Different ways to make use of your poultry litter
The poultry industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The industry supplies us with an enormous amount of poultry meat, but also produce tons of waste materials in the process.
What is poultry litter?
Poultry litter is the mixture of bedding materials such as sawdust and wood shavings, feathers, spilled feed, and manure. In this mixture there are a number of nutrients that can be useful for other things.
The quality of the poultry litter depends of the diet of the bird along with other factors such as the type of bedding used, any supplements within the diet of the bird, and how the litter is stored.
Why should you re-use your poultry litter?
Re-using your poultry litter for other purposes comes with many advantages. Re-using your litter helps to reduce the amount of useless waste that you would need to dispose of. This helps you to save time on disposal and also money.
The re-purposing of poultry waste improves bio security and can also help to reduce odour problems, and large quantities will no longer need to be stored on site waiting for disposal. This will help to clean up the farm and improve overall organisation. Litter materials can be used from small scale poultry houses, as well as litter from large scale poultry producers.
What else can you use poultry litter for?
Poultry litter makes good use as animal feed for cattle and fish. There are many nutrients in poultry litter that are beneficial for cattle and are already present in their diet. Poultry litter can be mixed with cattle feed to bulk it out, or use as an alternative. This could help towards saving money on large amounts of feed.
Before poultry litter is used as animal feed it must be properly processed. Materials such as feathers and plastic must be removed beforehand. Also, bacteria such as salmonella may also be present in the poultry litter. Bacteria like this must be properly removed through processing before using it as animal feed to avoid harm to the animals consuming it.
2. Use as a Fertilizer
Poultry litter makes up for the perfect fertilizer. It is packed with a great number of nutrients essential for plant growth. Poultry litter mainly consists of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.
The majority of the nutrients from poultry litter comes from the manure within the litter. Studies have shown that a higher number of crops grow in soil that has been fertilized with poultry manure. Using your poultry litter as fertilizer can help save money on transport costs for the collection of your poultry waste.
3. Improve Soil Quality
The continuous use of chemical fertilizers can be very damaging to soil and dramatically decrease the quality. Recent studies have shown that poultry litter has a positive impact on the structure of the soil, and it’s water-holding capacity. The application of poultry litter to your land can be beneficial for growing crops on your farm as the quality and the rate the crops are produced will increase.
4. Fuel Source
Finally, poultry litter can be used as an excellent source of fuel. Poultry litter with a low moisture content can be incinerated and used to generate energy. Using one of our W2E (Waste To Energy) systems, you can use your poultry litter to recover heat, hot water, and electricity to your poultry farm. An example would be incinerating your poultry waste to generate lighting in your poultry sheds.
What is waste to energy (W2E)?
A waste to energy plant is a way of burning waste to generate energy, which can be recovered as heat or electricity.
The process of waste to energy can be very beneficial to farms in remote locations and for developing regions, providing sustainable benefits. The waste to energy process also has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. It is also a way of recycling unwanted material and making better use of it.
It has also been stated that W2E can help to mitigate climate change. This is because the waste that is incinerated doesn’t generate the same harmful gases as It would if it were sitting in landfill.
Inciner8 Poultry Incinerator Range
Poultry waste incineration is the most efficient method of disposal. It results in a high level of risk reduction against disease and infection, total process control, and the ability to recover energy used for heat and electricity.
At Inciner8, our poultry waste incinerators are DEFRA type approved and meet the EU and UK ABPR regulations for animal and poultry by-product incineration. We know how important bio security is on farms, which is why we recommend incineration for the disposing of infected poultry waste to eliminate any traces of harmful bacteria from the premises.
Poultry Waste & Legislation
There are certain rules and regulations put into place when dealing with poultry waste. These may vary depending on what country you are in, but the majority of the regulations are very similar.
Any poultry waste should be stored on your premises no longer than necessary. In the case of dead birds, you must remove the bird from the other birds immediately. Keeping dead stock on site can cause a risk of disease and infection and causes a higher bio security risk.
If a dead bird is found on the litter you want to use as fertilizer, it is a requirement that your litter is fully processed beforehand to remove any toxic or harmful bacteria from the litter. If left untreated and used as fertilizer, this can make crops grown on the soil contaminated and cause a health risk to humans and animals who may eat the crops.
Before the use of poultry litter is considered as fertilizer, farmers must ensure that using poultry litter does not cause any odour when applying it to land. This is especially relevant in built up areas.
SEPA (Sottish Environment Protection Agencey) and NETREGS outline some of the overall regulations in place for incinerating poultry and other animal waste.
If you are unsure about what legislation applies to you and your area, contact your local animal agency for the correct information to make sure you’re compliant.