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Heating your home with horse manure!

We came across this web page at equinecompare  Save money on heating bills – burn horse manure’ which describes how to use a briquette paper log maker to produce fuel ‘logs’ from horse manure.

The Backwoods Home Magazine has a lot more information plus instructions for a DIY briquette maker. They say the odour evaporates in a few weeks as the brick shapes dry out, and the ashes make good fertiliser.

It sounds like maybe a good idea for anyone who keeps horses, but as we don’t have a horse we can’t test it out. However, by browsing round various forums and web sites we found a few people who are actually heating their homes with horse manure.

Some are simply collecting the horse apples, leaving them under cover to dry out, then adding them to the fire as they are. Apparently horse apples burn well in a wood-burner, multi-fuel stove or on an open fire, although they tend to roll off the open fire, which could be dangerous! They burn best when mixed with coal or wood, and there is no nasty smell.

Others are making the manure into bricks to burn for longer. These are still best when mixed with other fuels. They are little slower than wood to ignite, burn less intensely, but give out more heat and are good for keeping the fire in overnight.

People are using various systems for making the bricks. They all say it’s best to wet the manure and break it down into a slurry – this makes the dried bricks hold together better.  Some are using paper briquette makers or similar home-made wooden moulds, and say the briquettes work well although the process is a little slow. Others are using a wall mounted system which used to be sold on ebay but seems to be no longer available.

However, this lady in the US, Sherry Sutton-Zanardo, has been successfully using her own wall-mounted system for the past two winters. It’s a simple device which she designed and got her farrier to make up for her at a cost of about $20 for materials. She says the bricks burn beautifully with no odour. Read about her here:

Spooner farmer uses horse ‘poo-bricks’ for heat

If anyone out there tries it please let us know how you get on! You can buy paper briquette makers here if you would rather just use newspaper instead!

See also our post on Paper log makers


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6 thoughts on “Heating your home with horse manure!”

  1. Marina Keirn

    What about methane gasses, meds, dewormers, GMO feed? Would that be a concern?

  2. Peter McGlynn

    Yes dried and pelleted used horse bedding is a good carbon neutral fuel it has a calorific value of 18 kw/ kg coal is 22kw/kg and there is stoves and boilers on the market that can burn them.

  3. I have plenty of horse manure ready for collection if anyone is interested, UK only. find me on facebook Tracey Aithwaite

  4. Amelia Foister

    We have 8 horses ( about 80 poo’s a day!) and I’m wanting to make these briquettes for our own use and for our friends. Does anyone know of a way to make them efficiently? I don’t want to spend the rest of my day making briquettes after I’ve poo picked!!

  5. Sarah Williams

    I have a livery yard. I have 35 horses to muck out and get a lot of dung. I have bedding mixed in it which is woodshavings and straw. And also neat from the fields. I have thought about it for years whether it’s safe for the environment to use as burning material or not. Due to its nature being high in fibre as we only feed our horses high fibre hay and chaff and grass I’m guessing in must be as natural to burn as woodpellets etc. I just wandered if the methane in manure is a problem for the environment or if it would naturally be burned off as a safe way to dispose of the cases. Does anyone know anymore about this??

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