been sitting for a few months there are generally worms and grubs in it, which makes me think any pesticides have broken down like they're supposed to. After four years of horse doo on my main patch, I see at least as many bugs, worms, pollinators, and vertibrate friends (snakes and skinks) as my wife does in her patches not far away, which get very little (she likes more straight compost etc.). I'd say go for it!
Redhawk, you said
"If you take aged manures and compost them in a hot compost heap, you will degrade just about any "cide" residues that might be present. "
Would that also apply to antibiotics that may have been given to the horses? I have access to a shitload (read: gold mine) of horse manure/old haymulch from a neighbor who is a horse veterinarian. I'm guessing that some of the horses she stables are her patients who might be on antibiotics. That sounds like the last thing I'd want to spread all over my land to build healthy soil. Do antibiotics also burn off with heat composting? Thanks!
Yes Wally, hot composting will also get rid of many of the "chemicals" given to horses in the name of health. You want to hot compost first, then add mycelium (fungi), the bacteria will already be present in good numbers.
I also have access to free horse manure, and add about 300kg of to our 1 acre farm every week. I hot compost the manure headed for the vegetable garden (usually combined with green landscaping waste), but apply bags of the stuff directly around fruittrees, where it composts in place. I don't add direct to my vermicompost. In my experience it has been really amazing as mulch/slow release nutrition for fruit trees. Hot composting is really important for annuals not only because of potential 'cides in the manure, but also because otherwise a huge number of weed seeds germinate. So now, when I add directly around trees, I make sure something is on tap to grow over the manure, to shade the ground and allow for mycelial growth. I have a lot of mushrooms that grow on the manure when it's NOT hot composted-- not as much when it has been. I also apply manure directly to our goat pastures (no goats yet) then water to get oat hay started...might as well use the weeds as an asset...
sortof-almost-off-grid in South Africa: www.concretegardener.com