Characterization of Dairy Farm Manure
The increasing quantity and volume of manure especially from the large and mechanized farms demand proper handling to reduce or eliminate threats to water, land and air resources. This paper presents the characterization of manure from a dairy farm. The physical, chemical and microbiological properties of the dairy cattle manure ‘as excreted’ for the lactating, dry and heifer cow was determined in accordance with recommended methods of manure analysis at the laboratory of the Niger State Water Board, Minna, Nigeria. The average age and weight of the young heifer is about 10 months and 200kg while those of the lactating are about 30 months and 800kg respectively. The lactating manure had the highest BOD5 and COD values of 2.40mg/l and 7.20mg/l respectively compared to the dairy and heifer manures. Laboratory analysis of manure is an important management tool to use crop nutrients profitably and efficiently on the farm. Published estimates of average manure nutrients can be misleading for planning appropriate application rates as nutrient content of manure can vary from farm to farm and species to species hence, the need to determine the nutrient levels in manure is to take a representative sample for laboratory analysis as seasonal changes during the year. The farm managers can use the methods and results of this work for manure planning schemes. In-situ manure characterization is highly recommended to avoid the error arising from the decomposition of the manure while transporting the manure to the laboratory.
Keywords- Dairy Farm, Lactating, Heifer, Cow, Manure, Properties, Characterization, Land, Water And Air Resources