Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Fulhage, C.D.(1) and C.E. Ellis (2)
Publication Date: January 1, 1996
Reference: Water Quality Initiative publication WQ0351. Electronic document: muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/waterq/wq0351.htm.
Country: United States


Procedures are given for the composting of dead swine. When considering the location for the composter, attention should be given to natural drainage so the water coming from the precipitation does not stay in the compost pile and the composter should be away from waterways. Also in choosing the location, the nearby residences should be considered as the handling of dead swine is not slightly. Sawdust is a very good material for composting and gave better results than straw (with straw lower temperature were obtained, the composting process took longer time and leaching occurred). If using straw, hay, rice hulls or cornstalks, the particles should be chopped finely. In order to obtain a good compost, the design and management of the composter are important. 2.8 cubic meter (100 cubic feet) of saw dust are necessary per 450 kg (1000 LB) of carcasses. The composting system presented is composed of primary bins where the carcasses are first brought and secondary bins where the composted is moved after 3 months for the final 3 months composting cycle. Moving the compost helps the degradation as the material is mixed and oxygen is also added. A worksheet is presented to calculate the necessary parameter for the composter design (weight of carcasses to be composted, bin volume, bin surface, number of bins necessary, bins’ dimensions, sawdust required). For good composting, the inner temperature of the material should stay around 55 to 70 C (130 to 160 F) for 6 months. During cold weather, the process will slow down and in some cases (when frozen carcasses are brought to the composter) stop and will start again when the temperature warms up; the time needed to compost carcasses will be longer. A front-end of skid loader is needed in order to transport the sawdust, the carcasses and also the compost from the primary bin to the secondary bin and also to load the final compost into conventional “beater-type” manure spreader. Management of the composter is essential in order to control well the process (verification of the temperature in order to estimate of the 6 months period is enough to obtain mature compost, maintain correct level of humidity, add some nitrogen to speed up the degradation process) and prevent nuisances (such as odour, flies, rodents). As much as 50% mature compost can be used and mixed with dry sawdust as compost material.
This system is interesting however not enough information is given on the effect of prolonged extreme cold temperature. The design suggested for the bins would than not work as more time would be spent for the composting.
All elements are given for the composting of dead pigs, However in cold conditions, the degradation and composting process would probably be slower. More time would be needed to obtain mature compost. Some testing should be done to verify the efficiency of this process for long cold winter conditions. In soils that are permeable, a lining (concrete, clay, membrane) under the compost pile should be installed in order to prevent leachates infiltration that could occur.

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