Composting livestock

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MaKettle, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    Keeping animals and esp. animals for food, results in critters dying from disease, age, sickness, accidents, and intention. Butchering results in odds and ends that do not find their way to the freezer. Joel Salatin mentioned composting the remains from his butchering of chickens, etc. Gardening books warn not to add animal parts to the compost, but I have buried ducks and chickens in the compost with no odor or attraction of scavengers. Turning the pile has sometimes exposed a duck bill (they seem to be made of stern stuff), but even these disappear by the time the compost has aged enough to go on the garden. Check out these sites from Iowa, Maryland, and Minnesota:

    www.iowabeefcenter.org/content/bsemain.htm www.agnr.umd.edu/mce/publications/pdfs/fs717.pdf
    www.mda.state.mn.us/composting
     
  2. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    Adobe isn't working for me right now but my grandpa tossed chicken and groundhog carcasses (I hunted the latter with grandma's faithful dog, Sandy) in the manure spreader and didn't think a thing; it all breaks down. I don't compost meat/bones in the city because I have rats but otherwise I would. Heck, I have to be careful with cantalope rinds!

    katy
     

  3. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    The latest issue of Farmshow had a story about some pig farmers who compost the dead hogs. They do it in a revolving tank like a cement kiln.
     
  4. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    We compost cows in a big bin made of round bales. By the time they're done only the pelvises and sometimes the skulls are left. Although, if you're composting them, they're deadstock, not livestock
     
  5. Tana Mc

    Tana Mc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ha ha :rolleyes: Deadstock indeed!
    We run a hog farm and compost our dead animals. We have concrete sided sheds that we put them in along with lots of organic matter. Bales of straw, hay, sawdust, shavings and a local tree trimming service brings us their chippped up stuff by the truck load.
    We let them "cook" for about a year before spreading what is left over farm ground. Our biggest problem is coyotes scavenging and trying to tear in the fronts.
    Tana Mc
     
  6. sonatageek

    sonatageek New Member

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    The magazine BioCycle has had numerous articles about the composting of dead farm animals. Very detailed with specifics to temperatures, pathogen destruction etc.

    It seems that this is being done successfully on a rather large scale.
     
  7. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am following this thread with much interest. It is sometimes touched upon on another board's composting section, but many people refuse to believe that you can throw fats and meats into the compost pile without dire results.

    Me, I figgered I'd take a chance. Works great, though I sometimes have to put bones through for a second go-round.

    Also, DH and I have the materials (now we only need the time) to build a humanure toilet. :dance: I am really looking forward to that, because I really hate using potable water for handling human excreta.

    Pony!