CH#1115 - Small Holder Piggery Problems


Courtesy of Bio-Systems International

Waste Type: Pig Manure

Article: After 20 yrs with SAA, Mark Tutton, a qualified aircraft engineer, licenced to maintain Jumbos and having being stationed around SA and Mauritius decided to retire from the rat race.

A few years before leaving he had purchased a small holding near Benoni where he bought [fattened] and sold goats & sheep. He came from a farming family, and, when he was transferred to Cape Town, he acquired a 1.5ha small holding, complete with shedding, near Klipheuvel, close to Durbanville.

Just over a year ago he waved goodbye to SAA, turned down the offer of a highly lucrative senior post with an overseas airline, pulled on his veldskoons and went pig farming. Assisted by two farm hands who help with the preparation of pig feed which Mark blends from waste food products that he buys and then fetches from local factories. He loves the healthy life, and the support of his wife and two teenage sons, as he tends his animals, What a pleasure!

As the picture shows, both he and his pigs enjoy excellent health and he declines the use of anti-biotics and similar additives.

Still an engineer at heart, he runs a well organized piggery, utilizing approx a hectare of his property, centered about the long shed which he has converted into sties and a feed preparation area. He has an average stock holding of 450 Landrace x Great White pigs: 150 sows and 2 stud boars, with a further 9 approaching maturity.

All was ticking along nicely, and his business was showing a worthwhile return when a cloud in the form of muttering neighbours began to darken his horizon. The reason was....... pig effluent.

Up to that time he had been running his waste wash water into a large septic tank from where some soaked into the soil, and the surplus was pumped via a 75mm plastic pipe some 500m to a neighbour's kikuyu meadow. Increasingly, bordering smallholders complained of pig scented water in their boreholes, and of an escalating porcine reek being wafted upon the fickle breeze.

A CMC health Inspector was called and analyses of his effluent taken...Big Black mark for Mark!

So Bio-Systems SA, who had assisted other farmers in similar predicaments, were called to offer suggestions. It was really a very simple problem to solve, and it cost mere peanuts!

First the effluent. We made the 24m3 septic tank into a treatment pump-station and inoculated it with 500g of our B800 microbial seed. Within three days the odour had diminished. We recommended he reduced his water consumption to a minimum, (it's an expensive commodity now), and that he pump out the sump 3 times per week. But there was still a problem with odour build-up in the sties. Because 'degreasers' and strong detergents could not be used, (health hazards &c), lots of water was needed to wash out all the droppings, urine and food scraps, and this time consuming operation was a prime cause of load on the system. But this conventional method still did not remove the ammonia which was building up, causing distress to the pigs, especially the little ones, and generating the familiar porcine pong that caused the neighbours to choke on their sundowners!

So we recommended our HSDG (Hard Surface Degreaser). This remarkable product loosens all hydrocarbons, (natural constituents of droppings, urine & food), and encapsulates the molecules allowing harmless disposal via the pump station and out into the environment, via the irrigation - keeping the pipe line purged as well!

By using a combination of B800 and HSDG, within two weeks, the odour had gone, the quality of final effluent had improved and Mark was welcome, once again, on all the neighbouring stoeps [verandahs] at cork out time.

Mark now runs on 250g of B800 per 6 weeks, and 5lt of HSDG per fortnight: Cost? A mere R350/month

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