Hoping David Goodman or someone else who knows can comment. How do you capture the nutrients from the non-edible parts when you slaughter animals for meat? We've processed two tuna recently. I buried the carcass from the first in my not-very-active compost pile. Copped out and put the carcass from the second in the trash What to do?
I'm also looking at how to compost remains when we cull a few chickens in the near future.
Chris Barton wrote:Well you could let maggots eat it then use the maggots to feed chickens or wild birds if you'd rather keep it out of your food chain.
I would just give fish guts straight to chickens personally.
Yes! I would, but I've heard that feeding fish to chickens makes their eggs taste off.
Yeah I heard that too but it's not been my experience. Perhaps if they only had fish to eat all day it might taint the eggs a bit.
Maybe give it a try. If the eggs taste fishy, serve them with fish!
I caught my girls pulling apart and eating a frog once and they weren't laying froggy eggs the next day!
There is interesting research done by the meat goat program at Langston University demonstrating their approach to composting goat carcasses. I've linked to a PDF where they outline the whole process, but they did have some interesting results about being able to compost full goat carcasses and have very little left. Scavenger animals are an issue, so they do use contained compost piles.
For those that are interested in raising goats, the video series from the Oklahoma State University meat goat program is a good quick education. However, they are focused a bit more on larger scale and certainly not holistic raising of goats ... but informative nonetheless.
On my homestead, slaughter waste goes into the feed pot and cooked for the chickens and pigs. But before getting livestock I use to process meat waste via the compost piles. As long as the piles were hot and very active, plus didn't overload them with meat waste, there was never an odor. I have disposed of a whole dead adult sheep by placing it atop the hot layer of one of my smaller piles, then layering the hot compost from a second pile along with fresh horse manure until the carcass was covered by 2-3 foot of active compost/manure. I then placed cardboard over the heap and let it sit for two weeks before I was brave enough to check what was happening. I never had odor nor saw flies. The sheep completely composted except for the bones. Pretty cool, eh?
One of my neighbors had a horse die in his back pasture. Around here you can't bury a horse because of the lava rock, so most people just let it stink for 3-5 days until the flies eat it all. But my neighbor brought in two truckloads of cow manure and covered the horse, topped that with chopped mulch from the county, then threw a tarp over it. No odor. No flies. Amazing.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
I recently watched a video series on propagating soldier fly larvae. I can't recall the name of the gentleman but he said that the larvae of the soldier fly are incredibly efficient at breaking down just about anything. Something like a possum or an armadillo would be completely consumed in two days ... everything. Pretty amazing!
I have composted slaughter waste in a compost pile I built and turned every two days for the first week. It cannot be more than 10% of the pile contents. Everything is gone but the largest bones. That is how you get blood/bone/feather nutrients and elements into your garden! Hot compost that is actively managed to keep it aerobic. It doesn't hurt to send your worms through the pile after it cools off
When dealing with animal "extras" I try to follow a few basic guidelines.
1. offal, bones, trimmings (pig nipples and tails) and fat are used to to make dog food.
2. Intestines, skins with fur or feathers and stuff the dog can't/won't eat... that stuff goes to livestock.
- If it's a mammal carcass, I feed it to the chickens.
- If it's a bird carcass, I feed it to the pigs
- If it's a fish/reptile carcass, I feed it to whichever creature I'm not likely going to be eating any time soon.
3. Animals that have died from illness or unknown causes are usually composted in a hot pile.
- Large animals are cut into pieces first for faster breakdown
4. Cooked bones are composted as well. After about 2 weeks in a hot pile,most bones soft enough to break up by hand. It's pretty crumbly at that point. Then the dog can have it without having to worry about sharp pieces hurting him or you can add it to the garden for a calcium boost.
I've never noticed a difference in meat/egg flavor for having fed a fish to some of our livestock, though I'm sure if fish were a major part of their diet there would be a change. Like everything else... moderation is the key I think.
Thanks, everybody, for the suggestions. I've saved the pdf about goat disposal, and taken to heart the many comments you've made. I also found another thread, "What to do with the Rest" which I hadn't seen before posting. I feel confident now, and thank you all for your generosity!
Depends on where the animal is slaughtered... If it's far out in the bush, I leave the entrails there... If closer to home or to people, I bury bones, entrails, hoofs etc in a field, or next to a tree in the orchard. I cover them with at least 6" of dirt so that they don't clog my cultivation equipment. Small bones or feathers I typically just drop into the yard somewhere: A different place every time, to spread the nutrients over the whole place.
My chickens and ducks LOVE fish heads and guts. I will give them all I can, which isn't frequent. Now that we have a dog, the most prime parts go to her first. The dog also eats chicken and goose heads, feet, bones (uncooked!) And anything else except for poop-parts. Poop parts (intestines full of poop, cloacas, dirty butts) get buried or used for fishing bait.
Time is mother nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once. And this is a tiny ad: