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The Proper Way To Muck A Stall

For horse owners the least glamorous job is that of cleaning the stalls, but you are always going to have horse manure as long as you have horses. How you clean your stall and the type of bedding and tools you choose to use will be determined by how often you keep your horse in their stall.
In some areas of the Southeast it may be best to use straw since it is easily available and not as expensive as buying bagged shavings. Straw is also the ideal bedding if you are going to have horses in their stalls on a daily basis since it is lighter and easier to dispose of than the bagged shavings. Although clean shavings are better for foals and horses that have respiratory problems since straw does have mold spores.

Straw is also better for the soil since it decomposes more quickly than shavings. On the other hand, straw must be cleaned more often since it molds more quickly.
With straw daily cleaning is the best solution. The job is made longer, harder and smellier if you donít do it daily. Once a week it is best to strip the entire stall down to the bare floor and let it air dry for at least a day before you put down new bedding. The best stall should have clay footing under a thick bedding of straw so that you horse can have the best sanitary conditions.

An ammonia-reducing substance can be dusted on the wet spots of clay so that you can hurry the drying process when you are removing soiled straw on a daily basis. You must have a large muck tub or wheelbarrow in order to take away the soiled bedding.

A four or five prong pitchfork is best for cleaning straw bedded stalls and a regular leaf rake or a broom should be used to know down fire-hazardous cobwebs. A many tined fork is required to pick out a sawdust bedded stall in order to allow the unsoiled sawdust to slip back through.

Spreading the muck on the fields that is not in use is a common practice. This help to fertilize pastures in addition to cutting your disposal costs. You may also want to consider asking some of your neighbors since they may want manure for their gardens.

In order to make compost manure it should be stored for at least six weeks and turned frequently during this time so that it produces heat and kills any internal parasites. In dry weather it may be necessary to add water since bacteria cannot ferment the compost if it doesnít have enough moisture. To avoid leakage you should choose a compost site that is at least seventy-five feet away from water. In addition, to prevent contamination you should store it away from your barn so the flies and odor is at a distance.

Read the next horse care article on Horse Cast in Stall? - Don't Panic!.
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