Generation and Management of Manure from Horses and Other Equids

Michael L. Westendorf, Carey A. Williams, Stephanie Murphy, Laura Kenny, Masoud Hashemi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Horse manure presents challenges in management and disposal that are different than manure from other species. Horse farms often have small numbers of animals and limited acreages and producers may be less familiar with manure management and disposal best management practices (BMPs) or with conservation assistance opportunities available. The average adult horse will produce about 10 tons of manure per year, or about 9000 L in volume (12 cubic yards). This manure contains nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), which can be an environmental concern, and microorganisms, which may influence human and animal health. In addition, horse manure is a source of greenhouse gas emissions. The most common manure management technology used for managing horse manure is composting, although there are opportunities for other methods including anaerobic digestion. The nutrients in horse manure can be affected by diet and feeding management. Often the levels of nutrients in a standard diet are above requirements, creating opportunities for management programs that can reduce nutrients in the waste through diet modifications. Properly grazed pastures, particularly when pastures are rotationally grazed, recycle nutrients faster than ungrazed pastures, presenting an opportunity for reducing waste excretion and runoff. Best management practices such as manure storages, fencing, properly located feeding, watering, and sheltering areas and nutrient management programs can result in improvements in soil, water, and environmental quality. There are a variety of methods available to equine producers and their advisors for implementing manure management and conservation programs on farm.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAnimal Manure
Subtitle of host publicationProduction, Characteristics, Environmental Concerns, and Management
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780891183716
ISBN (Print)9780891183709
StatePublished - Jan 9 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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