Less than 24 hours left in our kickstarter!

New rewards and stretch goals. CLICK HERE!



  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Decomposition  RSS feed

 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Today, someone asked me for advice about burying a big dog (in a small backyard). This animal weighed at least 100 lbs. I was told they dug down about 3 feet in sandy-loamy (has a tendency to be dry) soil; hit clay & didn't dig any further. I don't think that was deep enough & may even be too close to their house.

After hearing this I thought about it for a while. How does something that big affect the surrounding environment as it decomposes? They were considering wrapping a tarp around it, but I thought that would just slow everything down. They planned to put lime in the hole. Should they have done something different? Would planting something over it aid in the process? 

Apologies if the subject is a bit gruesome.
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The main problem is if another animal smells something interesting and starts digging it up.  Covering the grave with those large 16x16" concrete stepping stones could help.

If it isn't deep enough, they should know in the next couple of weeks. 

Sue

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ew. just kidding. They need to put something over the top. My soil is very heavy and difficult to dig deep "graves" in also. wrapping it will jsut slow it down.  When we buried a dog last we stuck a bunch of railroad ties on top....poor cowboy.............

when you bury gophers make sure its deep too. or dog will dig it up, roll all over it then come inside and jump on the bed for a nap.  I wish there was a vomit smiley thing that would get the point across better My chickens dug up one of their own to eat recently. blech. Thats what happens when I get in a hurry and don't do the job right.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Believe me, "ew" is just the beginning!

There is more to this story than I've mentioned. At this point, I don't know if they went thru with the burial as I'd explained. They were exploring other options. Their other dog digging things up is definitely an issue. Fortunately, she is a little dog & hasn't been much of a digger in the past.
 
                          
Posts: 250
Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all

allways bury dead animals near fruit trees - free blood n bone - if you wrap it use hessian or some other natural product. diggers can be a problem. i often bring home road kill for the gardens, and occasionally give a small animal to the chook tractors, only if its a long way from the house, when the flys re-animate the animal the chooks go crazy and the eggs are great.

Bird
PS dead cats grow the best spanish garlic
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
doesnot the town council have a dump for dead animals .
       In the country in England the dead horses and cows go to feed the fox hound pack the orgaqnisers of fow hunting will come and pick up dead animals.
      In the wild the wild animals eat it. I had a dead sheep at the bottom of my garden, the village dogs came and ate it the shepherds probably threw it there to reserve the meat for their dogs where the vultures would not see it because of the trees by the river. I found the body in lambing time probably died in childbirth.  It all disappeared quickly.
     You aren't allowed to just leave the bodies of sheep and such lying around and that has really affected the vultures though there is a feeding place for them.
     The kites that abounded in Spain when i came here disappeared after they arranged central dumps instead of dumps in every small village. in means near to but not too near that probably had a good population of rats that fed the kites, maybe the kites just ate scraps.
     There was a documentary of a dead bison once the flies laid eggs in it the foces etc left it alone the larvae of flies make it smell to bad for other animals to eat. it disappeared in a year.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we bury dead animals in our garden all the time and have never had one dug up....we have lived here 38 years and have buried dogs, cats, racoons and other various road kill (in front of our house) in our gardens..

if you have them buried with about a foot of soil on top they should be fine unless you have an animal digging them up..we have never had an animal dig one up..but we don't have a dog right now..but the coyotes or wild animals have never dug them up.

they really are great fertilizer for the garden.

if you are really concerned put some rubble on them..that will discourage the animals from digging.
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When we have a sheep die (or kill a coyote!  :evil they get a rock tied to them with vines and chucked into the pond. The langostinos and the catfish eat them.

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ive put 900# hogs in the ground... kinda.
we dug a shallow bowl in a clay depression, drug it out with a tractor, and piled up a few cords of wood, libs, branches, yard debris on top of it, like a hugel bed. and then soil on that. never smelled it.

hard to dig through buried branches, so mat them on the deceased, under the soil, so the soil mixes in.

many pets, livestock, etc, been re-composed on my land this way, but the pig was the biggest... by far!
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"re composed" I like that variation of the term! much more accurate.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
25
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with all the wisdom so far:  Don't cover in non decomposing material, and place objects on top of grave if your afraid of domestic animals re-digging. 

I've never buried very deep, because I wanted the break down to happen as fast as possible.

We buried some chickens in the backyard, but our cat and a special rabbit went into large planters in the front of the house.  Here my daughter plants flowers each spring.  She was afraid we would move and have to leave her buddies behind.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Iworked a chicken and duck polyculture in australia for a month in 2004. one of my daily jobs was turning the 5-6 cubic yrads of compost.

which was 80% dead chickens as they had had a outbreak and had to kill about 800 birds. the rest was mineral earth and carbon - wood dust.

it was started when I arrived, but i caught on.

wood dust. turn. sprinke with wooddust, about 1/2 inch.. turn, sprinkle. every day for 3 week. it smelled when i arrived, when it was 3 days old. it was hot -over 130f- within a week, and within two weeks it was not smelly and getting cooler. it was in a well caged paddock, to prevent stray dingos, etc., from getting into it., and I turned it with a bobcat.

in 3 weeks it went from mostly chicken to mostly soil, barely any bone fragments, and they were brown adn crumbled. I think applied EM at some point, but cant quite recall...

of course, it was the tropics, where flesh eating bacteria are more available from what I understand.


at any rate, animals can be composted. i googled it and this came to the top:

http://www.p2pays.org/ref/38/37340.htm

im sure there are plenty more.

in any case, my last job was to spread the compost under the macadamia and mango groves, a nice resting place for compost and chickens alike.



 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
deeston lee its realy interesting and a bit tough i have difficulties thinking of heaps of corpse i start to feel too sorry, to emotional and not just compost mined. rose
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
it wasnt easy; im not a vegetarian, but im not a person who takes pleasure in any suffering or slaughter. ive been on farms my whole life and had to put down some of my best friends, namely a young appaloosa (9 months, @600#) who we lost to a head injury. He got loose and a car honked at him in the road; he reared up and his footing slipped, and he fell over on his head. i saw the hole thing. we called a vet and there was nothin ghe could do; it was three days of the poor fella not eating or even able to stand. its so sad to love a fellow being and be so helpless to do a thing.

Ive also buried a few dogs and cats. and pigs.

So I guess that my point is, when i die, I want to be composted. That soil from the pig is good, and so was the chicken soil.  it all went right back to more living things. I think the loss of a friend is the hard part.  Even for those who just think of it as lost time and 'inventory', that was an investment they made and it is unproductive, so even unfeeling accountants dont like it.

but when it can re-composed and teh result is that life springs anew, its a good counterballance to the sadness of a friends demise. My favorite dog, passed away twelve years ago, still brings me flowers every spring! and my pet coyote, who died five years ago, he bring me not just flowers, but cherries.

So I hope I can be re-composed. thank you for your empathy, rose.

 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
    Its nice thinking you might contribute to more things growing. It is a bit more complicated wondering how your family is to get permision to bury you in the garden or farm.
      I met a woman who said she had to think of burials, in an ecological sort of way that was and she said maybe we should be burried in baskets so the worms could get in easier.  She wanted to be buried with a tree planted over her and then her children would feel she was still there, feel the tree represented her. It was the sort of thing my mother would have thought up. I can enjoy the idea of being part of the cycle of life and i can hug trees but i don't think trees can make up for a person.
    The burial parlour offered my father a coffin with a lead lining for my mother so maybe thinking ecologically about coffins isnot going to far lead is pretty poisonouse. I like the coffins that they use in cowboy films simple ones. mM mother was buried in a really heavy one that looked like a really ornate bit of furniture.

    My dog is sweet and nice and it is going to be hard when it comes to him dying.

    I started thinking of the holocaust when i read about lots of chicken carcases, i had seen a foto of lots of concentration camp carcases a short while before John Stewart flashed one up as a way of pointing out the difference between Obama and Hitler but I think i would have found the idea of lots of carcases hard anyway but when a job has to be done it has to be done and its important knowing how to compost them right. agri rose macaskie.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Deston Lee wrote:
had to put down some of my best friends, namely a young appaloosa (9 months, @600#) who we lost to a head injury.


I can imagine how traumatic that was for you, Deston. Sorry for your loss. 

A friend of mine has owned a stable for more than 30 years and has  buried many equines over the years. He says it never gets any easier, no matter what the circumstances of their deaths were. It's quite the ordeal, burying something that large.

My father and mother have their bodies donated to universities. Dad has passed on. They cremated his remains after their studies. Mom is still very much alive, but has everything set up for when the time comes. I plan on doing the same, but need to get it arranged. Time flies!
 
                            
Posts: 11
Location: Corvallis OR
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
rose macaskie wrote:
    Its nice thinking you might contribute to more things growing. It is a bit more complicated wondering how your family is to get permision to bury you in the garden or farm.
       


We live in Oregon, and when we wrote our wills and last instructions, we asked the lawyer about being buried on our own property.  She researched it and told us that we could do it as long as it was a certain distance from the property line and from any water sources.  So that is what we specified in our documents!  And we found a spot that we will be reserving for us, with instructions to plant a tree after we are both there, hopefully a very long time from now!

Patricia
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
sunrise corner, Its really interesting that you can be buried on your own property . I supose you have to have a farm sized property. I wonder what the laws are in Spain.

      deston lee, i saw a documentary of elefants just befoer your post and the child elfefant gets attacked by lions and ends up confused and brain damaged in a pond she can't cotroll her trunk well enough to drink with and ends up drowining and it was ver pathetic and sad and so close to your story that was a reaql life expreience for you and it was hard enough whatching a few minutes of it.  I suppose at least you were there, the little elephant was on its own. rose 
 
 
                          
Posts: 66
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When my ram died I buried him in several wb of woodchips in the 3 acre sheepfield.  Eventually the buzzards pulled up bits but I'd recover when it was still too gruesome to be out.
 
220 hours of permaculture video, freaky cheap! http://kck.st/2q6Ycay.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!