Nutrient recycling: The North American experience - Review
Fontenot, Joseph P.
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Options available for utilization of animal wastes include sources of plant nutrients, feed ingredients for farm animals, substrate for methane generation, and substrate for microbial and insect protein synthesis. The wastes have the most economic value for use as animal feed. Performance of animals fed diets containing animal wastes is similar to that of animals fed conventional diets. Processing of animal wastes to be used as animal feed is necessary for destruction of pathogens, improvement of handling and storage characteristics, and maintenance or enhancement of palatability. Feeding of animal waste has not adversely affected the quality and taste of animal products. In the USA copper toxicity has been reported in sheep fed high-copper poultry litter, but this is not a serious problem with cattle. Potential pathogenic microorganisms in animal wastes are destroyed by processing such as heat treatment, ensiling and deep stacking. Incidents of botulism, caused by Clostridium botulinum, have been reported in cattle in some countries, and this problem was caused by the presence of poultry carcasses in litter. This problem has not occurred in the USA. With appropriate withdrawal, heavy metal, pesticide or medicinal drug accumulation in edible tissues of animals fed animal wastes is not a problem. Feeding of animal wastes is regulated by individual states in the USA. The practice is regulated in Canada, also. With good management, animal wastes can be used safely as animal feed.