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I am looking for some input from folks concerning manure spreader size as it relates to the horse(s) not capacity. I use a couple good size (~1000lb) draft ponies at our place and would like to purchase a ground drive spreader to use regularly behind them. Our farm is hilly so I am looking to size the spreader so it is a fairly easy pull. My math tells me that if I want to spread manure once a week I should be able to get away with a 55cuft spreader but it still pencils out as a fairly good load. I would suspect that any spreader that people use behind a single full sized draft would work well for our Haflingers.

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2016-11-09 18:46:18 (CST)

Billy, manure spreaders are many these days. There are all sorts of sizes and models to choose from. Check out the newest RH magazine that reports the Horse Progress Days events.
Also consider what is available, remember, you don't have to fill an 85 bushel spreader all the way up.
The old International 50 manure spreader would be perfect for you, but they are getting hard to find. A new Idea 10 or 12 A would also work, but you might not want to fill it all the way, depending upon the weight of the manure. Horse manure isn't much of a load, but packed wet cow manure would give your haffies quite a work out on a hill.
Lastly, for the amount you are talking about, I would consider a good sled with sides and spread with a fork.
It sounds like you have a very good understanding of what your team can do. Let common sense and your pocketbook guide you. Good luck in your search.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2016-11-09 22:45:44 (CST)

I figure you know that wet manure is a lot heavier than dry,so you have to figure the wet weight as the average load.

I have an old JD 40 model that I pull with a tractor. Filled heaping with partial dry and partial wet,made my little Ford 9N work pretty hard. I will measure mine tomorrow to get a cu ft volume of it. I'm sure a team of haflingers would really have to work hard to pull it

I am sure your assessment that your team of haflingers could pull as much as single heavy horse is right on.

I like to let the manure sit and compost as I believe it is more beneficial to improving the soil. I usually wait until the growing season is done ( I just finished spreading what I had yesterday) Then I do it again in early spring when I still have a chance of having snow covering it for a ew weeks. I also believe that by composting it, I reduce the parasite load that may be ingested by livestock feeding on pasture that had green manure spread on it.

My gut feeling is you nee d to be looking at something smaller than the 50 cu ft. I'll know more after I m easure mine

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-11-10 07:55:52 (CST)

Billy, we discussed the same question about spreader sizes some time ago. I don't remember what the title of the post was at that time. Maybe you can look it up in the Search the forum Archive. The RH magazine shows spreaders on pp 18 and 19, there is one model, a 30 bushel one , that is a one axle, ground-driven one, they should pull with ease. The 75 bushel one I would think is too much to pull for two Haflingers. It of course also always depends on the kind of land you have, flat or hilly. And you are not compelled to load it to the top. Manure and composts also have different weights depending on their composition.
I bought an old John Deere 75 bushel spreader for $ 100 fifteen years ago and it still works very well with only a little bit of greasing now and then. My team weighs in at over 4800 pounds and they of course don't even strain on rough ground.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2016-11-10 08:13:38 (CST)

I measured my spreader this AM. Roughly it is about 42 cu ft. A smaller team would have a tough time pulling it on any smaller hills even, unless the manure was all dry. Winter time with snow, it's going to be tougher

Usually spreaders are rated for bushels ,instead of cubic ft. I think.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Neal in Iowa says 2016-11-10 16:02:05 (CST)

Yes, there is the weight of the manure. But the weight of the spreader is a constant. 50 cubic feet is 40 bushels. 50 cu ft times 50 ponds per cu ft is 2,500 pounds. So the total load would be in the 3,500 pound range. Note that the 50 pounds per cu ft is probably on the high side for bedded manure. 65 pounds would be maximum as water is 62.4 pounds per cu ft.

Hills make pulling harder. So does the mechanicals when spreading. That said, I pull a JD Model L (50 to 75 bushels) with a pair of Morgan mares (1100 pounds). They walk right up the 8% slope outside the barn with it loaded. I spread on ground that is typically 3%, but I often spread uphill.

Would I spread on ground steeper than 8% going uphill? Only if that is the only way the wind will let me. Cross slope would be my choice. And I would probably not load as full.

My mares are not used in harness for much (other than spreading), but what I do does not seem to tax them very much. But the biggest day was 2 loads, and they rested while I pitched the second load out of the stalls and into the spreader.

I look for something with a 36 to 40" wide by 96" long floor. (JD L/M of NI 10) Load it lightly until you think you are at a good load.


2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Billy Foster says 2016-11-14 05:30:29 (CST)

Thanks for the responses everyone. Neal I was coming up with the same kind of numbers you were. The weight adds up really fast. I am thinking a 35 bushel spreader is about the size I would want. It seems small but I have a 75 bushel spreader for the tractor when things get piled up.
We are planning to go to HPD next year, I will definitely be looking at spreaders on that trip.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2016-11-15 13:21:13 (CST)

Here is the earlier thread about manure spreaders.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

JerryHicks says 2016-11-16 05:46:25 (CST)

I have never measured my spreaders for cubic feet, but I will. I have always just put on what I thought was a fair load for my team. I actually started with a ten foot trailer hooked behind a forecart. I put two old truck bed liners people had given me in the trailer with the open ends to the center. I put my load in the bed liners, then forked manure out on the field from the trailer. It worked okay, but I didn't get as much done as I'd like. My next spreader was an old Oliver Superior. It was a steel wheeled spreader and I had to haul most of my manure up a long steep hill over a rocky road. It seemed like I hauled a load up, and then walked in front of the team coming back down and picked up all the nuts and bolts that jarred off my spreader. I now use a New Idea two wheeled, rubber tired spreader behind the forecart. My first team was a pair of Tennessee walking horse/percheron cross mares and they never had trouble with a load, but they got a lot of time to rest while I loaded. I've always blamed it on that hill road, that it took me an hour to fork a load on, a half hour to drive to the field and five minutes to spread the load. I currently use a pair of mules that weigh about 1300 each, and I've never put a load to them yet that seemed to bother them but then I've never filled my spreader all the way.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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