How to burn horse manure

Written by rebecca boardman
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Burning horse manure is a great way to get rid of a mess that comes with owning horses. Horses can produce a stunning amount of waste every day, and even when you put it in a manure pile, it can build up to the point where composting is not a quick enough way to get rid of it. Choosing to burn it instead is a great disposal method, as long as you do it sensibly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Horse manure
  • Fire pit
  • Lighter fluid
  • Matches
  • Metal rake
  • Fire extinguisher

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  1. 1

    Find a safe place to burn the manure. The best place is a fire pit. This can be as simple as a large, circular hole dug in the ground about 18 inches deep, with no grass or other combustibles around it, or it can be as complex as a brick- or metal-lined container set into the ground or almost completely enclosed. Whichever you use, keep safety as your first priority. Check with your local fire brigade to make sure burning is permitted in your municipality before you start your burn.

  2. 2

    Make sure the manure you are planning to burn is mostly dry. Placing some fresh manure on the pile will not make a difference, but using too much wet manure will keep the pile from burning.

  3. 3

    Pile the manure in a cone shape in the fire pit and douse it with lighter fluid. Make sure the manure is saturated before you light it, and focus on the drier portions. Keep the lighter fluid handy.

  4. 4

    Light the pile and monitor the fire. It may be necessary at the beginning to add more lighter fluid now and then, until some good embers build up. Once you have a good bed of coals going, the remainder of the pile should burn well, as long as you keep it raked.

  5. 5

    Stay with the manure until it burns completely. Never leave a fire unattended. When the pile has burnt down to the level you want, spread out the coals and ashes with the rake to cool them, and even water them down, if possible.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure you have a good bed of coals before adding any wet or fresh manure to the burning pile.
  • Never burn anything without checking with your local fire brigade. There may be conditions that make it unsafe for you to proceed.

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