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Green Horse Keeping Solutions for Stall Waste, Fly Control, and More!

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As horse owners, we value open spaces and are connected to the land and environment that enhances the enjoyment we get from owning horses.  It is up to us to take care of our Earth so that our horses and children can enjoy them for years to come. If you have ever wondered how you can make your horse farm more eco-friendly, check out some of these practical green ideas that you can implement today to lessen your “hoof print” on the environment:

 

  • Manure management is an issue that plagues all horse owners and is a way that a little effort can make a BIG impact on the environment.  Responsible manure management can help protect water quality, the fish that live in our lakes and ponds, and is a wonderful alternative to chemical fertilizers for pastures.  Many experts recommend composting your manure before spreading it on your pastures so any pathogens, insect larvae, or weed seeds can be broken down.  New to composting?  Its not as difficult as you think.  The trick to managing a compost pile is to keep it at the right temperature so the pathogens break down, maintain good air flow to speed up the decomposition process, and to manage the moisture level to prevent run-off or leakage into surface water sources.  Click here to check out a great article on composting by the WSU Cooperative Extension office. 

 fly spray for horses

  • Another consideration in waste management is cutting down your shavings usage as shavings add carbon to your compost piles and can slow down the decomposition process.  Concerned with wet stalls?  Try a zeolite stall refresher like Sweet PDZ that not only helps absorb urine but also helps control ammonia odor, creating a healthier stall environment for your horse.  Another added benefit is that Sweet PDZ is compost-friendly as the zeolite releases nitrogen which will help speed up your composting process.

 

  • We are all familiar with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra that various environmental groups promote but implementing those ideas may not be top-of-mind.  One of the best and easiest ways to incorporate an eco-conscious mentality is with your feed packaging.  The average horse goes through about 40 bags of grain a year and if you own more than one horse, you have quite a pile of packaging!!  An excellent way to reuse your feed bags is to use them as trash can liners.  Can’t use all of your compost from your new compost pile?  Put it in your extra feed bags and sell it to neighbors and friends.  If you have extra bags left, check out Earth911.com to see if there is a local recycling center that will take either paper or plastic feed bags or ask your local municipality if they do.  Many recycling centers or municipalities will accept multi-layer paper bags.  Poly-woven, plastic bags are harder to recycle but there are some states that have available options.  Another option is to reduce how much plastic you use.  Look for Horse Supplements that are available in bags instead of buckets.  Many nutrition companies, such as Manna Pro, use bags for their supplements as less plastic is used in making bags versus a bucket, reducing the amount of plastics in landfills.

 

  • Environmentally friendly fly control is another way to lessen your impact on nature.  A great option is Natural Fly Repellent such as Nature's Force.  It’s a blend of essential oils that are known to naturally repel flying and biting insects.  

For other eco-friendly farm management ideas, check out the following resources!

http://www.equisearch.com/farm_ranch/management/green_horsekeeping_tips_071810/

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=18176

http://www.horsesforcleanwater.com/

Happy horse keeping!

 

 

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