Horses have been used by mankind for thousands of years, as workers, transportation, food and in times of war. The inextricable thing about owning horses is dealing with the large amount of manure they produce. Uses for horse manure has a history as long although not as illustrious as the horse itself.
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According to Becki Bell, author of "The Little Book of Horse Poop" a normal horse produces up to 8165 Kilogram of manure annually. That averages out to 204117 Kilogram over the horse's lifetime.
Horse manure is rich in nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash, but because it often contains a lot of weed seeds, using it straight on the garden can cause weeding hassles. According to PlantTea.com, around 75 to 90 per cent of the nutrients from plants fed to herbivores comes out in their manure, so it makes good fertiliser.
Horse manure is regularly worked into a compost heap for use as fertiliser. Horse manure put directly on the garden is too high in ammonia, and usually burns the roots and seedlings of plants, so composting is essential. According to Allotment Vegetable Growing, horse manure takes around six months to properly compost.
Horse manure makes an efficient fuel alternative to wood. Dried manure has been used for thousands of years for fuel on fires, and as discovered by Backwoods Home Magazine, compressed bricks of manure have as good a fuel efficiency as cured hardwood. The ash left over from burning horse manure is also a potent fertiliser and has been used in Asian countries for thousands of years.
Horse manure bricks are not only used for fuel. According to "The Little Book of Poop," horse manure bricks were used thousands of years ago to build huts, with the insulation value of horse manure highly prized in this application. Horse manure piles were also placed along the outside walls of houses to provide insulation during winter, as horse manure produces heat when it decomposes.
For the owners of champion horses, their manure can be as valuable as the horse itself. The 2004 Athens Olympic champion horse Shear L'Eau had his manure sold on eBay for a staggering £904.
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