Disposal of Dead Birds
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Disposal of Dead Birds

The immediate burning or burying of dead birds is an important part of a good disease prevention program. You should never leave dead birds in the pens, feed rooms or around the poultry house.

Dead birds act as a source of disease that can be spread by rats, mice, dogs, cats, flies, beetles, mosquitoes, free flying birds and insects that may act as carriers of the disease. No single method is perfect for disposal of dead birds, but a method once decided, use it correctly. Methods of disposal may vary from farm to farm and area to area. The two most acceptable methods are described below.


A good incinerator is probably the best means of disposal, especially in an area where there is poor soil drainage or a danger of contaminating the water supply.

While building or purchasing an incinerator, the following points should be taken into consideration:

  • Capacity: Choose a unit large enough, which will take care of expansion needs for the future
  • Cost of Operations: Design an incinerator, which will be cost effective
  • SturdinessMake use of special long lasting fire bricks
  • Automatic Controls: Saves fuel cost
  • Location: Locate the incinerator at a place where it will be handy to use but downwind from residences
  • After Burner: An incinerator with an after burner attached should be used to reduce possible air pollution
  1. Important: When operating an incinerator, be very sure that birds are completely burnt to a white ash.

Disposal Pit

A less desirable but acceptable method of dead bird disposal is through the use of an adequately designed and tightly covered disposal pit.

  • This saves labor and at times, it is unnecessary to dig a hole or start a fire each time a bird dies
  • Dogs or rodents cannot dig up birds
  • It has no noticeable odor if tightly covered
  • No fire hazards
  • Pit can be used year round
  • Birds decompose fairly rapidly without the use of chemicalsA pit 6 ft (1.83 m) in diameter and 6 ft deep (1.83m) is large enough to take care of one 10,000-capacity broiler unit.Contact a local government or agricultural agency to verify that disposal pits are permissible in your area.


Much research has been done recently at universities showing the merit of composting. The composting process is one that must be monitored and managed well.