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<  Composting, Mulch, and Soils  ~  Horse manure compost not organic?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:23 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
I was told today that HM compost "today" is "Not Organic".
WHEW! What a blow!

A young lady told me that horse today are feed grain that's not organic, hay that's not organic, given shots from vets, vitamins added to their feed & worm medicine regularly.
Any farm, yard ornament or pet horse today is man made & genetically altered.

I was speechless & had no come back.
Still think she's wrong but also somewhat right in what she said.
(She was a visitor at a friend house, college educated, liberal thinker etc)
It was not the place to start a big argument, but I feel the work "mother nature" does to the HM is good enough or at least better.
Sure does grow plants well though.
What should have been my come-back?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:47 am
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
I think I would've said "at least it doesn't come from a lab!" I do wonder about what they consume and the meds, though. You know what they say, "garbage in, garbage out." I've never come across any articles on it or asked about it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:41 pm
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:02 pmPosts: 1162Location: philly
well, with all the genetic modification that's been going on for decades, not much is actually left up to mother nature these days...that's a totally different topic, tho!!

as for the comment that the hm isn't organic, probably correct. all grains and other crops (whether for our consumption of for the various animals) are treated with chemicals to enhance growth and others to kill pests...unless you can verify that the owner of the horses only allows them to graze on untreated pasture with no supplemental feed provided, or that the supplemental feed that IS provided is certified organic, then i'd have to agree that the hm is not organic.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:23 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
Our neighbors with horses spray their pastures every year and most likely use the drugs too. That's partly why I'm not interested in getting any HM. My garden does fine without it and the composted leaves and vegie scraps add enough as far as I'm concerned, but I don't put anyone down for using HM. It's still better than chemicals.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:54 pm
User avatarJoined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:37 amPosts: 912Location: Zone 6/7, Culpeper, VA
God I do HATE this sort of stuff.

Technically, if you're looking to have your produce government-certified-organic for sale, than yes, it does make a difference if the manure you're using (whether poultry, pork, horse, cow, whatever) came from animals fed a totally organic diet &/or were administered meds or wormers, etc. Have a lot of fun tracing the feed line - LOL!!!!!!!!!!

However, unless you're not looking for certification, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!!!!!!

Good Lord! I've been using my own poultry & horse manure (& YES, my horses are chemically wormed, like the bazillion others on the planet) from birds & horses fed high-quality commercial diets & have had FABULOUS results over, what, 30 years? As far as I know, I don't glow in the dark & haven't grown a second head yet.

This organic business has gotten WAY out of hand. It's produced the most amazing number of zealots who wouldn't even be that way if they had to read books instead of just browsing the dubious internet.

Sorry - but I'm not about to start worrying about whether the hay I pay $300.00-$400.00 A WEEK for is "organically grown" because of the manure going into my garden. And if I was still raising chickens, I'd feel the same way about their grain.

Your neighbors are spraying their fields because 1) many weeds are highly poisonous to horses, & 2) weeds in hay take up valuable & non-nutritious space that could be taken by nutritious grasses. And YES- horses (& cattle, & goats, & sheep, & poultry) all need to be wormed upon occasion. And YES, it's frequently done via chemical (although I wouldn't necessarily call it a drug).

And YES - please try to learn something before you spout stuff like this. It's obvious you're not a horse/livestock owner, & I personally find your ignorance somewhat offensive.

"My body is a temple - unfortunately it's a fixer-upper."
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:53 am
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pmPosts: 1927Location: PNW
Well, I find your rudeness offensive and if you hate this topic so much, why read it or respond to it??

I'm well aware of why my neighbor sprays and I didn't state that he uses meds because I've never asked him, so why state a fact I don't know to be true? And, I'm not forcing my opinion on anyone.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:47 am
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
Regardless if it's organic or not, I plan on and am using it.
I feel OK with it, considering the many other things in our society that may not be good for me.
I found out "store bought" strawberry growers use herbicides & pesticides (all approved by the Government of course) & I eat them sometimes. I'm sure it's that way with most everything grown by the big commercial farms.
To tell the truth, I use "miracle grow" for tomatoes in the greenhouse (oops, my secret is out) :)

I don't however use herbicides & pesticides, I weed the old fashion way "pull-em" & hunt down to kill insects when I find them or share with them when I can't. Probably even ate some but they must've tasted good :shock: & I did 't notice.

We each have an approach to our gardens, I respect everyone's opinion whether I agree or disagree.

One good thing is I don't have worms, well I do have earth worms & they have worms, or babies or lay eggs or whatever they do, they like the compost. (not that I directly eat the compost)
Thought I saw a 2 headed one but it was 2 worms doing what hermaphrodites do :roll:

I digress. Bye :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:10 am
User avatarJoined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:55 amPosts: 655Location: Athens, GA, USA 7b
That's quite enough, Breezy. You're done here. Do not come back.

Brushwood Nursery
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:08 pm
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 5:24 amPosts: 70
Most are fine. Technically not organic. To be totally honest the barns that would scare me off from using their doo are show barns. I mean forget wormers (in and out.. really only going to effect you if you are trying to feed it to worms or attract them and the manure you are getting is from a big barn that just simultaneously wormed every horse... and every remnant was collected. lol ) usually deworm horses every other month because the wormers only work at a certain life cycle stage and you have to keep it going alternating wormers due to resistances (and some of the parasites are able to be dormant in the fields for YEARS).

Show barns... now they can be scary. Not saying all are... but that world can get brutal. The basic barn and local stable... not too likely to encounter people dropping several grand in meds to help their pet become a tweaked out high performance athlete.

Grains... yes conventional grown... alfalfa I haven't encountered any that sprayed their fields. We never did but I suppose others could have.

Let her wrap this around her organic noggin... when it comes to compost/ manure... the restrictions for certification is that RAW manure must be aged 90 to 120 for organic... no time restrictions for conventional. AND... to be certified organic they only have to keep track of the feedstock and test the compost they make for heavy metals and antibiotics. Certified Organic farms CAN use manures from non-organic raised animals.

They have to keep track of the feedstock because things like copper (from meds like cattle foot baths to prevent/ treat disease as well as from grazing, etc.), arsenic in poultry feed can build up in the soil.

So your compost and vermicompost... more than likely is more "organic" than what she is aware of, paying extra for... and looking down her nose at others about.

Oh... and vitamins don't count against being organic as long as they are just as safe for humans to consume.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:08 pm
User avatarJoined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:43 pmPosts: 529Location: Upstate New York
I'd tell her that although she is technically correct, your home grown produce fertilized with HM is far more organic than anything she buys in the store and ask her if she's ever used cosmetics? .... the ones that are torture tested on animals just so she can look all painted 'n purdy. That usually quiets 'em down and gets 'em down from the high horse (hmm...I wonder how much manure comes from a high horse [think on that a minute and you'll find some real humor!] - eg. an aweful lot of manure comes from a body on a high horse!).

lol - I remember having a discussion once with my sister-in-law and I mentioned that I liked velveta cheese. She's a transplant to California and she wrinkled her nose and with some disgust said, but that's PROCESSED cheese (and 'of course all proceesed food must be bad').
I just laughed at her and said, It's a blend of different cheeses, but ALL CHEESE is processed cause it doesn't come out of a cow that way! (she'd been programmed that all processed food is bad. I don't disagree that some processed foods are in fact bad, but depending on how you define 'processed' I'd suggest that some processed foods are very good - but that's a different post).

Sometimes people get notions in their heads without thinking it through and applying basic logic. Everyone is coming around to how chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are evil and organic is the way of the future.
But that's just like saying that all modern medicines are evil drugs... regardless of how many lives they improve...or save. The fact is that w/o fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, crop yields would be significantly reduced, making the cost of food much, much higher and many more people would go hungry.
I think what's really wrong is that we don't apply logic and common sense to the products used and end up applying way to much with negative results.

Well, sorry for the rant. Next time just tell her yer manure is good crap so shut up!


Ideas are like children, there are none so wonderful as your own.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:18 pm
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 5:24 amPosts: 70
You tell 'im Abbeysdad!

Bogy... the hm you are using is most likely the same quality, if not better, as the manures *certified organic* farms use.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:35 pm
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pmPosts: 1357Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
If you're composting kitchen scraps of non-organic origin (including newspaper/cardboard, ect), then that's about the same as composting HM from horses that didn't eat organic feed.

As far as drugs in organic vs non-organic manure goes, organic animal husbandry says that natural products should be used *when possible*. Which means that absent a natural option, whatever conventional drug is appropriate is okay and organic manure could contain such substances and their derivatives. And even a natural de-wormer would probably be a dis-service to the soil ecosystem.

If you look at the HM from the perspective of sustainability and environmental impact, using local non-organic certified horse manure is more sustainable and better for the environment than organic fertilizers from the store (some of which are shipped vast distances), and organic HM that you have to travel farther for.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:30 pm
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pmPosts: 307Location: Alaska
I got good results with the compost I made.
Don't have a way to get organic HM, so I guess 'm stuck with just plain horse sh***. :)
Sorry the post was so controversial. After all it wasn't health care or the like. LOL :)

Seriously: I'm extremely happy with the progress I've made making compost. Got lots of help on this site.
So thanks to all those who helped or replied, regardless of which side. All inputs help.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:14 pm
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 5:24 amPosts: 70
Bogy... lol there is no such thing as organic compost (at least not the way the zealously health conscious define organic as). What you are using and how long you are composting no doubt would meet the standards (probably exceed the standards) for use at an organic farm. Still can't beat backyard veggie quality.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:02 pm
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:35 pmPosts: 162Location: NH zone 4/5
As I beleive an earlier poster already noted, manure needs to be composted or aged before use to qualify as 'organic'.

Zealots will never have it pure enough to suit them.

I can't fix zealotry, I dunno how to even start.

Tom C
Zone 4/5
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:59 am
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:17 pmPosts: 21
If one tries to confuse the issue of what is organic......and what isn't....

characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms: organic remains found in rocks.
3.of or pertaining to an organ or the organs of an animal, plant, or fungus.
4.of, pertaining to, or affecting living tissue: organic pathology.

The material that comes out the rear end of an animal....horses are, by definition
When a drug is made from a flower....its said to be organic. That sometimes puts down some people who make a claim to never use non-organic and refuse to use chemicals in their gardening practices.
Pyrethrum is a prime example...

If I could lay my spade, on some horse manure, I'd be quite pleased with what my garden will soon receive....let's count our blessings. But, unfortunately, while I live in a rural area, the farmers around here do not part with their gold....and manure to them is what makes them rich.

I do stop and buy some bagged sheep manure that I'm sure has been treated but my lawn doesn't know the difference and I'm not squealing.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:30 pm
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:35 pmPosts: 162Location: NH zone 4/5
Dave, I haven't read all the posts to this thread. That said if you continue to read and talk to others who use organic practice, you are gonna find more than one Phillistine who demands absolute purity in all their soil components and additions to their garden.

If this absolute demand of utterly NO chemical amendments to your garden is one you want to embrace, you may find this a nearly unreachable goal.

If you are given choices of less, be that a less medicated livestock manure, or moe open pollinated (or organic certified) seed and choose it-them then you are nearer your goal.

I fear I'm going to take the herbivore manure I can find for free, and use less commercial seed I can barter for over a demand of a rigor I can't reach.

Only you can answer if organic practice is a starting out place or a goal... For me its a goal and not an ideal. I can live with my choices.

Tom C
Zone 4/5
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