“Horse Manure Heat and Hot Water”


Everybody knows how cold the winter has been, not only out here on the prairie, but all over the country!  We have an outdoor wood stove that heats our entire large home as well as supplies us with all of our hot water.  There are eight of us living under one roof and so you can imagine how much hot water is used with dishes, laundry, showers etc.  Fred decided to burn some of the horse manure in our outdoor burner to see how well it burned.  He took frozen fresh “nuggets” and put them in an already hot wood stove and has been blending it throughout the day and then mixing it in with our wood for the evening fire which lasts all night.


Not only does burning the manure work, we knew it would burn, but a couple of pails burn for quite a few hours.  We have no shortage of wood but it is nice to stretch what we have as this winter has shaped up to be colder than normal.  But, there are many who are short of wood this year due to the extreme cold.  You can see how large the house is and if you look closely at the photo you can see the smoke from the outdoor stove on the right by the wood shed.  We smile about this because for years and years we have had horses here and as the saying goes for horses, they mainly are “hay burners”!  Meaning, they are mostly recreational!


If anyone has thought of purchasing an outdoor wood stove to heat your home, we highly recommend these.  Ours is a Hardy brand, all stainless steel, 18 years old, purchased used for $2500.00 They are safe since the fire is located outdoors.  It keeps us warmer than we need; most of the day the fan is turned off and frequently the windows are thrown open, especially in the kitchen!

I can imagine burning  manure would work in a wood stove located within your home as well but you would want to be creative and keep it frozen on the porch and maybe load it carefully into bags so you could neatly pop a load in the stove of your choice without spilling any!  We have it easy compared to those who in days of old had to scavenge the prairie for buffalo patties to burn.  We thank God we do not use propane to heat our home as the price has been outrageous this year for so many.


I’ve been dreaming of a way to harvest the warmth of our stove for a greenhouse.  When it’s this cold for so long, a person dreams of spring and I have already ordered in our seeds!  I mention what I need and usually Fred will come up with a farmer idea to carry out the plan.  Last year he made a bunch of cold frames which work swell.


About Callens Honey Farm

We live on a small family farm located in S.W. Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. The source of our honey is from white and red clover. The honey appears as liquid gold in color. Our honey is extracted using a hand cranked centrifugal force extractor. Then the honey is screened once into a holding container from which we later fill the small honey bottles. We do not heat treat the honey nor add any other ingredients. Pure and natural is our Minnesota honey! What could taste better?
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4 Responses to “Horse Manure Heat and Hot Water”

  1. Everything has a place and a purpose, doesn’t it? Or more than one — our horse manure enriches the pastures, but if it was piling up in the barn I think I’d try your idea, what with the winter being so cold. The home woodshed is nearly empty, and the drying shed is at the foot of a steep, snow-covered lane, making it hard to bring up more fuel.
    The French used to heat their cold frames with horse manure — they dug down three feet and put in two feet of fresh manure, then soil, and the plants were heated by the decomposing manure. I hope Fred makes you a manure-heated green house your way, for nice winter vegetables —
    stay warm and kiss the grandchildren for us —
    the folks in Ohio

    • Beth, I am hoping for a greenhouse that will be heated by the wood stoves hot water. We have plenty of plastic pipe on hand. Although….I can’t imagine anything living in a greenhouse in the winter over here for winter veggies, but we’d love to start all of our plants instead of some in our basement. I’ve never seen such cold spells. Many years ago we experimented with manure under temporary cold frames. …..Winter time keeps us dreaming of spring ideas:)…The grandchildren are kissed…..and loved, I always pass yours on to them!! xo

  2. theresaEH says:

    That is utterly brilliant way to save on heating costs!!!! Is there any odour from the manure in the house?

    • Theresa……..the smoke goes up. The stove is out of doors and the way the heat comes into the house is through underground water pipes. The water heats the home and when it gets really cold we flip a fan on in the basement. It gets hot very quickly so most of the time the fan is not on The floors are toasty! Manure outside has no odor when it burns. Take care and stay warm:)

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