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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
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
slide2
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
slide3
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
slide4
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
slide5
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
slide6
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
slide7
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
slide8
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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