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Neighbour with dead carcass in his manure

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  • Neighbour with dead carcass in his manure

    sigh*
    well I guess the title says it all... the neighbour has a foul smelling dead something buried in his horse manure. By the intensity of the smell, I would venture a horse died and he didn't get the carcass removed as required by law. A couple of weeks ago we saw him moving some manure with his tractor. Now in the dead (pun intended!) of winter, moving the manure pile is a very rare occurrence. That same day, right after, a very unpleasant smell wafted over, so bad that I started gagging. Nothing is quite like the smell of death...It still smells when the wind is just right.
    I could call the environmental dept., but my neighbour would know right away I'm the one calling. I'm the closest one and likely to smell the offensive odor.

  • #2
    Composting is actually a very effective way of disposing of a carcass. If done correctly there really isn't any more smell than any other manure pile. Maybe you can google instructions and help him make the corrections that are needed.
    McDowell Racing Stables

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    • #3
      This might be the best titled post ever!

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      • #4
        chime in

        i had this same issue with my wretched naighbor,my kids call him the angry farmer.. he had been dumping horse carcasses where our property meets for years in his manure pile...thanks alot a@#$%^! my parents felt intimdated so they never did anything about..but i did call the dept of ag,they will send an inspector out to look at how the y are composting..yoy should not be able to see any portion of the carcass or have any odor. he got a visit from the inspector and now he keeps the bodies covered..so nasty..says alot for his horse management skills
        benjaminsplum

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        • #5
          You can't just leave a carcass unburied and most jurisdictions are pretty darn picky where you bury one, if they'll let you at all. I can just about guarantee that you cannot just leave a carcass in a manure pile. Call your local health department.

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          • #6
            I gotta say though, my manuer pile was the perfect place to dump the *shot but still kickin'* snapping turtle that tried to pick off my duckies.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
              Composting is actually a very effective way of disposing of a carcass. If done correctly there really isn't any more smell than any other manure pile. Maybe you can google instructions and help him make the corrections that are needed.
              Agreed. My BIL has used our muck heap for the odd cow and I've never noticed a smell.

              I did, however, notice when my dog brought over a complete skull (minus all the flesh) while I was showing a client a horse. That was a fun one to explain!
              True North Dressage
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              • #8
                I cannot tell from your post whether the carcass in the manure is truly a nuisance or if you are objecting to a farming practice . . .

                If you live in a rural area that still has agriculture, and I do, even though it is only 90 miles to New York City, then composting a carcass is absolutely allowed. Burying animals on your property is absolutely allowed (and as far as I know, completely unregulated, despite the earlier post about most jurisdictions banning it). The farmer we lease a lot of our land to has left cow carcasses in the woods -- unburied -- for the coyotes. It is macabre, but the bones are polished clean very quickly and I don't have a problem with that.

                I don't mean to only be saying suck it up; if the smell is terrible then the composting isn't being done right. But I get grouchy when suburbanites don't understand farming practices, not that the OP is . . . but some of the responses were starting to sound that way.
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                • #9
                  I agree with some other posters...if done correctly composting an animal carcass is efficient and shouldn't smell horrible. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with discarding a carcass in that manner...there are no ethics or morals that require a horse's body to be buried or cremated.

                  The only regulation in my county regarding livestock carcass disposal is that the carcass cannot be buried within 50 ft. of an active waterway such as a creek, pond, or river. I can haul the carcasses into the woods and leave 'em for the scavengers if I wanted to. The dairy farmer down the road dumps his dead cows in a ditch at the woods edge of his property. I grew up near a hog farmer who tossed the dead hogs in a ditch as well. We always knew when a new carcass was out there because they coyotes were unusually loud.

                  Not burying an animal carcass is pretty common in farm country. It's the city folks who move out to the country and think everything should be clean and fresh-smelling all the time who have problems with this common method of disposal. I wonder what the heck they think happens to the deer when they died out in the woods? No one goes out to bury them....nature happens and then they are gone.

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                  • #10
                    1 question....how close is the water well?..... :0/
                    Julie
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                    • #11
                      I agree with the other posters regarding the fact that this is not an uncommon practice. My community is full of dairy/beef farms and when a cow dies, which is frequent, the rule of thumb is that you bury the carcass in the manure pile. Around here manure piles are quite substantial. Maybe other posters here can help me out but I believe the time between burial in the pile and full decomposition of the carcass is somewhere around three months. If done correctly this is a very effective means to an end (no pun intended) and actually works quite well. Again though, it has to be done effectively. And when it is, there is virtually no smell. It's actually better than some Joe Schmoe burying a carcass with no regard or no notice of water supplies.

                      Perhaps the OP can do some research online and help her/his neighbor out with the proper way to compost a carcass in a manure pile. There are many Ag extensions that have wonderful information regarding this. Good luck!

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                      • #12
                        Composting with manure may be the only way, if the ground is frozen or he doesnt have the heavy equipment to bury or the money to get it removed. Times are hard.

                        I would probably go nicely knock on his door. Offer your condolences and request (nicely) that he might consider adding more manure or topping off with dirt because the smell is getting to you.

                        He probably knows but has run out of manure or whatever or his tractor broke or whatever (s**t happens on a farm). At least your going over will give him the chance to apologize, which he needs to do for creating a bad smell.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BramblewoodAcres View Post
                          I agree with some other posters...if done correctly composting an animal carcass is efficient and shouldn't smell horrible. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with discarding a carcass in that manner...there are no ethics or morals that require a horse's body to be buried or cremated.
                          CAN you actually get a horse cremated where you are? I never could find a place to have it done. All my horses who have died have ended up buried. I couldn't bear to have a truck come take them away, and I was never in a circumstance that allowed non burial.

                          I don't actually have a problem with non-burial= ashes to ashes, dust to dust= and though we don't have coyotes, we'd have a huge cloud of buzzards in no time at all. It seems quite natural.

                          Any opinions on using quick lime in a gravesite to help decomposition along? I know someone who does that.

                          To the OP, I can agree that a horrid smell would be a terrible problem. I agree with those who suggested at least asking him to do it correctly so you don't gag when the wind comes from his place.

                          Laurel

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                          • #14
                            I would offer to go dump my manure on top of his so as to cover up the odor - a win/win! (Assuming you have manure to get rid of...)
                            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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                            • #15
                              Like some of the other posters, where I live there are various methods of disposing of a large animal carcass.

                              Most of the cattle farmers around here shove a carcass into the woods, and let nature's clean up crew take care of it. Perfectly legal.

                              I buried Conny on my own property, and no one said boo about it. Also perfectly legal.

                              Burial in a manure pile is fine, depending on where you live and what regulations are in your area.
                              Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                                You can't just leave a carcass unburied and most jurisdictions are pretty darn picky where you bury one, if they'll let you at all. I can just about guarantee that you cannot just leave a carcass in a manure pile. Call your local health department.
                                Spoken like someone who lives in the 'burbs (no offense intended). Maybe where you live this is unacceptable but in much of the country, including my part of Virginny, you can legally bury your horse in your manure pile or in your field or let the buzzards pick it clean. Hell, I intend to be buried on my property, which is legal in the state of VA.

                                No advice for the OP. Maybe, as the others have suggested, give him some manure if that's what's needed.
                                Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
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                                • #17
                                  I say it is time grow up and get over it.
                                  Everything will die!!!
                                  Yes, carcasses stink, the larger the animal, the larger the stink.
                                  I drag my large animals off to the large animal bone ditch for the coyotes & vultures to snack on. Little animals(coons, possums, wild hog parts) have their own bone ditch.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    well here it's an environmental offense. Not allowed by law. That said, I have NO problem if he buries it well and there's no smell, but the smell is just overwhelming. His manure pile is about 200 ft from my property. Also the smell is likely to attract coyotes too close to buildings. I really don't care where he disposes of his dead animals as long as they don't infringe on my air quality...

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                                    • #19
                                      Are you sure there's a carcass in the pile? I only ask because we haven't been able to use the tractor to spread ours in almost two months, due to the ice buildup on the lane to the back 40 where we spread. The pile is huge, and unusually aromatic-- a weirder smell than usual manure pile, too, I think because it's below freezing most of the time, and the compost that is going on inside is slightly different under these conditions....

                                      We have no carcasses in there that we know of; it just stinks.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by goponies View Post
                                        well here it's an environmental offense. Not allowed by law. That said, I have NO problem if he buries it well and there's no smell, but the smell is just overwhelming. His manure pile is about 200 ft from my property. Also the smell is likely to attract coyotes too close to buildings. I really don't care where he disposes of his dead animals as long as they don't infringe on my air quality...
                                        composting is an approved method of disposal in most areas of the country now -- this has changed in the last few years so you might look to see if it has changed in your area too

                                        as others have said, done correctly there is little to no odor and it is more environmentally friendly than most alternatives (burial, cremation, etc -- other than the carrion fodder that some have mentioned)

                                        these articles http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:...lnk&cd=1&gl=us

                                        http://www3.abe.iastate.edu/cattleco...guidelines.asp

                                        might provide insights into what needs changing



                                        venting here is all well and good but to improve your air quality you may have to offer some shavings to your neighbor
                                        Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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