top of page

Storage and Manure Management

Storage and Manure Management

Ideally, you will want to allocate separate areas for storing hay, feed, and bedding materials. As for manure management, there’s no ‘ideally’ involved – you do want to allocate a separate space for it. But more of that later.

  • Hay ought to be kept in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent moisture build-up and mould growth. Storing hay separately from other materials helps minimise contamination risks and fire hazards.

  • Bagged or bulk feed should be kept in a clean, dry area, and protected from pests. Positioning it relatively close to your stables or feeding areas will make your life easier and provide for more efficient feeding routines.

  • Bedding materials, such as straw, shavings, or pellets, should be kept in a dry place, free from moisture or pests.

How much storage space you need will largely depend on how many horses you have. It’s also worth investing in tightly-sealed containers to keep rodents, insects, and other pests out of your feed.

Choose containers made of sturdy materials that pests cannot chew through. Be warned, rats can chew through almost anything so if in doubt use metal feed bins. Regular cleaning of feed and storage areas will further deter pests.

As far as fire safety goes, reduce the risk of combustion by properly curing and storing hay to maintain appropriate moisture levels. Avoid stacking bales too closely or in large quantities so you don’t obstruct airflow. It’s also recommended that you have fire extinguishers or sprinkler systems on the premises, just in case. If you need further fire safety advice, do contact your local fire service.

When it comes to manure management, it might be worth building a designated space for composting. However, if composting is not an option, here are some helpful tips to minimise odour and flies.

  • Regularly muck out stables, paddocks, and turnout areas. This can be done the old-fashioned way with forks and wheelbarrows or using a small tractor.

  • Contact local waste management services or agricultural composting facilities regarding the disposal of manure, or any keen gardeners who may be interested in using it as fertilizer. Just a heads up, it's a favourite nesting place of rats in the winter months.

  • Build your manure pile away from water sources to prevent contamination. Also, pile the manure in a way that promotes proper drainage and minimises odour. Turning the pile periodically can help with decomposition and odour control. Also, keep your manure pile away from hay - there have been tales of manure heaps combusting.

  • Having an enclosed area for manure storage can help contain odours, prevent runoff, and minimise fly populations.

Remember, bad manure management can lead to water pollution and contribute to nutrient runoff so it's important to follow local regulations and best management practices to minimise environmental impacts and protect water quality.

Also consider any close neighbours when deciding where to store your manure pile.

bottom of page