profit-out-of-disposed-beddingCategoriesDairy Farm Horse Bedding Lifestyle Manure Management

How to make profit out of disposed Bedding

An important role in making horse ownership safer for the environment and more cost effective for you is played by Manure and Bedding, both have useful “after life”. Some of the precious resources are our healthy soil and clean water which are fragile and as livestock owners we must take care of them. We can turn a waste into a resource and as there are many ways to reuse livestock manure and stall bedding.

Composted Bedding for Stalls:

Composted bedding can be reused in your horse stalls as an effective and economical alternative to wood shavings or pellets. From the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Program, the Snohomish Conservation District received funding to test composted bedding for horses and worked with several commercial equine facilities in Snohomish County.

We found that stable bedding with wood shavings can recover up to 80 percent of stall waste through composting and re-use, while most stable bedding with wood pellets recover up to 50 percent. For reusing bedding, the compost can recover 100% of stall waste in vessel systems, which represents a significance in reducing the cost of disposal and new bedding.

As compared to shavings or pellets, composted bedding is darker in colour and is slightly moist. It is a very good absorbent and is light and fluffy with a pleasant earthy smell. Compost significantly reduces dust and allergens in the stall as compared to wood shavings or pellets and it is non-acidic. Horses with skin and respiratory allergies also respond well to the composted bedding, and have shown reduced symptoms.

Managing Used Horse Bedding Material

On a daily basis, all stalls and paddocks need to be cleaned. After removing manure and urine-soaked bedding, wet areas should be cleaned with lime or another sanitizing, odor-eliminating treatment and to ensure safe, clean, dry and odor-free conditions, fresh bedding should be added. You don’t want to reduce stall bedding at the expense of your horse’s health, but you should consider the horse’s needs.

By nature, horses are used to sleeping on hard surfaces like the ground. To sleep comfortably, horses don’t need a huge cushion of shavings or straw. For many horse owners, rubber stall mats work very well. Rubber stall mats are healthy for hooves and can be cleaned easily. A stall mat gives a firm, level surface which allows you to scoop up manure and wet bedding easily. You can minimize bedding use and the amount of stall waste that has to be disposed of by using disposable bedding such as shavings or straw only on the places where the horse urinates frequently. Composting is the most productive and environmentally sound way to dispose of used bedding.

Through composting, the total mass of manure and bedding can be reduced by about one-quarter to one-half i.e., six tons of manure can be converted to 1.5 to 3 tons of finished compost which can be used in greenhouses, gardens, and nearly anywhere fertilizer would be used. Provide temporary storage for the waste in large, covered receptacles and arrange to have it hauled off on a regular basis or choose compost used bedding.

Uses of disposed bedding

1. Improve soil health:

To improve the health of your soil and pasture you can use your compost manure with disposed bedding material. Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc., which are consumed by animals, end up in their manure. For as long as people have been farming, livestock manure of all types has been used to build soil and fertilize crops. The disposed bedding makes it at its best.  For the growth of plants, these nutrients are essential, if they end up in our streams, lakes or well water, they can cause serious problems for all of us. The best way to improve long-term soil health, and invest is by adding organic materials like compost and manure to your soil. Organic matter provides food for soil microbes and improves soil structure and workability. 

2. Best from waste:

Gardeners and landscapers’ value composted horse manure as a high-quality soil amendment. The manure must be well composted and weed seedless and contain minimal bedding material. Avoid too much bedding mixed with manure. It makes compost more mulch than soil builder. This can be unappealing for gardeners.

Proper manure management and disposal bedding material serves an important role in keeping the farm functioning at its best. It also helps to keep horses healthy, clean the surrounding area and a thriving farm. We shall be well on our way to sustainable horse keeping when we can regard manure as a valuable resource rather than a waste.

3. Environmental Benefits:

Properly managed manure can be a valuable resource on a farm. Manure helps to improve soil quality and provide nutrients to crops and can be used as fertilizer for crops. Manure contains organic matters. It improves water holding capacity of soil. The purpose of manure management is to keep a monitor on horse manure to make sure it doesn’t have any negative effects on the environment. 

CategoriesCoco Coir Bedding Manure Management Worm Bedding

5 Bedding Reasons for Worms

Growing worms in your compost is the very best idea for an ideal composition and nutrient breakdown. The worms composting the soil date back than our knowledge of fertilizing. 

Worms are the living resource for fertility and life essence. Worms feed on decaying organic matter, digest it and transform into nutrient-rich fertilizer in a span of 2 months. 

The derived fertilizer is odorless and neutralized, which means, pH of the casting is neutral (7), without foul odor. The casting contains bacteria in it, which continues its biological activity even when put into soil.

As such, comforting the worms in its surroundings is of top priority. Maintaining a healthy system will need you a better shelter, warm temperature, plenty of air, optimal moisture and a perfect bedding composition. 

For our further talk let us consider Red Worms as the topic of interest. Red Worms, or Red Wigglers are the mostly used soil dwelling worms that are commonly found in moist manure and compost heaps. 

They are also the shallow-dwellers that feed on decaying organic matter and are easily adaptable for household and plant wastes actively within worm bins. 

Better Shelter

If you’re making a compost for your own purpose within the organic material produced in your home kitchen, garden and pet feces, then choosing a plastic storage tote is an ideal option. 

You can pick up a tote of depth 12 to 18 inches, and a roundabout surface area of 1 sq ft which can account for 1-2 lb of food and pet wastes.  

To prevent an excessive moisture buildup inside the tote, you need to make proper drainage holes at the around and bottom of the tote. For that, you’re supposed to place the one tote container into the other, so that the other will act as a basin for excessive moisture capture.  

These kinds of drainage holes will provide adequate oxygen supply inside the compost tote. Later some time, you can place the inner tote out of a holed container and place it on wooden plank or PVC feet.

Warm Temperature

As said earlier, the Red worms are the commonly used earthworm species for composting those who are best reared at 65-80o F, which is optimal for active composting. 

Cooler the temperature, slower will be the decomposition rate. 

On the contrary, if the temperature is too warm, it might harm the worm a lot. 

In the months of cooler temperatures, care must be taken to elevate off the tote than concrete floor, rather than letting it affect the decomposition rate. 

Plenty of Air

Worms are the aerobic organisms whose lives mostly depend on the oxygen availability around them. The very existence of worms is determined by absorbing oxygen in and giving out carbon dioxide after metabolism.

So a large surface area of exposure to air is the most. Keep the lid open to your bin, ventilate sufficiently. 

A compact waste deposition or a soggy loading will result in a void of oxygen, producing anaerobic composition. An anaerobic environment renders foul smell, rooting garbage, avoid complete decomposition. 

Optimal Moisture

Worms require optimal moisture maintenance. Both worms and microbial bacterias work in the environment of 60-90% moisture. 

While adding the bedding, it should be pre-moistened like a wet sponge.

The worm bin must be loosely covered with a dark sheet/ burlap on top so that it can conserve moisture within. 

If placed outside, a solid lid is to be covered to prevent unwanted scavengers and rain. 

Perfect Bedding composition  

There are a number of bedding material choices available for worm comfort. Such as shredded newspaper-cardboard, leaf mold-straw, peat moss, coco coir and grits that are used along the manure and animal wastes. 

It is very important to maintain the moisture in the bedding before placing worms over it. An average of 60% moisture is sure for the bedding to be damp but not dripping wet. You can use a Squeeze technique to ensure the right proportion of moisture. 

A perfect blend of 50-50 of shredded paper and coco coir with light dusting of grits is best suited for initial bedding. Or, 25% of shredded newspaper, 25% coco coir, 25% manure mix, 25% mold leaves and some light dusting of grits will do well. 

You can put the bedding in advance of worm composting. By doing so, you create an active environment for introducing worms in. 

You can even add some compost tea/ worm casting/ mature compost at the bottom of the bin. In that way, you will promote inoculation microbial growth in new bedding. This pre-inoculation will reduce the transition stress suffered by the worms when transferred to new bedding. 

All these key features are benefited by the choice of bedding in worm composting!

CategoriesCoco Coir Bedding Horse Bedding Manure Management Tips & Tricks

Horse Manure Management Guidelines

In this article, we are discussing the better management of manure and reducing the risk of pollution caused by manure, bedding and feed wastes. 

Composting is one such great method that produces a stable-sustainable-storable product that inhibits pathogens growth, and conserves nutrient quality in it. 

The Management of composting horse manure includes Composting Mix, Maintaining, Monitoring and Testing of Manure and Compost, Environmental Issues, Compost Use and Costs. 

Composting Mix

The very first recommendation is to get the right composition for composting mix. The mix needs to comprise an optimal level of 3 main factors that depict the worth of the end product.   

The amount of manure, feedstock and bedding in the compost pile are thoroughly mixed. The Moisture, Air flow and C:N ratio plays a critical role in mixing compilation. 


The composting can be done, both in Open pile and Closed shed as per the care taker’s wish. Building a shed for composting makes it easy for handling horse manure, pleasant surroundings and there will be less chance of nutrient runoff and leaching issues. 

It is preferred to make a Buffered zone for compost maintenance, isolated from residential and water resources. It helps prevent water pollution due to leachate, runoff and air pollution from foul odor. 

The buffer zone is subject to compliance with local ordinances and is recommended to be 150 feet from living quarters and the bottom elevation should be above water level or installed on concrete slabs. 

Open Pile– Like a free-stacking of hay pile, the manure pile can be raised till the height of 4-6’ tall. A regular mixing is required to ensure pathogen reduction, that a good stacking with minimal overturning will make good compact. A carefully considered piling is required to prevent leaching and runoff. 

Closed Shed– A shed composting consists of several side-bins, when the first bin is filled, then the content can be turned into the next bin. The pile height should not exceed 6 feet to ensure that compost is aerated. Bins are covered with roof to reduce possible runoff and no leachate is generated under the roof. 

Proper over-turning of compost is essential. 

The important aspect for a composting site is to allow access all-year round and well drained.