The first phase of dead animal composting
Composting is natural process wherein bacteria, fungi and microorganisms are allowed to do the work. However, they need monitoring and ensuring that they have the right environment to work quickly and efficiently. The first phase in dead animal composting is the placement of the carcass on the composting bin or windrow where there is a bulking agent rich in carbon like sawdust or straw to completely surround the carcass. In the first phase, anaerobic microorganisms will work on the carcass to degrade it, release fluids and odorous substances. This aerobic phase will generate considerable heat that will result into a significant increase in temperature of the compost pile. Heat will kill common viruses and bacteria that are present in the carcass. If the compost is not monitored, temperature will drop continuously for 10 to 14 days in a row. This means that anaerobic microorganisms are not working efficiently and have exhausted all the air and food in their environment.
The second phase of dead animal composting
The second phase involves turning the pile regularly so that air will be introduced. Whatever large bones and hair have remained from the first phase will now decompose and when air is introduced, it will increase aerobic activity which will cause temperature to increase again. The compost is ready when the temperature of the pile has dropped to ambient temperature. This means the compost can be spread on the field as fertilizer or soil additive. The length of time for the second phase of composting can be reduced if the pile is turned frequently to introduce oxygen and maintain aerobic activity. Using bulking agent that has been cut in small pieces like sawdust can also shorten the process. If the composting process is accelerated, less space will be necessary for the compost bins.
Advantages of dead animal composting
Dead animal composting has low startup costs and minimal operating expenses because everything that is necessary for the process is present in the farm. Composting also allows a year-round process for managing animal mortalities so that diseases will not spread. If the compost bins are properly monitored, risks to surface and ground water will be controlled. Compost bins also help in avoiding the problems of scavenging and minimizes problems in different weather conditions particularly during winter when the frozen soil does not permit digging of a trench. While offensive odors are not usually generated in compost bins, planting trees on the site can preserve the aesthetic appeal of the livestock farm.