Composting horse manure with chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CanadaEh, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. CanadaEh

    CanadaEh Songster

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    Our compost pile is within the chicken run (half of the run is filled with ~2ft of fall leaves + some kitchen scraps). Would it be a bad idea to add some horse manure/bedding to the pile for the purpose of helping to compost it including eliminating any residual seeds and to use it in the garden coming spring (plus some free chicken feed)?

    My concerns are:

    1) While I understand chickens do often leave with horses/cows on the farms, will bringing horse manure on purpose increase their chances of worm infestation compared to an isolated flock?

    2) While the stable owner said they don't use any medication not sure if she meant "not even dewormers". How bad is it going to be if the chickens by chance get access to manure from a recently dewormed horse in terms of their own health or us eating their eggs? From googling I see deworming every other month is pretty common, so the chances of getting some of that manure is pretty high.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

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    My chickens have always worked the donkey poop whether piled or not. It makes good dust baths and forage. I never worm my chickens. Worms generally are host specific, so your chickens can't get infested. I never worry about the wormer I use on my donkeys once or twice a year.
     
  3. Maneiac

    Maneiac Hatching

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    You can buy microbial innoculants to accelerate the decomposition if you are leery of the horse manure...look into em-1
     
  4. Maneiac

    Maneiac Hatching

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    Or...Korean natural farming ...the imo they refer to are indigenous micro organisims
     
  5. "Chicken" wormers are often actually horse wormers. So there is that. For example, EquiMax.
     
  6. CanadaEh

    CanadaEh Songster

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    yes, but ain't you suppose to eat eggs for a week or two after warming them? And with horse manure that would be like non stop worming?
     
  7. If you want to get into the fine details, you would need to go look at the rate of excretion of the drug and how it is excreted (from the horses). For many drugs, a large percentage of the drug is excreted via urine, and a much smaller percentage is via their poop. All this usually happens within a short time span. Sometimes hours, sometimes a day or two. Almost never longer than that. Then there is the factor of how fast it degrades in the air/sun. Lots of drugs will degrade rapidly if exposed to sunlight and air. Plus the horses are not being wormed constanty (usually). So you are only probably talking about a few days every few months that the horses are even excreting any drug.

    Without me going and looking all those things up, I still am pretty confident in saying that the risk of any significant amount of wormer making it into the eggs of the chickens is low. For the reasons above, as well as since the chickens aren't going to be gorging on pure horse poop. It might make up part of their diet, but not a lot.
     
    Melodychick likes this.

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