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Horse Manure?

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by lulubelle, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. lulubelle

    lulubelle Well-Known Member

    I have a nice pile of horse manure that has been sitting for several years, so it basically looks like regular soil.

    If I mix it with a little sand and sphagnum moss, can I have this in my viv for my CWD?
  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I wouldn't. Eating bugs, digging, and burrowing in a pile of manure just sounds gross and it could cause parasit issues if ingested. If you wanted to use it in pots for plants or a garden sure go ahead(with potting soil mixed in) but I wouldn't put t in with live animals.
  3. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I don't see why you couldn't use it if it's off-gassed--- you'll want to be sure it's not smelly at all.

    I'm not sure if horse manure has high levels of waste products like nitrates so that's something you'll want to look into. :)

    What kind of parasites would result from the manure? Parasites like roundworms require a host to survive and this manure has been sitting out for several years. Tapeworms require an intermediate host to be infectious (you can't get tapeworms by ingesting the eggs or adults).
  4. lulubelle

    lulubelle Well-Known Member

    OK, thanks!
    The manure is compost now. It doesn't smell like poo.
    I do worm our horses, but I don't think that would be a problem. When it breaks down the microorganisms produce heat and 'cooks' it and over time, kills any parasites, etc.

    The compost must be very good since there are a lot of earthworms making their home in it.

    I guess I should have said "composted horse manure" to take away the ick factor. :p
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Here is an article about horse parasites and how they are passed and infectious: Parasitology with pictures.pdf

    The very fact that the manure is Grassed is the reason horses have much higher parasites and not all working agents work. Nor are the signs readily available for he infected host. And even composting doesn't get rid of all parasites unless you can assure that it burned at a high enough temp for a long enough time. Parasites aren't my specialty so I am unsure of what the temp or duration would need to be...though I will say it would have been hot enough to kill the earthworms.
  6. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    I'm still not sure why you are so deadset on particle substrate. A dig box is one thing, but covering the bottom of a CWD enclosure in soil is just not a great plan, especially for juvies and that goes double if the enclosure is on the small side.
  7. lulubelle

    lulubelle Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the article.
    Our compost pile has been sitting for several years and if the soil wasn't safe, the earthworms wouldn't thrive.

    As for temperature:
    "Because the microorganisms produce heat, temperature is a good indication of the level of biological activity taking place. The ideal temperature range is 135 to 160 degrees F. Temperatures below this range require more composting time to kill pathogens and other unwanted pests, while temperatures above this range will kill beneficial bacteria needed for decomposition. It is best to maintain temperatures at approximately 150 degrees to kill the eggs of parasites, oocysts (dormant larvae in a capsule-like sac) and flies." —Composting Horse Manure for Environmental and Economic Benefits, LSU Ag Center

    I didn't take a thermometer to take a reading, but if you put your hand to the pile, it is very hot, some have been known to self combust and some farmers have also used manure packs for heat in their barns and on and on… the benefits of manure. :)

    Why is it not a good idea to have soil as a substrate? I've read on Tricia's CWD website that it's ok to use. I also hand feed her, so there aren't any bugs crawling on the ground where she could ingest the substrate.

    The bottom of her new enclosure (she's in the 50 gallon breeder right now) is 4' wide x 30" deep x 5'6" tall. Her pond will take up about 27" and I was going to have the rest covered with some sort of substrate and thought since I have it readily available, I could use the composted manure instead of organic soil and put some types of moss, rocks and plants (real/fake) across the bottom along with springtails for the clean up crew.
  8. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    As long as its not coconut husk I don't see an issue with using substrate either. I will about 20" of soil in my 4x3x7 enclosure. It will be going around her 40gal pond.
    As for the manure I guess it has been long enough that parasites would have died off by now. I guess it's sorta like breeding roaches...disgusting idea but harmless over all.
  9. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    In a very large enclosure, particle substrate is fine. In a small enclosure, particle substrate in a dig box is fine. But if the enclosure is small enough that the dragon feels trapped, they tend to dig, and they dig with their heads. It can cause and perpetuate illness. I really don't think it's necessary for anything but a sexually mature female, and if you're unsure of the relative health, stress levels, and enclosure habits, it doesn't seem with the risk. In a final, very large enclosure with a healthy, stable dragon, it's fine. Putting new juvies on soil is a crap chute and potentially asking for trouble.

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