Horse Poop: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: January 23, 2023
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You’ll surely be shocked when you discover that mice produce droppings between 50 to 75 pellets a day or that rabbits can generate 200 to 300 pellets daily. But what if we tell you that horses poop as much as 50 pounds in just one day? That will sum up to approximately 9 tons a year. Now, that’s a lot of poop – horse ownership’s smelliest challenge!

If you own horses, you must be very familiar with the idea of manure. It may seem strange or disgusting for some people to be fascinated by poop. Horse owners are aware that they must pay attention to their horse’s manure because its quality and quantity are indicators of the animal’s health.

Stool production is regarded as a critical window representation of gut and overall health, like heart rate and stomach sounds. Thus, a horse owner is not offended by a healthy pile of manure. Instead, it’s a crucial sign that the horse’s digestive system is functioning normally. So, what does horse poop look like? Does it smell? This article will discuss everything you’ve ever wanted to know about horse poop.

What Does Horse Poop Look Like?

Horses release around 8 piles of manure every day.

©Vitalii Mikhailiuk/

Horse poop is called manure, but it can also go by many names such as horse buns, horse pucky, horse chips, road apples, horse hooey, or horse apples. Horse manure is green-hued and should be moist but not too wet. Horses release around 8 piles of manure every day, which, when accumulated, can weigh up to 50 pounds. Normal horse manure comprises grass, minerals, shed cells, grain fibers, water, and sand depending on the soil type the hay or grass has grown. A horse’s manure is more than just a pile of waste, though – every detail in the poop should be noted for any remarkable inconsistencies. But what does normal horse poop look like? Below, we will take a look at each of the horse manure’s features. 


Normally, horse manure is a shade of green, but it can fluctuate to brown or black. The color of your horse’s excrement is frequently a good indicator of its nutrition. Your horse’s heaps will be a more brilliant green if it consumes alfalfa instead of dry grass hay, while lower-quality hay frequently produces a brownish hue. Other feed choices may also result in typical color variances. For instance, a diet strong in oil can make your horse’s feces gray, while beet pulp can make it reddish-brown.

Watch out for a few warning signs, such as a blood-red color or a mucus layer that gives the dung a slimy or gray appearance. Understanding the typical color of your horse’s feces and keeping track of any changes is crucial.

If the horse’s feces have a yellow, stringy coating, this is most likely mucus. If you see it, there’s a good likelihood the excrement hasn’t finished traveling through your horse’s digestive system. A feed impaction is the most frequent cause of a slower transit through the intestines and can result in colic. Make sure your horse is getting enough water to drink.


An ideal pile of horse excrement is composed of formed fecal balls and is moist but not overly so. Some horses occasionally pass a small amount of water before or following the feces. And after a work session, when it’s anxious, or when temperatures spike, your horse’s excrement may appear a little softer, more like a cowpie. A pile of dung should contain broken-down material with no discernible fiber or other feedstuff pieces.

Although your horse’s cowpie consistency may be typical at certain times, if it happens at an unexpected moment or is particularly persistent, it may indicate that your horse is experiencing gastrointestinal distress.

Furthermore, if the feces on your horse doesn’t form tidy balls, there can be a more serious health problem. Stress could also result in piles of soft or liquid manure. Certain drugs, such as antibiotics, might also potentially disturb the gut flora of your horse. Poop consistency may be effected.


Grass and grain fibers, shed cells, water, and sand or grit can all be found in horse manure. Water makes up about 75% of the total weight of manure, and it should be decomposed before being used to fertilize your garden because it might also include undigested grains and weed seeds, which could still germinate. Horse poop can also contain worms, which may mean that your horse needs to be dewormed.    

What you feed your pet can certainly effect it’s poop. Horse manure can also contain undigested oats or long hay fibers. Many horse owners hold the misconception—which isn’t really backed by science—that massive particles in a horse’s excrement indicate poor chewing. In actuality, this discovery probably has more to do with the caliber of the feed than it does with how well your horse can chew.

How Much Poop Do Horses Produce?

Palomino horse with long mane free run in green meadow.

The typical horse generates 35 to 50 pounds of manure daily, equating to roughly nine tons annually.


The amount of dung your horse produces is influenced by its nutrition, how easily it can digest its food, and other health conditions like dental health. The typical horse generates 35 to 50 pounds of manure daily, equating to roughly nine tons annually. While some huge draft horses will create more manure, smaller horses produce less. For this reason, maintaining clean stalls and pastures is crucial to horses’ health.

If manure is not frequently cleaned up, it creates the ideal conditions for mold, germs, and parasites to flourish and hazardous ammonia fumes in stables. The typical horse defecates four to twelve times a day, and stallions and foals do so more frequently than mares and geldings.

With a diet rich in high-fiber foods like hay and pasture, horses will produce more excrement due to decreased digestion. Horses can effectively control fiber through their cecum and stomach microbes, but they cannot completely digest it.

Does Horse Poop Smell?

Typically, horse manure doesn’t give off an offensive odor. Yet, if you smell something strongly unpleasant, it might indicate a gut problem. Compared to cat or dog waste, horse dung gives off a less offensive smell. In fact, most people do not find it particularly unpleasant. Your horse’s feces may smell foul if there is an excess of food, a nutritional imbalance, or a digestive issue. The horse may be eating too much protein, or its body may not adequately absorb the nutrient if its droppings smell like rotten meat.

For most of the forage and fiber they consume, horses rely on microbes in their gastrointestinal tract to aid digestion. Horses with ulcers, intestinal conditions, or sudden dietary changes will have strangely foul-smelling manure. Along with the foul smell, you might also expect a difference in color or solidity, depending on how severe the digestive upset is.

What is Horse Manure Used For?

Unsurprisingly, horse manure is a well-known fertilizer for many backyard gardens and a great source of nutrients. Farmers place a high value on horse manure since it promotes soil fertility, encourages rejuvenation, and delivers high-quality crops when composted.

Horse manure can be used locally as fertilizer for a pasture, field, or open space. Additionally, you can transport manure offsite for composting or fertilization. 

Before using horse manure on gardens, it should have aged for around six months. Fresh horse manure can be used to make manure tea, which can then be used to fertilize vegetable and flower gardens, or it can be used to create a “lasagna garden.” 

Is Horse Poop Used as Fuel?

Black Friesian horse runs and gallop in summer time.

Horse poop can be used as fuel.

©Makarova Viktoria/

If using horse manure as fertilizer doesn’t surprise you, then perhaps this might – horse poop can actually be used as fuel. It seems that dried horse excrement is an excellent fuel. Although it has been used as a heating fuel, you generally won’t want to cook marshmallows over it. Backwoods Home’s writer describes their process of turning horse manure into “bricks” that can be burned later as a source of heat.

Horse manure can be compacted into pellets or briquettes since it has significant energy. Including the bedding material, a horse’s daily amount of dung contains 30 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy, which is equivalent to three liters of fuel oil. Additionally, the generated ash makes a great soil supplement.

Horse manure can also be utilized in construction as a building material. Bricks have occasionally been made using horse feces. But how would a manure-brick house smell in a wet climate? Most of us would take a step back here, even if most people may not find the stench of horse excrement repulsive.

Is Horse Poop Harmful to Humans?

Exposure to horse excrement has no known harmful consequences on people. Horse dung is unlikely to transmit any diseases to humans, including E. coli bacterial infections, because sunshine kills it directly. Humans are much more prone to contract diseases and parasites human feces and dog poop. Horse dung is normally not hazardous, although it is unpleasant to discover on walking routes and other public areas. However, if your horse defecates on a shared trail or parking lot, it is polite for you to stop and move the pile out of the way.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jaco Wiid/

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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