ANNAPOLIS (Feb. 09, 2010) With reports of poultry house and livestock barn collapses, the Maryland Department of Agriculture advises producers on appropriate disposal of mortality.
MDA advises a tiered approach depending upon what facilities are available. First recommendation is to compost dead birds in the manure storage facility. Second is to compost outside with appropriate set backs from surface water. University of Maryland Extension Fact Sheets provide instruction on this process. If these procedures are not an option, land filling and commercial composting can be considered with appropriate permitting and/or direction from local officials.
Contract growers should contact their companies before taking action. During this snow emergency, contact your county emergency operations center where the local health department, which authorizes and can advise on certain disposal methods, should be represented.
UMD Extension Fact sheets:
Composting for Catastrophic Event Poultry Mortality, http://mda.state.md.us/pdf/compostpoultrycatastrophe-umd.pdf
Guidelines for In-House Composting of Catastrophic Poultry Mortality, http://mda.state.md.us/pdf/compostpoultrycatastropheinhouse-umd.pdf
County extension specialists are very good resources, but may not be available during this snow emergency.
Depending upon facilities, off-farm disposal by rendering or commercial land filling may be needed when and where on-farm livestock disposal by burial or burning is not practicable or not permitted by local Health Officer.
Burial on farm. There are some areas of Maryland where burial will not be a legal option for disposal of large animal carcasses.
Composting on farm. There is a large amount of information available on this carcass disposal method. There may be regions of Maryland which prohibit composting of livestock, please check with your county authorities.
Cornell University composting information: http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/factsheets.htm
University of Maryland composting information: http://compost.umd.edu/Resources.cfm
During this snow emergency, contact your county emergency operations center where the local health department, which authorizes and can advise on certain disposal methods, should be represented.
The county emergency operations centers are listed here: http://mema.state.md.us/MEMA/content_page.jsp?TOPICID=emmgrs
Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture