Criteria in the choice for dead poultry disposal
The method of disposal must always be in compliance with local and environmental regulations. The method must be economical, reliable and sanitary with a high level of bio-security. The economics of each method must also be considered from the costs of the equipment and its availability, the cost of labor and the amount of mortality experienced by the poultry farm. There is always a pattern of mortality that is fairly consistent in a farm. However, it is also important to be prepared for catastrophic losses with alternative options for dead poultry disposal. Burial is a common method of disposal but in a severe disease outbreak, burial might not the most viable option because of concerns towards the contamination of ground water. The favorability of soil conditions will also be a problem particularly during winter.
Incineration as the most common choice for dead poultry disposal
Incineration is a common choice because it is simple and relatively safe. Most farm incinerators are licensed by local environmental agencies because they are highly efficient for immediate dead poultry disposal. Odors can be a problem if dead poultry is not disposed of immediately. However, the problem with incinerators is the cost of purchase. It is also expensive to operate because of the fuel that is consumed to ensure that the dead poultry will be turned into ashes. A solution to the high cost of ownership is for a group of adjoining farms to be the common owners of an incinerator. This also reduces the problem of transporting the dead poultry to an incineration plant in a distant location.
Composting as a natural procedure for dead poultry disposal
Composting is called a natural process because of the use of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms to convert the carcass into a product that can be used as fertilizer or soil additive. The microorganisms do the job of composting but humans must do the monitoring so that a proper environment can be created in the compost bin. Composting is slow process but it can be speeded up if the microorganisms are given enough food and oxygen and by turning the compost when the internal temperatures fall. If the compost bins are properly managed, objectionable odors are controlled which also prevents scavenging. The economics of composting will include the expenses towards the building and operating the facility. However, it is also important to take into account the value of compost as a fertilizer and the benefits of composting as a year-round management of mortality.