Beef, it's what's for dinner


Senior HTF Member
Feb 8, 2001
Real Name
I saw this in the farm section of my local Missouri paper, only in the
article they use the term 'litter' I guess that's the safer, scientific, term to
use; actually saying 'manure' might upset people. I've replaced all instances of 'litter' with 'manure' because I feel that is more honest. if you want to read the 'litter' version, click on the link below:


COLUMBIA, Mo. - Poultry manure should be processed to control any
pathogens before feeding it to beef cattle.

University of Missouri Extension animal scientists Jay Daniel and K.C.
Olson provide information on ways to process manure:

Ensile it with chopped, whole-plant corn or another roughage to
increase the acidity of the material to kill any pathogens.

Spray with propionic or acetic acid to lower manure pH to 4.7.

Put it into pellets in a process that heats manure to kill potential

Deep stack manure 6 to 8 feet high for at least three weeks. The
manure should have at least 20 percent moisture by weight. It will
heat to 130-160 degrees in the stack. Higher temperatures will make
manure less digestible.

Avoid stacking manure more than 5 feet high when it comes in contact
with wood.

Other information they provide:

Foreign objects: Manure should be free of any metal, glass, rocks and
other foreign objects. Metal can be removed with magnetic plates on
the discharge chute of a mixer wagon.

Manure that comes in contact with soil or gravel can have a high level
of ash that is a blend of inorganic mineral matter. Manure with more
than 28 percent ash should not be fed to cattle.

Pathogens: Manure may contain pathogens such as Salmonella typhimurium
and Escherichia coli. To ensure pathogens are destroyed, Manure needs
to be deep-stacked for at least 21 days.

Mycotoxins such as alflatoxin are not a problem in poultry manure
because the pH is unfavorable for mold growth.

Cattle that get little or no hay or pasture and eat at least 22 pounds
of manure per day can have heart failure.

Manure nutritional value varies, but 106 samples tested in Alabama and
86 in Georgia found the total digestible nutrient (TDN) value is near
50 percent and crude protein at 21 percent to 28 percent.

Moisture level does not affect the nutritional value of poultry
manure. But, 20 percent is desirable for feeding efficiency.

Poultry manure is often low in vitamin A that can be overcome by
feeding a high-quality forage with at least 12 percent crude protein
and more than 60 percent TDN.

Poultry manure needs to be removed from the diet of gestating cows 30
days before calving to avoid potential milk fever.

Manure normally has a lot of copper that can accumulate in the liver
and can be toxic to cattle. Symptoms include jaundice and extremely
dark blood. It an be avoided by feeding manure for short periods to
cows for only short periods to allow excess copper to be cleared from
the liver before manure feeding resumes. It can be fed to stocker
cattle for up to 180 days before copper toxicity is a risk. It should
not be fed to sheep.

Rations: General guidelines for poultry manure rations are 10 percent
to 20 percent, 30 percent to 35 percent and 50 percent of the dry diet
as corn for dry cows, lactating cows and stocker calves, respectively.

Adding corn to manure increases the palatability of poultry manure.
Cracking or rolling corn improves its mixing characteristics with
manure and reduces waste.

Details can be seen at, or
contact your county extension center.


Senior HTF Member
Jul 4, 1997
Good research. This is a good assist to a lot of farmers in continuing to feed the public. People don't realize, but even in human fecal matter, there is almost 50%, and in some cases more, material which is body-usable. I'm not saying everyone should start eating manure, I'm just saying as a point of fact, it is processible bio-mass.

Years ago, I went to a Buffalo range, and people thought they'd puke when they watched the birds land on a buffalo patty (manure) and begin to eat. But it only makes sense because it's easy to find food. Chicken Fecal matter often contains proteins not necessary for chickens, but usable by other animals.

It's kind of sad that they felt the need to change it to litter. The sad part of that is, though, people would use the reality to develop a stigma about it before they understood the facts.


Senior HTF Member
Feb 8, 2001
Real Name
From what I can tell, the scientists and agriculturalists that 'understood the facts' thought reusing the 'unsaleable' portions of carcasses (including spinal and brain tissue) of dead cattle was a terrific idea and a great use of resources.

After all it was 'processible bio-mass" and scientifically supported, so there couldn't possibly be any unforeseen effects of feeding cattle their brethren..


Jeffrey Noel

Sep 11, 2001
Hi Adam. Don't have a response to your post but just wanted to say Hi to a neighbor. I live in Oronogo!

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