Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

Last post 03-04-2008 12:58 AM by gypsy fly. 18 replies.
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  • 03-01-2008 8:49 PM

    Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    Long ago, when I was a kid (I'm now 56), everyone had a bag of lime in their tackshed, used it to treat the ground where their horse's stall was constantly wet from urine.  One would sprinkle a big scoop or two on the pee spot, take your rake and rake it well into the wet soil and in a day or two, the spot would be considerably drier.  It also helped to control the bacteria in the soil and change the pH balance favorably.  It also controlled the urine odor.

    Fast forward 40 years later and no one knows what I'm talking about!  "Did you mean Woody Pellets?" "Were you talking about DryStall?" people would say.  I had to special order it at the feed and tack store, because they didn't carry it.  It's so cheap and good for your horse (but you need to dig it into the soil, not just sprinkle it on the top, as it can be caustic to some horses skin).

     

    Here's some info:http://www.lime.org/ENV02/ENV802.htm#Animal 

     

    So, just wondering, am I the only person still using lime? 

     

    ...and God took a handful of southerly wind, blew his breath over it and created the horse...

    ~ Bedouin Legend
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  • 03-01-2008 10:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    Lime is still in use out here.  I've worked at farms that limed the stalls, and at some that used Stall Dry.  Didn't see a big difference in the results, though I gather there's one in the price.  For the moment (and for as long as possible) my mare lives on pasture, so I don't use either!


    photo by FallingForNova
    RIP my beautiful girl -- April 4 2002 - August 21, 2012
    http://squeaksmom-lifeinthezoo.blogspot.com/
  • 03-01-2008 10:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    I found that after moving into barns with level stalls and correctly cut mats I basically didn't find the need to use lime anymore.  Also there are now alternative products that are similar to lime, solve the same problem (should you not be fortunate enough to have level, matted, and/or well-drained stalls) without the health risk to you or the horse:Stall Dry
  • 03-01-2008 10:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    Squeaksmom:

    Lime is still in use out here.  I've worked at farms that limed the stalls, and at some that used Stall Dry.  Didn't see a big difference in the results, though I gather there's one in the price.  For the moment (and for as long as possible) my mare lives on pasture, so I don't use either!

    Lucky for your horse and you!  Pastures usually don't have pee spots!  LOL!!!!!  Just lots and lots of room to roam.  Bri is in a 24X24 foot stall with a 1/3 cover for rain.  Every winter I have it prepped for our very mild but sometimes wet winters with DG and bird's eye gravel.  But we always seem to have a pee spot, as my stall is down the hill from the hill (duh!), the big arena and the breezeway barn.  All the moisture runs downhill through our stall into the creek below.

    I found the Dry Stall absorbed the moisture and had to be dug out of the stall.  The lime makes the soil absorb the moisture.

    ...and God took a handful of southerly wind, blew his breath over it and created the horse...

    ~ Bedouin Legend
  • 03-02-2008 11:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

     Lime is very caustic to both you & your horse. I hope you wear a mask when handling it AND that your horse is not in breathing area while you are working with that stuff.  It is also very drying to horses' hooves so you would want to be sure that your horse doesn't dig or paw in the areas where you've put it down.

    I much prefer using safer products such as Sweet PDZ, StableBoy or Stall Dry.

  • 03-02-2008 3:43 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

     I used it to when working in barns as a kid.  But it's nasty, toxic stuff and not very safe to work with so I'm glad I don't see it around anymore!



    Solaris -- 16 hh Appendix Quarter Horse = MY DREAM COME TRUE!
    We Are Flying Solo
  • 03-02-2008 4:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    Solaris:
    nasty, toxic stuff and not very safe to work

    I just checked our bag of lime and it said, Active Ingrediant:  Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3).  If you take calcium pills, that would probably be ground sea shells.  That's calcium carbonate.  Our bag says it's ground up limestone which has been baked at low temperature to make it crumble into fine powder.  A bit more baking at some high temperature and you'll make cement.

    If I can catch a cup of pee, I'll take it to the chem lab at Portland State University and have them run an analysis on it mixed with lime.  I'll then find a hoof clipping and soak it in the solution.  I'm sure someone has done this before.  If I can find a reference, I'll post. 

    Well, I'm off to catch some pee.  Where's my duct tape and a plastic bag?

    .

    Oops that blew up ... go figure!!
  • 03-02-2008 5:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    If it specifies "active" ingredient, I doubt that it's the "only" ingredient or they wouldn't need to specify.  As someone who's had lime burns, experiment away, but be careful.


    photo by FallingForNova
    RIP my beautiful girl -- April 4 2002 - August 21, 2012
    http://squeaksmom-lifeinthezoo.blogspot.com/
  • 03-02-2008 5:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    I don't remember lime either.  I remember "stable mate" which I think is still on the market.

    I can understand needing something...As the smell of ammonia is harmful as well.

  • 03-02-2008 7:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    For those that would rather not experiment (because it has been done for you, as with any purchasable chemical):
    "May cause severe eye damage and severe burns to the skin. Causes gastrointestinal tract burns, severe pain, nausea, vomiting. May cause circulatory system failure. May cause coughing and difficulty in breathing. May cause chemical bronchitis. Conditions aggravated/target organs: Persons with pre-existing eye, skin, or respiratory conditions are more susceptible."

    It carries a health risk rating of 3 out of 4.  That's crazy high for something outside of a chemistry lab (heck, it's high for something IN a chemistry lab...)

    This is just a basic one for "lime".  Brands of "lime" for stall and other use will have other compounds and possibly different forms of lime.  The manufacturer  should have and provide MSDS information on their product however, so check their website and if you can't find it CALL them (in fact they may even be required to give you this information).
  • 03-02-2008 7:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    QHAA, thanks for that info - sure backs up my opinion on reasons  NOT to use lime..

    Just a bit of anecdotal info to further validate the reason to not use it - lime was used in days gone by to hasten the decomposition of buried bodies, especially during times of epidemic mortalities. 

  • 03-02-2008 9:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    Squeaksmom:
    experiment away, but be careful

    It just so happens I'm in computer science, every department at the university owes us a favor.  So, if I can collect the materials, I'm sure one of the Chemistry professors will oblige a graduate student to assist.  More than likely, they'll do a literature search in a subscription database and hand me a bibliography. 

    I'd like to know 1) What happens when lime is applied to pee on sawdust?  2) How much is needed to have the benefits?  How much is too much?

    Oops that blew up ... go figure!!
  • 03-02-2008 9:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    If you are serious about this why don't you procure some samples of the competing products and determine which works best.  Basically, determine if there is a good reason to use a potentially harmful substance when you can use a non-toxic, biodegradable, etc substance for the same purpose.
  • 03-02-2008 10:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    QHAllAround:
    For those that would rather not experiment (because it has been done for you, as with any purchasable chemical):
    "May cause severe eye damage and severe burns to the skin. Causes gastrointestinal tract burns, severe pain, nausea, vomiting. May cause circulatory system failure. May cause coughing and difficulty in breathing. May cause chemical bronchitis. Conditions aggravated/target organs: Persons with pre-existing eye, skin, or respiratory conditions are more susceptible."

    You are talking about Quicklime or Burnt Lime, CaO, Calcium Oxide.  It is made by heating Calcium Carbonate to a high degree and the resulting product is Quicklime.

    Another lime product is called Hydrated Lime, Ca(OH)2, which is less caustic than Quicklime.

    I'm talking about Agricultural Lime, CaCo3, Calcium Carbonate.  Big difference.  Calcium Carbonate is the shells of marine organisms, snails and eggshells.  It is commonly used as a calcium suppliment or an antacid.  It is the fine film used in baby diapers.  It is used in soy milk to boost the calcium.  It is the baking powder in your cupboard.

    I've never had any problems with my horse or myself by using this product.  Like I stated before, it dries up the pee spot and there is nothing to dig out and remove.

    ...and God took a handful of southerly wind, blew his breath over it and created the horse...

    ~ Bedouin Legend
  • 03-02-2008 11:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Do you use lime on your horses's pee spot?

    Your own linked article: 

    "Calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime) is an alkaline compound that can create pH levels as high as 12.4. At pH levels greater than 12, the cell membranes of harmful pathogens are destroyed. The high pH also provides a vector attraction barrier (i.e., prevents flies and other insects from infecting the treated biological waste). Because lime has low solubility in water, lime molecules persist in biosolids. This helps to maintain the pH above12 and prevent regrowth of pathogens. In addition, when quicklime (calcium oxide, or CaO) is used, an exothermic reaction with water occurs. This heat release can increase the temperature of the biological waste to 70°C, which provides pasteurization and also helps dry out the solid waste."

    I couldn't find anything about using calcium carbonate for this purpose (seemed mainly to be used in foods and field preparation), and I'm actually not convienced it would react or otherwise neutralize the ammonia. Perhaps this is what you are using (have you checked the bag?), but it's certainly NOT what I was exposed to using.  Calcium carbonate is odorless, and the lime we used (likely CaO) most certainly had a very potent, unique, and rather painful smell.

    I'm still not sure why someone would use this stuff over something that is shown to be safe for human, horse, and environment, does it's job, and doesn't smell just as bad as the ammonia and burn your eyes in the process.  But as long as you are letting the stuff air out and ensuring that the horses aren't getting to it then to each their own.

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