Yep, yet another hill to add to the learning curve. I have gained such an appreciation for the guys who design, build, and manage human sewage treatment plants. Truly.
But this post is about livestock poop.
On the positive side, at the very least we can agree that livestock poop is relatively inoffensive. It is afterall basically semi-digested plant material. Not like dog or cat poop at all. On the other hand, even the smallest pony generates mountains more poop than the average dog, nevermind cat. So what to do with it all?
There are the standard methods practiced by folks in my area. These mostly involve ways of distributing the poop as a fertilizer for plants. Either people spread it on their own fields and gardens, or they compost it and give or sell it to the community. I admire the people who manage to get the community to pay money for it. Really. Well done, I say.
There are also the more traditional uses of it that people in other parts of the world still practice. Turning it into fuel bricks. Turning it into building bricks. Both of these seem worthwhile practices in the spirit of recycling and permaculture, but both are heavy duty labor intensive practices. Given the amount of physical labor required to care for the livestock in the first place, either practice is unrealistic at Tyche's Run. Besides, what would one build? Seriously.
I've also read about more modern heating systems that run on poop. If you can get the stuff to compost anearobically, it will give off enough energy to heat a building. The cost of these systems is comparable to a traditional furnace (um, don't quote me on that -- it's been a while since I read up on the topic.) Regardless, my house already has a perfectly good furnace, so replacing it with an anearobic digester model really isn't in the cards. Though, I admit, I'd love to kiss goodbye to my propane supplier. Sorry, I'm converting my furnace to poop. Who wouldn't love to say that?
Anyway, I thought that pretty much covered the options for poop use.
Then I found this.
That's right -- poo paper! Paper made from recycled poop.
Now, we're talking. How great an idea is this?! Paper made from the pulped fiber in livestock poop.
This fits right into the big picture fiber plans here at Tyche's Run. Yet another source of fiber for your artisan needs.
And I'm only half kidding. ;-)
I'm just wondering though -- exactly how bad does a pot of boiling horse poop smell?