No Backhoe: What Do You Do With Dead Livestock?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by earthkitty, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. earthkitty

    earthkitty Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So far, the only dead things we have had to dispose of have been birds. Spring is coming, and with it probably several births among our sheep. As we breed our goats too, I am nervous about possible deaths that I might have to deal with.

    If you don't have a digger, how in the world can you dig a big enough/deep enough hole for larger livestock? I have seen people say they leave them out for coyotes, but won't that just create a problem with predators looking to your place for food?

    And geez, what do you do with cattle or horses when they pass away?

    Our old tractor doesn't have a front PTO, and buying a back hoe is big bucks.

    How do you get rid of corpses?
     
  2. coso

    coso Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Coyotes and Buzzards! If you have enough land drag them away far enough that you don't smell the carcass. Nature will take care of it. The coyotes know where the food is one way or the other.
     

  3. crispin

    crispin Well-Known Member

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    I have used a big fire to take care of that problem.
     
  4. secuono

    secuono Well-Known Member

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    Depends on your state, some places it's illegal to just leave them out, not to mention disgusting, smelly and you bring in predators.
    Small things like sheep and goats, dig a hole by hand, fence it out. Then if anything dies, toss it in and bury it. Or, if it didn't die of disease, cut it up and feed to dogs/cats and the like, sell as pet food.
     
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  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are legal issues in many states.

    Rendering plant.

    Burry.

    Burn.

    Composte.

    Leave em lay.


    Composting works well for things smaller than a cow. Place a lot of cornstalks, straw, or old hay around them, keep the moisture right, and they will break down into nice compost with little problems if you do it right, probably the best way to go, it takes some old starw/hay of some kind, but you get back good fertilizer.

    Some locations have a cow about harming the groundwater if you burry them.

    Like you, I hate to put out bait for the pretators.

    Burning, you need a big fire, lots of brush, and get the critter on top or the middle, and have the wind the right way, it won't be nice for a bit but it does take care of the problem.

    Rendering plant, they put so many rules and restrictions on these most went out of business, costs a lot to use them unfortunately.

    --->Paul
     
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  6. farmer9989

    farmer9989 Well-Known Member

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    Texas you can call the county barn(commissioner) they will come bury them.
     
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  7. earthkitty

    earthkitty Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A bonfire, that is an excellent solution.

    We only have 20 acres, so I'm not sure that is enough land to leave a corpse out and still be able to get around the stench.

    Butchering and feeding to the other animals is a great solution too, but I don't know if I could butcher a baby and feed it to my dogs. Just don't know if I could. My jerk of a ram, that wouldn't be a problem. ;)
     
  8. earthkitty

    earthkitty Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How long does this process take?
     
  9. bluefish

    bluefish Wait................what?

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    I don't actually butcher the animals for my dogs, just kill it (if necessary) and put it out and let them at it. 4 dogs from 30 lbs to 100+ and a full grown goat lasts 2 days, max.
     
  10. bluefish

    bluefish Wait................what?

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    I haven't done this with anything real big and I use sawdust, but some baby goats that died of mysterious causes last year were completely gone when I took the pile apart this fall. I had to put a full grown goat in the compost pile this summer. I haven't taken it apart yet, but I'd bet there isn't anything but bone and some hair left on her. If you pile with enough sawdust, there won't be any smell either.
     
  11. Clancy

    Clancy Member

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    When I haul an animal out to the back forty, even horses, I don't call anyone and tell them, it's probably illegal, but nobody cares and scavengers take care of it right quick, a horse can be gone in a couple days. It doesn't bring predators, it brings scavengers. Predators rarely bother with a carcass. Never had a problem doing this.
     
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  12. earthkitty

    earthkitty Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So here is another question...if you feed your dogs a dead sheep/goat, will that make them more inclined to go after live sheep/goats?

    I read about a guy who had a large flock of sheep with some LGD's out in the field, and this was a commerical operation where no one lived on the land, just the flock and their guardians. When he would go to check on them, if he found dead sheep he would throw them out for the LGDs to eat. I figured it was a bad idea to have the dogs that guard the sheep learn that sheep meat tastes pretty good.
     
  13. PNP Katahdins

    PNP Katahdins sheep & antenna farming Supporter

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    Composting deadstock is an approved disposal method in many states. A manure pile works really great if you can get the body covered well enough to keep the dogs and predators from digging in. That's what we do for sheep.

    Sometimes our dogs get to a dead lamb or ewe before we can move it to the compost pile. No butchering needed. Never had it make them want to kill their own food.

    You are smart to think about this ahead of time.

    Peg
     
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  14. bluefish

    bluefish Wait................what?

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    My dogs get dead chickens, goats, rabbits, whatever. They have never, ever gone after any of the live ones. I make sure that I give them the dead animal, at least at first, and that I give them permission to eat it. One as a puppy started to go after a chicken once, I got on her and she's left them alone since. I don't know if it would be much different with something like terriers that were bred to hunt and kill, but my lab x, golden ret x, great pyr and english shepherd are fine.
     
  15. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a few thoughtts on these comments....

    A loader on a tractor can dig a hole to burry critters. It takes a bit of work ansd rock can make itharder, but a loader will get the job done. Loader can run off the tractor hydraulics, or a rear pto pump. Or a front pto pump if you'd have that.

    A front pto really wouldn't be needed for anything, as far as I can figure. There are 3pt backhoes that fit on the rear of a tractor with a 3pt, some use the tractor's hydraulics, some use a (rear) pto pump to power them.

    What tractor do you have?

    --->Paul
     
  16. Karen

    Karen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the past, we've burned them too. Quicker, safer and more respectful to the animal, IMHO.
     
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  17. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Might want to find out your local regulations concerning what is allowed. Most are on line, might ask a local farmer/shepherd/livestock person.

    In my county in GA. it is illegal to leave a carcass out on the ground and it is also illegal to bury it too close to a "live" water supply such as a lake, stream, creek, river, etc. That is to avoid contamination of water passing through my land to someone elses where their livestock may drink, etc.

    Also not a good idea to bury close to a well - most country folks know that but many people who have never had a well don't know it.

    A small animal like a goat or sheep, I would compost it. It will at least give you back some fertilizer if you can't bring yourself to butcher it out for the dogs.

    A large animal - 20 acres - the smell might get a little rank, but if there is no law against it and you can move the carcass away from the house (but don't contaminate your neighbors air quality either..) I'd leave it out for the coyotes to eat.

    Otherwise I would bury it. I have never tried to burn a horse carcass so cannot advise you on that. I hire a backhoe and have them come dig a hole and I bury horses that pass away or have to be put down at the farm.

    If you have a renderer in your area, they will pick up a large carcass, you might try to find out by googling "animal rendering" in your state.
     
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  18. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In Michigan there is a BODA Law that sets requirements. Not sure about your state. Composting will work and is legal for horses and cows. Don't think you want a 2,000 pound crow bait pile.
    Composting breaks it down fairly fast if you get the temperature up to where the bacteria are doing their job.
     
  19. earthkitty

    earthkitty Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Old Ford, does have three point rear PTO...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    But find out what it would cost. Getting a neighbor with a backhoe maybe a lot cheaper then getting a rendering company.
    A few years ago a had a steer die. Don't know why but he did I would say 6 months old something like maybe 8, But the point being the rendering truck wanted $125.00. No way was I gonna do that so I dragged the steer down where I pile my manure, found a lower spot laid him there and then piled his own manure on top of him, we were going into winter so by the time spring came and more manure on top no smell, no one would have noticed at all even walking back there. Sort of like the the S's SSS LOL
     
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