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  #1  
Old 03/25/06, 07:09 AM
 
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How does lime work to sanitize?

What is the property or action of lime to sanitize barn areas and coop areas? What is the best lime to use? My farm friend tells me to use feed grade lime? What is double strength lime? Which lime works best to sanitize or clean a barn area? Which is best for the garden?
TIA!

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Old 03/25/06, 11:00 AM
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Technically, the type of lime that sanitizes must be either calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide. Either of these lime types, when mixed with moisture, will generate a high pH (alkaline) solution. It's the alkali that kills microorganisms. These forms of lime may be called "quick lime" or "barn lime."

The other common material that people call "lime" is "calcium carbonate." The highest pH that calcium carbonate will produce is a little above 8. Consequently, this form of lime is safe to be used as a feed additive. It will NOT sanitize. Aglime (or garden lime) contains calcium carbonate, as well as magnesium carbonate. It will not sanitize either.

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Old 03/25/06, 12:03 PM
 
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Thanks Cabin. This is one of those, never too old deals. When I was a sprout we had to keep our dairy barn coated with "lime" from top to bottom. Otherwise we couldn't sell Pure Milk for drinking purposes. They had sneak inspections regulary. Got some in my eyes. That got me taken to the doctor.
About 1939 FDR (president) had his WPA workers building nice comfort stations with concrete floors in the country. I recall them having a notice on the inside saying to not put any lime in the toilet pit. I assume it killed the bacteria causing the pit to fill more rapidly. Some people must have been useing it to keep down odor. Those fancy shanties had a smoke stack to aid in a breath of fresh air while reading the Monkey Ward catalog.

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Old 03/25/06, 03:50 PM
 
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Thank you so much!

Now I know why the lime isn't really working.
Does it also help with the ammonia gas?

Thanks again!

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Old 03/25/06, 04:53 PM
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Yes, lime will affect the amount of ammonia gas produced. The majority of nitrogen in manure is either in the organic form (in solid manure) or in the urea form (in urine). Microorganisms change these forms of nitrogen to ammonia through the biological processes of mineralization and ammonification (just fancy words for decompostion). In other words, the amount of ammonia increases with time as microorgamisms change the forms of nitrogen. The application of lime increases pH and kills the microorganism that convert organic nitrogen and urea to ammonia, consequently the amount of ammonia produced is minimal.....minimal until the pH is reduced back to neutral. As the alkalinity is neutralized another application of lime will be necessary to maintain the alkaline environment.

If the soil and/or manure already has a substantial amount of ammonia in it, the high pH will cause the existing ammonia to volatilze into the air. This results in a more or less immediate release of ammonia gas, so watch it.

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Old 03/25/06, 05:07 PM
 
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I never understood why people lime animal carcasses. I realise it keeps the smell down but it also kills the beasties that aid decomposition - wouldn't a lime treated carcass take forever to decompose?

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Old 03/25/06, 05:19 PM
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The carcass would start to decompose as soon as the lime neutralized to a lower pH that the decomposing microorganisms could tolerate. Carbon dioxide from the air will "carbonate" lime, eventually converting it to calcium carbonate which has a pH that microorganisms will tolerate.

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Old 03/25/06, 05:30 PM
 
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Called "barn fresh" at local Agway for ammonia.....

We use powdered lime in the outhouse when they did away with creosote product (came in a bottle in the '70s???).....Its like $5 a bag...we use at camp...

Cabin do you use anything in your outhouse???? (WIHH pictures I've seen)

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Old 03/25/06, 06:30 PM
 
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CF I love that you know this stuff, please allow one more dumb question. Is there a Ph level at which the stink ceases but the microbes survive? I guess that is the part I never thought of before.

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Old 03/25/06, 08:11 PM
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mpillow:
No, we don't use anything in our outhouse. Our outhouse is different than most. It is built on top of a 300-gallon plastic septic tank. It really doesn't stink all that much. I do add some water once a year to keep everything in a liquid state. If it gets too full, I'll have it pumped by a septic pumper.

Mistletoad:
The stink is caused by the microorganisms doing their job, which is decomposition. So if the pH is low enough to allow the micobes to survive there will be an odor. The type of biological decomposition that is causing the odors is called "anaerobic" (ie, without oxygen) decomposition. Generally speaking, the opposite type of decomposition called "aerobic" (ie, with oxygen) decomposition does not cause odors. An example of aerobic decomposition is composting, which generally does not have odors. Odor-causing anaerobic decomposition occurs in manure piles, septic tanks and outhouse pits (wherever the material decomposing is wet which allows little oxygen penetration).

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Old 03/26/06, 06:56 AM
 
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Okay, one more question..

I was discussing some of the info on this thread with my farmer friend who told me to use feed grade lime in my barn. She said that the vets for the dairy farm that she managed told them not to use the barn lime, only the feed grade lime. She said that you couldn't put the animals into the barn after you limed it with the other lime, the one that Cabin Fever says to use, because it would "burn" the animals.

Is this true? Is there a period of time you must wait before putting the animals back in?

I cleaned my barn yesterday, put down a heavy application of the feed grade lime (it is all I have on hand) and a thick layer of pine shavings. The feed grade lime does seem to reduce the odors quite a bit...I have used it in the chicken pen and coop with fair results.

But I want to be sure that what I am using is the best product for the job at hand, yet also safe for the animals...

Cabin Fever...? Any answers for this question?

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply!

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Old 03/26/06, 09:01 AM
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I think that the feed grade lime, due to its small particle size, is adsorbing the odor and absorbing moisture. Absorbing moisture (ie, drying) will also kill odor-causing microorganisms.

Or possibly, the dry, fine-texture feed-grade lime is sealing the odor below the layer you've applied.

Whatever reduction in odor you are getting from using the feed grade lime, you'd probably get the same result by using dry soil.

I agree with the advice you were given, that is, do not allow animals to come in contact with quick lime or barn lime....at least right after it is applied....as it is very caustic.

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Old 03/26/06, 10:33 AM
 
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Thanks again, Cabin Fever...how long should one wait before allowing the animals back into the barn or stalls that have been treated with barn lime? If you put a thick layer of bedding down (I use pine shavings) will that prevent caustic burns?

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Old 03/26/06, 12:08 PM
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Geez, I'm a soils guy, not an animal guy. I would guess, once the pH of the treated area was down around a pH of about 9 or 9.5 it would be okay. Of course, to determine this you'd have to purchase a pH meter or some litmus paper.

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Old 03/26/06, 04:14 PM
Joy
 
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Lime & Lye

Lime (caustic), being calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide is alkaline or basic. Lye is sodium hydroxide, which is used in making soap, is also alkaline or basic. Think about the cautions given for soap-making, and remember that caustic lime is in the same family of chemical compounds.

-Joy

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Old 03/26/06, 04:47 PM
 
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Thanks, Cabin Fever and Joy!

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