Read this before you use that horse manure

Spring has finally sprung. Its been a long winter here in SE Texas. Many of us already have our gardens going …knowing that the Texas summer heat is right around the corner. I have friends who are avid gardeners and horse owners. They like using anything “natural” to help their plants grow – including horse manure. Horse manure can be a great fertilizer *however* there are risks – the manure better come from healthy horses or you could get sick from the plants you grow! And its a reminder to have your horses’ health checked – you never know when an unknown infection could be lurking around. ~ HfH

Read this before you dump that horse manure in your vegetable garden

From: The Examiner

Horse manure ready for the garden

Horse manure ready for the garden

After a long winter, most of us Pennsylvania and New Jersey horse people can’t wait to get back in the saddle. The beauty of springtime may also bring out a bit of gardener in us. As a horse owner, no doubt you have ready access to horse manure. It has probably crossed your mind to “go organic” and use those horse droppings to fertilize your flower and vegetable gardens. Using manure in a garden, however, requires taking certain precautions so it pays to do a little research on food safety so that you don’t put your health — and your family’s health — at risk.

Michele Jay-Russell, a veterinarian and research microbiologist and program manager of the Western Center for Food Safety has taken horse manure research to a new level. He is co-author of a soon-to-be-released study that highlights the hazards associated with using raw animal manure in the garden. The study will be published in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health.

The basis of the study according to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine,
all began back in July of 2010 when a shire mare from a rural Northern California farm was brought to the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for treatment of colic. Following protocol, the veterinarians screened the horse for Salmonella to avoid infecting other horses during hospitalization and the horse tested positive. After successful treatment for colic, the horse was released and went home. Her owners then notified the veterinarians that some of their other draft horses were sick as well—all eight were tested and six came back positive for the same Salmonella Oranienburg strain including the mare that still had the infection.

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1 Comment
  • Margo Nielsen

    I have been wanting to use my horse manure for compost, but have been reluctant to do so because my senior horses take Bute quite often and I don’t know if it breaks down in their systems or contains the carcinogens in their manure. Anyone know?

    April 23, 2014