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Waste Management

MANAGING SHEEP AND GOAT MANURE
By
Oct 28, 2002, 10:12pm

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http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/Topic/AgrEnv/ndd/watermgt/ANIMAL_MANURE_MANAGING_SHEEP_AND_GOAT.html

ANIMAL MANURE -- MANAGING SHEEP AND GOAT MANURE

PENPAGES: Factsheets from Pennsylvania State University
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following information is based on the MANAGING SHEEP AND GOAT MANURE section
of the HORSE, SHEEP, GOAT, AND SMALL ANIMAL MANURE MANAGEMENT supplement to
MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, a publication of the
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources.
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                       Managing Sheep and Goat Manure
                      --------------------------------

Sheep and goat enterprises in Pennsylvania include large commercial farms and
small part-time flocks.  Some people raise sheep and goats for specialty
products or as a hobby.  In all cases it is important to consider manure
management and the potential for fly, odor, and water-pollution problems.
Sometimes a few animals cause more difficulties than a large commercial flock or
herd, especially when animals are confined in buildings or small lots in
suburban areas.  If there is an insufficient area on which to spread the manure,
overapplication and stockpiling of manure may result.  This can increase fly,
odor, and rodent problems as well as the likelihood of water pollution from
runoff and excessive soil nutrients.  See "Manure Management Strategies to
Control Flies" in MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR EVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

     Sheep or goats may be kept on pasture with minimal shelter, housed in sheds
or barns with large exercise areas or pastures, or kept inside confinement barns
with small or no outside yards. Barns may contain bedded pens or packs,  stalls,
or slotted floors. Regardless of housing type, sheep and goat manure is normally
handled as a solid because it usually does not liquify well and is unsuitable
for traditional liquid manure-handling systems.

     Suburban sheep and goat owners should plan housing and manure management
carefully to avoid problems with neighbors and health officials.  Flies and
odors are the most common complaints.  Anyone considering keeping goats or sheep
in a suburban area should review local zoning and health regulations.  Regular
cleanout and removal of manure and wet or soiled bedding to a fly-tight
container, storage facility, or field for spreading are a requirement for any
successful suburban manure management plan.  If only a few animals are kept, a
covered box,  covered garbage cans, a fly-tight concrete or pressure-treated
post and plank shed, or a pile covered with black plastic may be adequate for
manure storage.

     Large quantities of manure require a storage that allows cleanout with
power equipment, that is, a storage with a wide door and a high roof.  Regular
cleanup will reduce the opportunity for insect breeding and odor production.
Storages should be designed and managed to exclude rodents  and to keep rain and
surface water away from the manure.  For design and construction details for
large storages, see "Construction of Manure Storage and Treatment Systems" in
MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

     A complete manure management system involves collection, storage (temporary
or long-term) and ultimate disposal or utilization.  Manure should be collected
from stalls and exercise yards regularly, with a shovel, fork, or power
equipment, depending on the number of animals.  Bedded pens and packs do not
require daily handling because much of the manure and bedding is contained in
them.  However, mixtures of manure and bedding can provide just the right
environment for fly reproduction.  A regular supply of bedding is required to
maintain the bedded pack adequately.  Pack life can be extended by daily removal
of the fresh manure deposited on the pack.  Also, placing feed and water
adjacent to the bedded pack on a hard surface that can be scraped daily reduces
manure deposits on the bedding and eliminates the need to raise the feed and
water as the bedded pack gets deeper.

     Manure production varies with breed, species, and feeding levels.  The
amount of bedding to be handled with the manure depends on the housing system
selected.  About 0.65 cubic foot per day of storage is needed for each 1000
pounds of live sheep, or about 40 pounds of manure per day.  Goat manure
produced daily equals about 5 percent of body weight and contains 60 to 70
percent moisture.  About 0.8 cubic foot per day of storage is needed for each
1000 pounds of live goats or for about 50 pounds of manure per day.

     Animals on pasture distribute their manure during the grazing process.
Problems result from stocking too many animals on too small an area.  Animals
may congregate along streams or watering areas, around feed bunks or hay racks,
and in shady spots.  If there are more animals than the vegetation in such areas
can maintain, soil erosion and excess manure deposition are likely.  Reducing
stocking density, moving feeding areas, and paving areas around waterers can
reduce these problems.  If there is a stream in the pasture, it may be necessary
to develop other watering locations or fence the animals out of stream-bank
areas.  Springs can be developed to provide watering facilities that cause fewer
environmental problems and provide fresher water for the animals.

     Animal shelters may be simple open-front, three-sided sheds or barns with
interior pens or packs.  For convenience of cleanout and bedding maintenance,
shelters should be high enough and have large enough doors to permit access by
tractor-loaders.  If a concrete feeding or watering area is included in the
housing plan, it will require regular (1 to 3-day) scraping to keep animals
clean.  The bottom sides of buildings must be constructed of reinforced concrete
or pressure preservative-treated poles and planks to resist damage from the
manure and unloading machinery.

     The manure removed from this area should be spread if conditions permit or
should be placed in a suitable storage area.  Outside yards should be graded to
provide good drainage and to keep clean outside water from washing manure away.
Drainage from the lot should not run into a stream.  In suburban locations the
runoff from both lots and manure storages should not go onto neighboring
properties.  Manure piles and storages should be shielded from view and
appropriate fly, rodent, and odor-control measures taken.  One or two low buck
walls can aid in load-out of the manure and can help shield the storage.
Storages should be located where runoff water cannot enter or leave the pile and
where there is room for easy load-out. The Beef Manure Management supplement and
the "Dairy Manure Runoff Control" document in Dairy Manure Management provide
guidelines for planning manure storage and lot runoff.  Professional advisers
can provide additional help prior to construction.

     Confinement barns with or without small outside paved yards may be used to
house large flocks.  Groups of animals are kept inside in large pens   The barns
may have slotted floors or combinations of bedded and tractor-scraped concrete
areas to allow the manure to fall through, away from the animals.  Owners with
limited land and small numbers of animals may also keep their animals in the
barn most of the time.  All feed must be brought to the animals and all manure
removed and spread on cropland or disposed of.  Up to six months storage may be
needed to coordinate land-spreading with field and crop conditions.  The FIELD
APPLICATION OF MANURE supplement to MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR EVIRONMENTAL
PROTECTION provides information on spreading rates.
______________________________________________________________________________
For a list of additional references on manure storage and handling, search using
keywords REFERENCE and MANURE
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prepared by Robert E. Graves, Extension Agricultural Engineer, Penn State;
under the direction of the Manure Management Work Group of the Agricultural
Advisory Committee to The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources,
Robert E. Graves, Editor.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert E. Graves, Extension Agricultural Engineer
Agricultural Engineering Department, Penn State
January 1987
PENpages Number: 0870178
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keywords: AG-ENGINEERING, AGRICULTURAL-ENGINEERING, DER, ENGINEERING,
          ENVIRONMENTAL-QUALITY, GOAT, GRAVES-ROBERT, MANAGEMENT, MANURE,
          POLLUTION, REFERENCE, SHEEP, STORAGE, WATER


TITLE: ANIMAL MANURE -- MANAGING SHEEP AND GOAT
COLLECTION: WATER QUALITY AND WASTE MANAGEMENT
ORIGIN: Pennsylvania
DATE INCLUDED: June 1992

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