Bad smells in the barn are not just unpleasant for us humans; they might be the sign of bacteria or fungus that can affect your horse’s health. That’s why it’s vital to make sure you always have a clean and odor free barn.
Caring for the barn is not all fun and games. Cleaning and looking after your horses is hard work and you might find it overwhelming at times. A small problem you forget to address, like barn odor, can increase and become a potential threat to your horse.
Let’s just take a moment to see what potential threats hide behind barn odors:
Urea and ammonia, released from manure and urine, can cause foot injuries and increase the risk of pneumonia.
Manure also carries parasites, bacteria, and viruses that can cause diseases in both animals and people.
The good thing is that there are some essential tips that can help you address the smelly problem in your barn naturally, without using chemicals or harmful substances.
Follow these eight easy tips to make sure your barn is odorless and clean at all times, so it can be a healthy home for your horse.
1. Prevent Overcrowding
The first thing you need to do to eliminate barn odors is to make sure that you don’t have too many horses in a small space. Overcrowding can lead to injuries, illness, and unhappy horses. The best way to ensure this is to have enough space inside their shelter and outside the paddock.
2. Clean Up Regularly
It comes as no surprise that barn odors will get worse when manure piles-up, so you will need to clean the barn regularly. You can start by airing the barn and removing the manure. Sweep away the dirt and replace the old bedding with new wood shavings or pellets which have been moistened, or straw.
Disinfectants can be used to eliminate barn odors, viruses, and bacteria but remember that they don’t work when a surface is not adequately cleaned before you apply them. This will reduce bacteria overgrowth and will ensure there are fewer chances of getting diseases.
3. Use Quality Bedding
Using sufficient and quality bedding can also help reduce the spread of bacteria in the barn and eliminate barn odors. Remember, good barn health starts with clean, dry bedding.
Also, to reduce odors, freshen the stable and prolong your bedding, you can use a bedding conditioner and natural deodorizer such as Sirocco. It absorbs fluids and moisture from bedding and reduces fermentation and heat generation to prevent the development of unpleasant and irritating odors.
4. Provide Proper Ventilation
In the barn, proper ventilation is essential. It’s important to provide a flux of clean air, so keep doors and windows open when possible.
A barn that is not built correctly and has no adequate natural ventilation can keep odors in for longer and will be harder for you to properly clean and keep the air fresh. If this is the case, consider using a ventilation system to prevent odor buildup.
5. Use Washable, Non-permeable Stall Mats
If the stall mat is of low quality, it will become soaked with urine, and you won’t be able to properly clean it no matter how hard you try. A quality stall mat should be durable, and easy to clean to prevent barn odors. It should also be lightweight and easy to handle to help you save time while cleaning.
6. Compost Manure
Composting manure can help reduce the barn odors and, as a bonus, you also get a rich fertilizer you can use for your garden. It’s a free source of nutrients that you can use to give new plants a jump start and help them grow strong and healthy.
We use Chopped Straw due to its compostable benefits!
7. Clean Water Buckets
Properly cleaning the water buckets is an essential part of barn maintenance. If they are not cleaned regularly, they can be a source of odors and harmful bacteria, so make sure your horse water buckets are completely clean to ensure your horses’ overall health.
For an odor-free barn, clean the inside buckets with a stiff brush and rinse with water weekly. To make sure the buckets are thoroughly clean and disinfected, you can also use a mild soap, apple cider vinegar, or bleach. Make sure to rinse thoroughly before use.
8. Ensure adequate Drainage
Adequate drainage can prevent moisture from accumulating and help reduce barn odor. A stall that drains well is easier to clean and reduces mud in the wet season.
If your barn is not placed in such a way to provide natural drainage, a series of well-placed gutters and downspouts can help keep your barn mud-free and prevent odors from accumulating.