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.