What's in this Horse Manure in my garden?

by David Hughes
(Linton, Indiana, USA)

I have located a good local source of horse manure for my garden. I haul about a cubic yard of manure mixed with straw and hay every week. I have noticed that, occasionally, there is a grey coarse granular material mixed in the manure. My horse owner friend indicated that he buys this product from the local feed store and spreads it on the horse stall floors to absorb urine and counteract any ammonia smell. It looks somewhat like 'kitty litter' but it clumps differently. My question is .... what is this stuff and will it harm my soil? Anyone have any experience with this product? Do I need a new source of manure?

Comments for What's in this Horse Manure in my garden?

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Jul 19, 2011
Horse Manure
by: Kiwi George

Hi David. I get the same "additive" in the horse I get from my local Riding for the Disabled (RDA) bin where i have struck a good deal. I donate $ to help pay for what goes in the front end and I get as much as I want of what comes out the back end. As a long time No Dig (I can no longer dig because of a chronic heart problem) organic gardener I have not found any deleterious effects. If it is safe to place where horses could ingest it in some way, it will be safe for your garden. I also use sheep manure and have had comments about the sheep drench and dip farmers use but again after many years of using it, no ill effects.
Hope that answers your question.

Jul 20, 2011
What's added to horse bedding
by: ~ Megan

I believe that the volcanic mineral Zeolite could be the substance, or at least the main ingredient that's added to the bedding for horse stables.

Zeolite is natural so would be fine for organic gardening, in fact it would be beneficial especially for clay because its porosity would help break up heavy soil, as well as increase the soil's water holding ability.

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