Properly managing and disposing of dead farm animals is important. Every livestock and poultry operation should have a strategy for properly disposing of dead stock. The strategy must follow a legal disposal method as defined in the PA Domestic Animal Act. The four legal methods of disposal are mortality composting, rendering, incineration and burial.
A disposal strategy must consider practical aspects of animal disposal. Are the farm soils suitable for burial? Take depth to bedrock, seasonally high water tables, proximity to wells and surface water, etc. into account. Do you have heavy equipment for burying large dead stock?
Consider neighbor relations and nuisances that may be created by your chosen disposal method. While mortality composting is a desirable option for many producers, placing a composting pile or bin too close to a neighbor can turn it into a new liability.
What is the potential impact a disposal method may have on your herd or flock’s health, safety and bio-security?
NESARE Funding has assisted Penn State, Cornell WMI and U. of Maine in Composting research.