Animal mortalities
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Animal mortalities. Amount of animal mortalities Broilers (100 lb/1000 broilers) =10 tons/flock Turkeys (500 lb/1000 turkeys) (650,000 tons in US) Swine (40 pounds/sow) = 180,000 tons for US Problems with animal mortalities Disease (Biosecurity)

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Animal mortalities

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Animal mortalities

Animal mortalities

  • Amount of animal mortalities

    • Broilers (100 lb/1000 broilers) =10 tons/flock

    • Turkeys (500 lb/1000 turkeys) (650,000 tons in US)

    • Swine (40 pounds/sow) = 180,000 tons for US

  • Problems with animal mortalities

    • Disease (Biosecurity)

    • Nutrient and microbial pollution of water resources

    • Odors

    • Aesthetic quality

      • Gives a poor appearance of an operation

    • Illegal to drag animal out to be consume by scavenegers or to dump into manure pits or lagoons


Animal mortalities

  • Disposal methods

    • Rendering

      • Animals are picked up, hauled to rendering plant, and treated with heat and steam to produce tankage

        • Can be used as animal feed

      • Requires a storage site for pick up

        • Need to store animals for up to 24 hours

        • Site should be away from buildings and lots

        • Site should not be visible from the road

      • Advantages

        • Gets dead animal off farm

        • Recycles nutrients from dead animals

        • Minimal capital investment unless freezing is required

        • Low maintenance

      • Disadvantages

        • Feeds charged for pick up, if available

        • Limitations of the use of rendered byproducts as animal feeds

          • Fears of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or Scrapies being transferred

          • Ruminant byproducts can’t be fed to ruminant animals

          • Products have variable quality

        • Dead animals must be stored until pick up

        • Rendering will have inadequate capacity in case of catastrophic mortalities


Animal mortalities

  • Recycling as a feed ingredient

    • Used for poultry

    • Dead animals are picked up, transported to processing plant, heat-treated, and ground into a meal

    • Advantages

      • Recycles nutrients

    • Disadvantages

      • Requires preservation

        • Freezing

        • Fermentation

        • Treatment with phosphoric acid

      • Requires transportation to processing plant

      • Requires access to processing plant


Animal mortalities

  • Composting

    • Done in structures, windrows or piles

      • Needs a hard surface to prevent contamination of groundwater

    • Requirements for composting

      • C:N ratio of 20:1 to 400:1

        • Straw, chopped corn, wood chips etc. can be added as sources of C

      • Moisture concentration of 40 – 60%

        • May have to add water

      • pH of 6 to 8

      • Sufficient oxygen

        • In manure compost, this is usually obtained by frequent mixing

          Mortality composts aren’t mixed until late in the degradation process

        • In mortality composts, oxygen is maintained by layering the dead animals between biomass materials like straw, chopped corn stalks, or wood chips

      • Stack should be covered with biomass to act as a biofilter

        • 1 ft for small animals

        • 2 ft for large animals

      • Temperature must be greater than 122oF for at least 5 days

      • Process may be speeded by splitting animals

        • May be dangerous for workers

    • Rate

      • After 2 months, 90% of the tissue from a dairy cow was decomposed

      • After 7 to 10 months, only bones remained


Animal mortalities

  • Advantages of composting

    • Recycles nutrients

    • Low odor

    • Environmentally safe

    • No need to store mortalities

    • Low long-term costs

    • May be used to handle catastrophic mortalities

  • Disadvantages of composting

    • High initial cost

    • Labor intensive

    • Requires monitoring and maintenance

    • Cropland is required for application of compost

      • Must be part of the Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan

    • Not effective at destroying the prions associated with Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies like BSE or Scrapies


Animal mortalities

  • Burial

    • Animals placed in pit and covered with soil

    • Iowa requirements

      • Depth

        • No deeper than 6 feet with a minimum of 30 inches of soil cover

        • Depth must be at least 2 feet above the highest water table

      • Site

        • Must not create a public health hazard

        • Soil must have moderate to slow permeability

          No permeable soils or fractured bedrock

          No poorly drained soils

        • Must be no evidence of seasonal high water tables

        • Must be outside the 100 year flood plain

        • Must be:

          100 feet from a private well

          200 feet from a public well

          50 feet from a property line

          500 feet from a residence

          100 feet from a stream, lake or pond

      • Maximum buried/acre/year

        • 44 hogs

        • 7 growing-finishing cattle

        • 73 sheep

        • 400 poultry


Animal mortalities

  • Advantages of burial

    • Capital investment limited to land and excavating equipment

  • Disadvantages of burial

    • Nutrients are wasted

    • Increases sanitation precautions

    • Land area may be significant

    • Can’t be done when soil is frozen or muddy

      • Requires storage


Animal mortalities

  • Incineration

    • Can be used for small animals

    • Advantages

      • Disposes of everything except the ashes

      • Sanitary, if done properly

    • Disadvantages

      • Initial costs

        • Requires a commercial engineered burner

          Home-made burners are illegal

      • Burner must be in a building downwind from livestock facilities and residences

      • Fuel costs

      • Equipment maintenance and operation costs

      • Potential air quality problems

        • Requires permit

      • May cause aerial transmission of infectious agents

      • Loss of nutrients

  • Sanitary landfills

    • Advantages

      • Simplicity

      • No capital investment

      • No maintenance

    • Disadvantages

      • Few landfills allow it

        • Most in Iowa do, but must check

      • Disposal charges

      • Transportation costs and regulations


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