One of the most important aspects of any animal-based agricultural operation is having an effective waste management plan which reaps the benefits and helps reduce the risks associated with the use and disposal of animal wastes. Improper manure management can have a detrimental effect on water quality.Manure management regulations are created and enforced by federal, provincial, state, and local authorities in an attempt to minimize water pollution. Good manure management will also ensure that you get the maximum benefit from the nutrients in the manure.
If sheep and/or lambs spend any part of the year in barns, stalls, pens, loafing areas, or feeding areas, you will need to deal with manure from those areas. Manure is not just the urine and feces from livestock, but also the bedding, runoff, spilled feed, and anything else mixed with it.A complete manure management system involves collection, storage (temporary or long-term) and ultimate disposal or utilization. If your sheep produce more manure than you can use on your land, you need to develop ways to sell the manure or give it away.
Manure production Manure production varies with breed and feeding levels. The amount of bedding to be handled with the manure depends on the housing system selected. A market lamb weighing about 100 lbs produces 4 lbs of manure daily, the equivalent of about 0.06 cubic feet per day. About 0.65 cubic foot per day of storage is needed for each 1,000 pounds of live sheep, or about 40 pounds of manure per day.
Manure as a Fertilizer Manure contains valuable nutrients, like nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). In addition to the three major elements, manure also contains essential micro-nutrients (boron, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, sulfur, and zinc. Manure nutrients come from the feed that the animals have eaten.Manure Storage
Storage of livestock wastes and waste water involves accumulating manure in an environmentally sound manner until they can be applied to land or otherwise utilized. Manure storage facilities allow farmers to spread manure when the conditions are right for nutrient use by crops.The ideal storage site for solid manure is a roofed shed with an impermeable floor (e.g. concrete). Dry manure can be stored in solid form in stockpiles; however, the piles should be covered. Obviously, manure storage structures or sites should be located to minimize odor nuisance to neighbors.