Poop picking your horse’s field!
Some of us love it and some of us hate it. We only have limited time, so should we just leave it and harrow later so we can get on with riding or should you be poo picking?
Reasons Why You Should Remove Droppings From Your Paddock
1 – It’s unsightly!
2 – It can kill off the grass!
3 – It attracts flies
4 – It helps to break the life cycle of worms
5 – To keep you fitter and warm up for riding
6 – Great for mental health!
7 – It’s super satisfying to see a clean field.
How does Poo Picking Affect the Worm Burden of Your Horses?
Clearing your field of dropping benefits your horse’s health because it breaks the lifecycle of worms.
Worm eggs are passed in the droppings. They then move to the surrounding grass and are ingested again by your horse.
Therefore keeping your field clean helps to lower the worm burden. It also helps if you can rotate and rest your paddocks.
How often Should You Poo Pick?
We advise you should clear your field at least twice a week.
But, the more regularly poo picking is done the easier it will be (we prefer to do daily as it only takes 10-15 minutes per horse if done as part of your routine)
Horses usually do around 6-10 droppings per day (over the course of a year you are looking at around 9 tonnes!)
Is there a Better Way to Keep your Paddock Tidy other than Poop Picking by Hand?
When it comes to removing droppings there are other options, if you really can’t do it by hand.
You can Harrow, or you could use a mechanical poo picker.
Harrowing is super easy, but you do need a set of harrows, and a vehicle to do the harrowing (or a friendly farmer).
That also means your field needs access that can be entered by the vehicle doing the harrowing.
But MOST IMPORTANTLY harrowed fields MUST be rested!
You need to allow around 6 weeks for the field to rest.
After harrowing, worm eggs will be spread about. In order for the worm eggs to be killed the temperature has to be very hot or very cold…
Because the worm eggs are spread around it could potentially make the worm burden worse, unless it is hot or freezing!
Mechanical picking is another option and ideal if you’ve got a large field.
However, a lot of the poo is broken up and left on the floor, much like harrowing.
That will not look as neat and tidy, but it will still be better than no poo picking at all!
So which is the best method to remove Horse Poop from your Paddock?
For us the best result is always when a field is cleaned by hand.
Walking around to collect droppings by hand is the most effective way to remove the poo, you tend to get fewer droppings left and it will give you a much cleaner appearance.
Can I Just Leave the Poo, Harrow and Treat my Horse for Worms with a wormer?
Worms are becoming increasingly resistant to many of the drugs we use in wormers and the best way is to test and only worm if necessary.
For more on this see this blog post: https://www.efecs.co.uk/why-you-should-test-your-horse-for-worms-and-not-just-worm/
Why we love poo picking?
But many people find though that poo-picking is not just beneficial to the overall health of their horse. But it can also be very therapeutic!
It also gives you time to de-stress and unplug from the hustle and bustle of life (which is what we all need once in a while).
It gives you time to assess your pasture and watch your horse.
Time that is well spent in our book.
So next time you think of poo picking as a chore, pop in your headphones, choose your favourite tunes or an ebook and enjoy.
So tell us how do you feel about poop picking your horses field?