Dead Poultry Disposal
Texas Agricultural Extension Service , 1998

Carey, J.B., Thornberry, F.D.

Dead poultry on farms can cause nuisance, odor and aesthetic problems; surface and groundwater pollution; disease; and insect, rodent and predator problems if the birds are not disposed of daily. Proper management of dead birds is vital from the standpoint of avoiding nuisance complaints. The frequency of pick-up, methods of holding and ultimate disposal of carcasses are easy operations for neighbors and regulatory personnel to visually monitor. It only takes a relatively small, individual problem to create additional burdens for all poultry producers. The disposal of dead poultry is an increasingly complex problem for Texas poultrymen. Recent Texas legislation has made it the responsibility of each producer to adopt and maintain an environmentally sound method of dead bird disposal. Senate Bill 1910 regulates the utilization and disposal of on-farm mortalities. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) is developing rules of implementation. The disposal methods allowed under S.B.1910 include: composting, incineration, rendering, extrusion, freezing, cooking for swine food, placement in a permitted landfill, and any other TNRCC approved method. Disposal pits or ground disposal methods will no longer be allowed, except in the case of a massive die-off, after the new regulations are fully implemented. The various disposal alternatives each require appropriate management on a daily basis. Producers should evaluate alternatives and implement the most feasible method. Advice and assistance obtained from cooperating agencies can be of significant value in minimizing mistakes and future problems. Composting, incineration and rendering are currently recognized as the most feasible authorized options for producers.