4 Manure Spreader Considerations
When selecting a manure spreading to use, there are numerous choices and considerations. Depending on the size of your horse farm and fields, you will want to select something that works well for your needs. Here are four of the most common considerations to look for when shopping for a manure spreader for the first time.
1. Manure Spreader Size
Depending on the size of your field and number of horses, you will want to select a model that allows for you to spread accumulated manure quickly and efficiently. Starting from holding only a few cubic feet to over 10 cubic feet, you will want to choose one that can fit a large portion of your manure in one trip, depending on how often you want to spread manure. A midsized spreader holding 8 cubic feet of manure will hold manure from 3 to 5 stalls, while a larger model holding 13 cubic feet would use manure from about 8 stalls. Select a model that will work for your size farm.
2. Towing Ability
Based on the size of your manure spreader, you will have different options to tow it. While smaller models often can be hand pulled, the larger options range from being horse-drawn to hitching to a golf cart, all terrain vehicle or small tractor. You will want to consider how you will be pulling it when you make the purchase to ensure that you have or will be purchasing a vehicle that can tow the manure spreader.
3. Ground Drive or PTO
There are two main types of manure spreaders:– those operated by ground drive, and those operated by PTO. A ground drive manure spreader’s axle spins and releases manure through an opening onto the soil as the wheels of the manure spreader spin. A PTO, or power take off manure spreader, uses a shaft that is connected to a mechanism on your tractor to enable the manure spreader to turn and spread the manure. PTO models are typically more expensive and larger, while ground drive spreaders are a good choice for a small farm.
4. Mixture of Manure to Spread
You will want to be sure that the manure spreader you purchase can handle whatever manure product you will be spreading. While many manure spreaders are designed for straight manure, there are also plenty of models on the market that allow for all kinds of manure including that mixed with straw or hay straight from a stable. If you plan on using manure and bedding right out of your stables, be sure to select a rugged manure spreader that can handle this.
While manure spreaders have come a long way in recent years to improve their efficiency and quality, be sure to check on these considerations before making a decision on this important tool that will save you time and money, as well as improve the overall health of your pastures with organic matter.