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human pee and horse manure

 
                          
Posts: 34
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So I read in Liquid Gold by Carol Steinfeld not to mix pee and poo; pee has relatively no pathogens but when mixed with poo makes poo pathogens worse. Several other books confirm similar findings, and many composting toilet systems have pee go a separate route. I have been using a 1 gallon plastic jug in the garage to collect my pee and pour it directly onto my compost pile. However recently, I was doing some sheet mulching with horse manure from a local stable. Not thinking I threw about liter of horse manure on the compost pile, layered shredded newspaper on top as well some kitchen scraps and more shredded newspaper. Then applied my pee. And then a day later realized what I had done. Is this a mistake and do I correct it by getting rid of the top portion of the pile down the manure or is the whole pile tainted and needs to be disposed of? Or am I worrying too much?
 
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Location: Zone 5
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Hey Eric,

anything about horse manure gets my attention.  Raising and training horses since I was 7 (yes 7) I got into gardening early too.  Those were the best barns, where there was no huge pile of waste out back.

My horses pee in their manure all the time, and so do us people on occasion (some choose not to walk back to house).  My yard is made up of thin or thicker layers of barn scrapings, (manure and wood procucts) and I have not seen any problems in almost 30 years... though I have moved around a lot in those years and have had this place just over a year. 

Of course I don't compost it before spreading or piling it now.  it breaks down just fine and if deep enough kills stuff under it, if thin it just makes the grass GROW.  I do not keep carnivore manure though and I think that may be the diff.

By the way, I went out this morning and pocked some garlic cloves into the pots with my berries. 
 
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Ever since the women peeing outdoors thread I have tried to use this resource on my compost too.

I dispose of all manure from 7 to 13 horses on our 4 acres for 15 years and our soil is still heavy clay.  I rake out wheelbarrows thin on the grass and it tends to get rained in and breakdown within about three months in our wet winters in the PNW.  A bonus is that we get more and more mushrooms , though I am not good at identifying them so haven't eaten them.  I turn a lot of horse  manure soiled wood sawdust bedding  into the garden beds as well . 

I  only give manure to people I really like, one mother in law would take a trunkload home on BC Ferries to her Vancouver Island garden and my beau carts it over to his gulf island home by private boat    : ) 
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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trying to get my husband to haul me horse manure for 10 years, we used to get it from a friend, still could, but he won't drive over and get it and i can't drive the pick up as my hip won't allow me to get in the drivers side (too high up, hip replacment)..so he has to do it.

i just told him what you said.
reminded me we used to have morels growing everywhere we put the horse manure and we LOVE morels..

so maybe i can cajole him into going and getting some yet this year before winter??
 
Jennifer Smith
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Lisa you sound a lot like me.  Love your horses, not what I have but beautiful to watch and oh so thrilling.  I can't seem to find any photos that show much of your yard and garden.  Do you have any you want to share? 

Brenda, I have been checking out your project photos and as always, wow way nice place.  I can only hope my place looks as nice in 30 years.  You have been so much help so far I think I am off to a pretty good start.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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thanks Jenn, I just updated a post with photos of what we did yesterday
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/

I would love to be closer to you to be able to share ..and see your horses..I have never ridden..

I want to get more mushrooms growing here again..i just got the catalog fungi perfecti and want everything.

right now i'm fighting the  "nature abhors a vacuum" problem with a lot of bare ground, trying to cover it with something other than allowing mama nature to fill it with weeds.
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I run a horse manure management company in Michigan.  We compost blends of manure (yes, there are many horse manure profiles  ) and stall waste.  In our experience we haven't found pathogen problems with mixing urine soaked shavings and manure in our composting process. 

If you're worried take the time/labor to ensure you are getting an adequate supply oxygen to feed the aerobic microbes and you shouldn't have a problem.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I look forward to mushrooms too.  I need to get me one of those catalogs.  With all the wood and manure here it should be good to grow.
 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Eric,

Your pee is damn near sterile.  And the horse poop has no pathogens in it (that I am aware of) that people should be concerned about.  Therefore - no problem.

The only concern I can think of is if you put too much pee on your compost pile and it starts to make a beeline for the aquifer instead of into plants.

 
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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What about antibiotics, Paul? Just for the state of argument.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Yeah, I think I wouldn't put antibiotics on my compost. 

I have been to a lot of houses that use a septic tank and they have anti-microbial hand soap at every sink.  That just confuses me - do these folks not know how a septic tank works?


 
Lisa Paulson
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Horse manure I have a plenty and yet after 15 years accumulation, what we have to show for it is greener pastures.  Here are some pictures of our mixed horses and permaculture

Spring and a hazelnut shade tree

Paddock flanked on the left in this picture by NZ fuzzy kiwi on pergola that grows grapes and oriental kiwi as well, to the right, grapes are now being trained on the fence as are the blackberries volunteering on the paddock perimeter.  We value our coniferous trees and have been replanting new mixed trees as they will eventually be harvested in rotation .  We have an abundance of song birds year round and I feed them in winter throughout areas of the farm.

More grapes and kiwi, various herbs and yucca and a small kitchen garden behind the pergola. One section of this pergola opens to a paddock and serves as temporary shade for livestock in the heat of summer, I can hang some attractive black metal and wood salvaged headboards and a guard railing to confine the animals to one area of the pergola and can open the rails up on the pasture to let them access this area in the heat.


yearlings and ripening figs
 
Lisa Paulson
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One of my stallions hanging out at home. Note trees used for shade, winter shelter and utilized with hot wire to provide fencing and as new planted trees mature, these will be harvested out for firewood

Here he is in an adaptable carport/shelter, slide the 2 x 6's and open the gate and it is a carport/ storage.  Fancy eh?

And here he is at work, his other job is he breeds full time through the year, he loves working two jobs !

Here on our farm permaculture works in multitudes of ways, nut, fruit, willow for medicinal browsing , trees planted for providing future pine nuts, trees like hawthorne for perimeter  and animal habitat and medicinal uses. Garlic is planted under the rail fencelines .  I have one fenceline on a bank planted with blueberry, hydrangea, lavender, honeyberry and rosemary.  Horse Manure is spread straight from the wheelbarrow , everywhere except the garden beds where I used aged and composted horse manure and other plant and kitchen waste.  I use swales to divert water runoff as it is a very wet climate here 3/4 of the year but I am considering making  catchment ponds and ditches to conserve more water into summer. We have a lot of varied fungi showing up I cannot identify and lots of visiting wildlife and those making our 4 acre farm part of their territory.
 
Lisa Paulson
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I will add we have a lot of multi use areas like the pergola ( I also have chairs for resting in the shade and store gardening tools there in the season,  and run water lines off it )   , also fences and sliding rails open for access to farm equipment and close to make paddocks, the overhang of an equipment shed provides shelter also to the horse paddock.  All areas can open up to one another for rotational pasture, paddocks even riding and jumping training area.   Also other areas are planted for food production, composting for soil ammendment, rainwater catchment off the buildings and lots of capacity for more and we have two homes, lots of fruit and nut trees, riding areas and all weather paddocks and horse barns  and parking for many vehicles all on four acres run by one woman  : )  That is how I see our farm needing to integrate permaculture, food production, fuel, water, habitat for many species, our livelihood and  income, our recreational are raising kids.  In the future I'd like to be incorporating energy production by wind turbine, solar and geothermal and maybe even some aquaculture in ponds and more of a mixed use farm, less horses but I will still stand my stallions.  More perimeter hedgerows are being planted ,  and interior  corridors of fruit and nut trees etc.
 
                    
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I would not worry about  mixing it,  as long as it is being composted.  It will heat up and destroy the pathogens.  Urine has a tendency to speed decomposing.  Good stuff.
 
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