Machine offers disposal of dead fowl

by 5m Editor
10 March 2006, at 12:00am

US - Nearly every day starts the same way for David Mayer, a chicken farmer for Perdue. He rises at dawn to walk the lengths of four chicken houses, grabbing dead birds by their stiff yellow feet and throwing them into 5-gallon buckets. On North Carolina&#39;s approximately 5,000 poultry farms, tens of thousands of birds die every day. It&#39;s simply part of raising chickens 20,000 to a house. Every year, the toll on N.C. chicken farms easily tops 25 million carcasses, Department of Agriculture data show. Getting rid of the dead is a smelly and time-consuming chore, and it poses an environmental threat that is rarely discussed. On most chicken farms, the birds go into a mass grave that could pollute groundwater, an incinerator that belches putrid smoke or a compost bin that takes weeks to turn them into fertilizer. Some are trucked to landfills or rendering plants - a risk when deadly diseases such as bird flu are spreading around the world. Now, Mayer says he has a better way: a machine that reduces dead chickens to sterile ash without a single unpleasant odor. The process is called gasification. He is hoping the technology will catch on as poultry farming continues to grow. Chickens and turkeys are already Tar Heel farmers&#39; No. 1 moneymaker. <i>Source: Mertyl Beach Online</i>

5m Editor