Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > First steps towards a sucessful Brexit

Regrettably this is not a joke. The regulations regarding movement and disposal of unprocessed poultry manure are designed to limit the spread of diseases such a bird flu.

It hasn't gone away, you know. There is a current outbreak in France

Many Northern Ireland people take driving holidays in France. As a result, my chicken farming friend, and all the Moy Park farms in Northern Ireland are in full bioecurity mode. Any vehicle going near the sheds is sprayed with disinfectant. Wellies and foot baths are de rigeur.

We had planned a field archery competition in his woods and pastures next weekend, with 40 archers entered. This has been cancelled due to the infection risk.

Aug 7, 2016 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, I am a country bumpkin, with some knowledge and experience around the consequences of rural disease epidemics.

How did chicken manure become to dangerous to put on land?

I am aware that "farmyard muck spreading" is organic, and the process does cause annoyance, but I can't believe the cost of "pelleted chicken manure" in garden centres. You would have thought they couldn't give it away.

Aug 7, 2016 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Chickens prevent toxophylia in Northern Island.

Aug 7, 2016 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

golf Charlie

Unprocesses manure carries any viruses infecting the chickens and can act as a vector.

Unprocessed poultry manure is strongly alkaline very high in phosphates. Put it straight onto farmland and the runoff triggers algal blooms in whatever streams, rivers or lakes the runoff from the fields drain into.

The algal blooms, and their subsequent decay, cause low oxygen conditions which kill the fish.

The key word there is "unprocessed". The processed pellets are sterile and less toxic.

"Country bumpkin" grossly underestimated the knowledge and understanding of any countryman. Usually it is the "town bumpkins" who do not understand food chains, nutrient cycles, eutrophication and oxygen depletion.

Aug 7, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man



I am a very frustrated toxophilite.😡

Aug 7, 2016 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM is this the scheme that was approved or not?

ACK, I thought it was the French who developed toxophobia, 601 years ago, and they think we have been sticking 2 fingers up at them ever since.

I do take EM's point seriously. I just don't understand how chicken manure was deemed to be toxic, or damaging to the environment. Yes I have worked in chicken houses, and know that they generate bad neighbour disputes, mainly from smells.

Chicken sh1t is rich in nitrates (or is it nitrites ?) hence guano was a valued commoditiy. It smells of ammonia and damages car paintwork.

Aug 7, 2016 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I don't really know what you grandads are talking about but Glanford Power Station one of the small power plants in our area was built in 1993 to burn chicken/poultry poo, but when BSE came in, it became a cow incinerator. On the Wiki list ther;s also a 1992 one and a 199 one

There is supposed to be another one in Gloucestershire, but after a lot of talk in 2010 I am not sure if it got built
Biogas company Alfagy

Aug 7, 2016 at 9:36 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

EM, mine at 9:18 was typed at about 6pm, I thought I had sent it. Apologies if it reads like I had ignored yours at 7pm

My country bumpkin education has included cess pits, septic tanks, slurry pits, etc from an early age,and my professional work has taken in the delights of large sewage treatment works, pollution incidents, streams, rivers, BOD & COD, ichtyology.

Horse manure including straw, gets generated at about a barrow or two per day per horse. Normally cleared out every day, the biggest producers these days are racing stables.

Cow manure generally falls into a field and stays there. The exception is milking herds, that have to be brought in twice a day. If they produce a bucket full of poo and pee whilst in the milking parlour, it may take 5x as much water to clear up again. Containment of this daily volume of liquid is a big problem, especially for water courses due to BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) which takes dissolved oxygen out of the water and kills all life. Unpasteurised milk is also lethal due to BOD.

Chickens produce only small amounts of poo and pee, but fairly continuously, as there is no point for a bird carrying excess baggage when flying (yes I am aware that chickens have lost the ability) Intensive battery chicken rearing in cramped cages produces nothing more than poo and pee. One of the major efficiencies for that type of chicken rearing and egg production.

Raising chickens in a shed where they are free to roam requires bedding and an absorbant material. Wood waste, shavings sawdust has been used. It will be cleared out en masse when the chickens are ready for slaughter. This produces vast quantities in a matter of days. This is the major problem for more humane chicken rearing. Storage of this waste and/or disposal is the problem you are referring to, and a problem I am familiar with, as a local resident. It is the smell.

The South Downs do not provide the best conditions for arable and livestock, and so over my lifetime, "chicken houses" have appeared, depending on the market and financial incentives, and have served a variety of different purposes. Some more successfully than others.

Chicken manure is high in NPK Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium, the essentials for fertiliser. EU legislation and increased consumer concern for welfare has increased the volume of chicken waste/manure per chicken, but not the amount of NPK per chicken. Moy Park are very successful, and have found Northern Ireland advantageous.

Aug 7, 2016 at 11:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golfCharlie. No wonder townies think the countryside's a shi*tty place!

Aug 8, 2016 at 6:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

golf charlie
If chicken manure is toxic surely it is better contained in houses rather than letting them poo all over fields as proposed by supermarkets on free range eggs, or is free range chicken poo different from those living in chicken-houses? More likely just greens being greens.

Entropic man,
there seem to regular cases of bird flu in France.

Aug 8, 2016 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS Perhaps pastured poultry poo pellets prevent permanently puking pigs perfectly.

Aug 8, 2016 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Yes, chickens pooing outside would mean methane is being released direct into the atmosphere.

AFAIK local battery farms started to put poo into anaeroblic digesters , harvest the methane and burn in in the boilers to heat the chicken houses.

The local chicking packing megaplant is supposed to use such energy newspaper article

Aug 8, 2016 at 9:59 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

SandyS 7:58, go back 30+ years ago I have seen the worst side of battery chickens etc, aswell as the good side of poultry and egg production.

If you have a large chicken house, with umpteen thousand chickens being raised on what starts as 300mm (?) of sawdust and wood shavings etc, 2-3 months later it is going to smell a bit. When you bulldoze it out, and put it in trucks, it is really going to smell rather a lot, and it is that volume requiring to be disposed of in 48 hours that causes the Environmental issues that EM is highlighting.

Some form of power station, digesting plant IS the right way to deal with that kind of volume, if it requires the volume that is to be produced, which Moy Park does, given the scale of their operation dealing with rather more than one chicken house requiring emptying once every 2-3 months.

Stagnant heaps, leading to low oxygen and then anaerobic conditions are the problem for compost heaps with grass clippings, sewage works, fish ponds and even aquariums and gold fish bowls.

The traditional village duck pond has green water, caused by the amount of nitrate fertiliser being squirted out of a duck causing a growth in algae etc. Seabirds nesting on cliffs deposit vast quantities of nitrites direct into the sea. These natural events are not deemed environmental disasters. Eutrophication is something I remember from school back in the 70s

The UK landscape and farming is always changing. The country does not all look like Constable's Haywain.

Aug 8, 2016 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golfCharlie. I very much doubt that you can blame ducks for green water in most village ponds. Much more likely it is excess phosphorous from detergents or runoff from over-fertilised gardens and surrounding fields. Seabird colonies deposit most of their excrement on land at their nesting or roosting sites, and that getting into thre sea is merely being returned replacing that removed in the form of fish. Other repository sites for their guano dollops include my car, as previously documented here.

Aug 8, 2016 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Out in the country, everything which moves is going to excrete. Just let nature deal with it. There are creature that make their living doing just that. Also, never mind the chickens, the weight of biomass counting only insects and lower forms is dominant. They are inside you too. No point in worrying too much over this or that particular item.

Aug 8, 2016 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Teenage Mutant Dunga Beetles.

I once reminded a fella who worked dispatch for the Alaska Pipeline that the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska would all return to pristine fairly quickly; those hydrocarbon chains, lovingly formed as they were, are all digestible and soon bio-degradable.

Aug 8, 2016 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

ACK, I do have some experience as a country bumpkin of village ponds with ducks on them, and without, on the South Downs, where ponds tend to be artificial, even if built 100s of years ago with puddled clay. The common factor being no throughflow of water.

Even a few miles away, where chalk again meets clay, springs, streams, ponds etc, formed naturally and/or were developed and exploited by man 100s of years ago. The water does not go green. Chalk streams produce some of the best trout fishing and watercress. Near Winchester, the historic railway is the "Watercress Line".

The Norfolk Broads do have famous waterlife,, and whilst not torrential flows of water, they are not stagnant.

Overfertilisation with NPK is bad for gardens, farmland and water. The worst excesses are now better understood. Industrial production of eggs and poultry does produce larger volumes of waste, and I am all for natural processes of recycling. Scaremongering over miniscule amounts of CO2 has done enough damage without throwing NPK into it.

None of the supermarkets seem too keen on having a tractor trailer parked outside full of wholesome organic farmyard manure, as a means of promoting the wholesome organic food grown with it, that they want to sell from within the shop.

What percentage of allotments have urinals? Watering cans in allotment sheds get most of it before diluting with water to be applied as part of the secret ingredient passed through generations

Aug 8, 2016 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

rhoda Agree except for dog poo which, when left by the dog's owners, is a definite and totally unacceptable health hazard.

Aug 8, 2016 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK, all of nature is a health hazard. In theory there is nothing special about dog poo. I always wondered why in my Oxfordshire village an elephant could crap on the verges with impunity, or a badger or muntjac or anything, but not a dog.

Aug 8, 2016 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Indeed, golfCharlie, many duckponds have been artificially constructed and have no throughflow of water. They are fed by direct input (rain, snow) but mostly from surface runoff when the capacity of surrounding soils is exceeded during strong rainfall events. This makes the ponds particularly susceptible to fertilizer inputs. What gets added stays in the ponds. A hydrochemist post-doc thesis I examined used the nutrient content of duck ponds as an indication of overuse of fertilizers by neighbouring farmers. The ponds act as natural concentrators. The idea really didn't work, too many variables. I don't think James even considered duck poo.

Aug 8, 2016 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

rhoda. The problems with dog poo are many 1) the amounts left by inconsiderate dog owners, 2) the location, commonly where people walk or children play, but most importantly 3) dogs live with us and not uncommonly are affected by the same parasites. Dog habits (eating meat, investigating other dog's faeces - sometimes rolling in them or eating them) mean they are more likely to pick up these parasites and then pass them on to us via their faeces. There is a parasitic nematode that causes blindness in children that is spread in this fashion.

I would suggest that elephant (and muntjack) poo would be valued in my town by avid gardeners, whereas dog poo smells and is best avoided.

Aug 8, 2016 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Toxoplasmosis? As many as a third of us have had it without noticing. I couldn't find a rate for infant blindness, or even an actual case. Cat poo is the most risky, (also legal in Oxon) but you can get it from the grass in sheep meadows or by eating rare lamb, or..just get it, it's everywhere. I put it to you that it is general distaste for the smell and pavement location of dog poo that turns people off, not that it is particulrly dangerous in itself. The toxo is an extra bit of ammo used by people who are justifying a visceral rather than logical dislike.

I'm afraid I can't supply elephant poo, anti-elephant incantations seem to work well in Oxfordshire.

Aug 8, 2016 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

rhoda I was refering to toxocariasis, not toxoplasmosis, although both can be acquired from both cats and dogs. But I will concede your point (and mine) that dog poo is both unpleasant and too ubiquitous.

We have lots of barking deer in my part of Norfolk, but I'm not sure I've ever identified their scat. Elephants are extremely rare.

Aug 8, 2016 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

A lake in Florida is a recent example of the problem.

Lake Okeechobee has a lot of inflowing nutrients and unsound dikes. It's managers had an unenviable choice this year.

The lake was filling up with storm water along with an algal bloom. They could contain the water and risk the collapse of the dykes or release the water and spread the bloom right downstream to the sea.They chose the latter.

Aug 8, 2016 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

rhoda & ACK, slipping on a banana skin is a euphemism for slipping on street dog poo. The euphemism became popular in the music hall era, and remains part of British culture, along with slipping on dog poo.

EM 7:47 I am not quite sure what you consider the problem to be, that needs to be fixed. If fresh water had been allowed into the lake, and out again to the sea, there would not have been a build up of NPK to fertilise the algae. Why had this not been done on a regular basis? Eutrophication of closed and stagnant water systems has occurred since before man ever intervened or even existed. Man's intervention has made it more likely to occur, but in the instance you link to, it is clear nothing was done, despite warnings.

Aug 8, 2016 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie