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what to do with deceased birds in winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dragonshiner, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. dragonshiner

    dragonshiner Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Okay, we had a wave of some sort of respiratory virus sweep through our birds this past month. We medicated them and managed to save a majority of our flocks. But now I'm presented with a different dilemma. What to do with the dead birds?
    Normally we bury them so as not to attract any wild critters towards our property but it's the middle of winter here so the ground is frozen solid. None of my books cover this particular situation and I'm out of ideas. Anyone else have an answer for me?
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    [​IMG] I'm sorry.

    Can you perhaps burn them?
  3. tygab

    tygab Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    Interesting, and definitely something that could happen here that I've never thought about... Could you maybe call your nearby vet and ask if they could arrange for a cremation, or what they suggest?
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    With respiratory illness, especially if you do not know what they had, I would burn the bodies.
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    ..i would throw them in the woods far from your house(the whole nature cycle thing..)....but...if they had something contagious..i would probably burn them...good luck!, Wendy
  6. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member 10 Years

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Some people on BYC will add the bodies to their compost heap.
  7. dragonshiner

    dragonshiner Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I actually heard of the composting of bird bodies before and might actually start that next year. Right now though my compost heap is trenched in snow. Same with my fire pit so burning them would be difficult.
    Perhaps if I layered them underneath enough snow that might deter attracting any, or at least any MORE, predators to the property?
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I have always burned the bodies (of chickens) of any "unknown reasons of death". After examining their body and if I cannot identify that the reason of death was predator related or any other wounds, I automatically assume that the reason of death may be contagious and can spread to the other animals on my farm. I do not take any chances. I do not bury the bodies because I have a lot of stray cats and I would not want them to dig up the body, eat it and get sick and die. I would rather be safe than sorry.
  9. deenamr

    deenamr Songster

    Jul 6, 2008
    Central Oregon
    Put them in the freezer in a bag/box and bury them in the spring. At the vet clinic where I work we sometimes offer storage for people who can't bury their pets due to weather conditions or wanting to wait for family to have service for the pet. We have stored for up to 6 months with no problems.
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    This brings back memories - not very pleasant ones.

    I took a job changing sprinkler pipe during my 1st year of college. The farm had a few hundred acres but the farmer made most of his money from his laying hens. I didn't do "chicken chores" but was in and out of the farmyard. This was back when an egg ranch didn't need to be an industrial thing.

    I imagine that they now have on-site gas incinerators. This place had a burn-barrel.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this. . . . pile in good firewood - metal barrel with holes punched in the sides with a pick . . .


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