Manure spreaders

What manure spreaders do y’all love? I’m looking for a 25-50 cubic foot one that I can pull with a 4 wheeler. I only have a few horses that are not stalled so I only have a few loafing sheds to spread in my hay fields.

I know of several barns here that have similar ones, some bought at Tractor Supply.
They look flimsy but have worked fine for years now.

Ours is the more heavy duty ABI 50 one, about like the Millcreek ones.

Any of those are great for smaller barns or barns with horses mostly out.

Have a Mill Creek 50 and pull it with a Honda Rancher ATV. If you are not doing stalls, it may be bigger than you need/want but it’s a great size for our needs - 4 horses, out 12+ hours daily, we run the spreader usually weekly.

We have an H&S model GD25 that is ground drive. It did a nice job when full to the sidewall tops, some piled higher in the center, pulled by an ATV. Had to get the speed right, speedy it really FLUNG the poop balls, hitting husband! Slower, it did a nice job with a 6ft spread.

I bought it as a resale project, needed some fixing that husband completed. I have a larger spreader for our 9 horse stalls. This H&S model seems quite sturdy, galvanized walls, poly floor. No issues moving the big load of manure to empty it. I have it for sale for more than your pictured model. They seem to sell new for a bit more than $2800.

The Newer Spreaders are an option to check out. Very popular here on COTH. Less expensive than the H&S, but also able to be pulled by anything to empty because it has ground driven spreading ability. I would recommend the 225 model, it has a bigger hopper space for several stalls bedding, plus buying the optional agitator to break up manure to spread. It can be stored upright to save space in your barn, weighs 120 pounds empty, so is easy to handle by yourself to move or park it by hand.

We’ve had a Newer spreader for the past 5 yrs and it’s a very useful tool. I can clean 2-3 stalls into the spreader at a time before it’s full. How long it takes to spread of course depends on how far away from the barn that is. But once you engage the bars and actually start to spread, it’s empty in about 200-300 yards or so.

One thing to keep in mind is how much snow you get. The ground-driven spreaders depend on the tires having good traction to force the beater drum to spin. So the ground-driven spreaders don’t work reliably when the ground is snow-covered-- the tires can’t get enough grip and you end up just dragging it around. It’s not 100% of the time, just depends on the type of snow and how slippery it is.

What powers the spreader? We have a large one that is PTO powered off the tractor which is what moves the floor chains and spins the thing that fling the manure.

How can you get enough speed up to spread it efficiently?

For the Newer Spreader, It doesn’t get flung into the field, just gets dropped out the bottom There’s a set of rotating beater bars which are connected by gears to the axle. When you pull the spreader forward and the wheels turn, this causes the beater bars to rotate. The manure/bedding tumble around and break up into small pieces, and thanks to the sloped walls of the spreader, get funneled down to an opening at the base. The opening is sized so that only small-sized pieces get through. Chunks that are too big just keep tumbling around until they’ve been broken up enough to fit through.

So it covers a very small area( width wise) for each pass?

Thanks for explaining how it works.

The agitator in the Newer Spreader is standard. The stainless steel agitator is an extra cost option, purchased separately if buying a brand-new machine. I have not used our spreader yet, this is another resale item for me. I can see the agitator being VERY useful for breaking manure balls up so pieces fall out easily. Model 225 has adjustable openings at the bottom, so bigger or smaller sizes will drop out. Not sure how it would handle straw bedding with the smaller hole openings. Probably drops a 38 inch width, being 4ft wide outside the no-flat tires with aggressive treads to hold the ground. A friend near us has a Newer spreader. Similar or more snow than us, has never mentioned an emptying problem on snow. She still loves her Newer spreader after 5 years of use. Advises other friends about how nice they are.

Living in snow country myself, you will want to empty ANY spreader DAILY, to prevent manure freezing in it. Gearing to drive the chain and bars for emptying, has seldom been an issue for emptying even in deeper snow for us. We had a small Millcreek ground drive spreader when we first started using a spreader. It worked fine with daily emptying, enen in deeper snow. Frozen poop happened when son ignored the “empty daily” rule one night. Took him a while to chunk the frozen stuff out to empty spreader the next cold day!! He did not repeat that mistake again!

But even with our present PTO spreader, it gets emptied daily once the weather starts getting cold. Sure tractor has power, but it is still nasty getting frozen manure out BY HAND, to fix broken chains on cold days!

@candyappy yes, the spreading width is exactly the width of your spreader. These are best suited for small horsekeeping setups like 4 horses or less. But it’s fantastic for maneuverability inside the barn, and simplicity/no maintenance needed. And it’s just a pin hitch to connect your ATV or garden tractor. They’re well balanced, so even if full you can lift the hitch bar and move it around like a wheelbarrow.

I didn’t pay anything extra for the agitator about 4 yrs ago-- it just came standard. Just checked the NS website and they show it as standard on all models.

But yes to goodhors’ point about never letting it sit in winter. The NS is further limited in that the agitator bar isn’t powerful enough to break up the manure balls if frozen solid. Which happens a lot here in Iowa. In the dead of winter, I just create a pile and then spread in the spring. Though now that we have a tractor with FEL, I’ve really gotten into making compost with the winter piles.

Essexfells, I stand corrected on the agitator being standard on Newer Spreader models.

Checked my notes, the spreader I have has the stainless steel agitator, which was an extra cost option when purchased. I changed my previous post on that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Perhaps frozen poop balls are why previous owner got the extra cost stainless agitator, with the stronger metal to break them up with.