COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS - Waste management
Proper handling and storage of poultry litter is needed to preserve its nutrient value and prevent contamination of surface and ground water, particularly when litter cannot be directly applied to land. Improper handling and storage of poultry litter can result in:
- Loss of nutrients
- Contamination of surface and/or ground water
- Potential for spread of disease
- Odor and aesthetic problems
With a little advance planning and a minimal investment, these problems can be reduced or eliminated. It is important to follow any and all national, state, county and city regulations with regards to disposal of waste material.
The most efficient method of handling poultry litter is to directly apply it to fields as it is being removed from the houe. This reduces labor, expense, and potential environmental problems. This requires cleanout when weather and crop conditions are favorable for applying the litter. For cropland, this time will be in the spring before the crop is planted, or in the fall after the crop has been harvested if a small grain or cover crop is to be planted. Application of litter to cropland during the winter should be avoided because the efficient use of nutrients will be low and the potential for water contamination is increased. Apply poultry litter onliy in amounts needed to supply the nturient needs of the crop to be grown. Have the litter as well as soil samples from the fields that are to have litter applied tested to detemine how much should be applied.
Mortality and morbidity are, unfortunately, a 'fact of life' in poultry produciton. It is important ot be aware of how to safely (and perhaps profitably) dispose of any dead birds from your flock. Rules regarding carcass disposal may vary from area-to-area so it is important to verify the regulations in your area.