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Odor from Neighbors Quail Litter/Manure & Rats

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plantoid
Turan
bnoles
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Lynda Ladd
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Post  Lynda Ladd 6/30/2013, 5:22 am

My neighbor is raising quail and piling the quail litter along his fence. The odor and oozing of said manure liquid into my yard is not pleasant! What can I suggest to help with the proper way to deal with his disposal needs? I don't know if he is attempting to compost or just dumping it in the far back corner of his property. Also, the presence of rats as been noticeable since he began his business. I am concerned about the health risk and odor that is making it unpleasant to be out in my side yard.  I don't wish to file a complaint with the city but something needs to be done before all his neighbors become more upset. I know if composted properly it would be very good in any garden and as such could increase his business profit if sold. Any suggestions on how to deal with these issues?
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Post  walshevak 6/30/2013, 6:43 am

Welcome to the forum.  Do you have a squarefoot garden?   

Have you talked to the neighbor?  Does he have a garden?  Take a copy of ANSFG over (along with either something from your garden or baked goods) and see if you can come to an agreement on poop management/composting and maybe start him on SFG.  You might get some good compost for your own garden.

The rats will have to be addressed, but maybe together you can find a solution.

Kay

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Post  Lynda Ladd 6/30/2013, 10:17 am

Kay,
  Thank you for the good advice.

  Yes, I have 4 new raised beds positioned in my side yard near his fence. When I installed them this spring, I did not anticipate the stench that would be forth coming. Because of the dead rat recently found near one of the beds and the intensifying odor (Alabama heat doesn't help), I have not attended to them as well as the ones located on the other side of my property. If the situation is not resolved those beds will have to be relocated in the fall and that is not something I look forward to doing.

He does not have a garden and was not interested in doing so this spring when we were chatting.

I plan to give him a "peace offering" along with some "hard copies" about composting and constructing composting bins. I will mention the profit he could make selling the composted manure, but I'm not sure he is willing to put in the effort. If he chooses not to compost, is there anything I can suggest he do to control the odor and accompanying flies?

He's a good fellow and I hope he will be sensitive to my concerns.

He does have a pest control service working on the rat situation but due to the nature of his business on his property, I am concerned that more rodents will be attracted to the area. My pest control technician told me to place all rodent "edible" products (ie. bird seed) in metal containers located in my garage. The stress of these critters in my house or garage is not something I want.

Any other suggestions from you and other readers would be most appreciated. Thank You!
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Post  Goosegirl 6/30/2013, 11:54 am

How big is his operation?  Is it small enough that you could volunteer to set up a proper compost system in your yard to take care of the smell for both of you if you get the finished compost?

As for the rats, I will PM some info to you as to what you can do immediately on your property that is non-toxic and yet very effective.

GG
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Post  bnoles 6/30/2013, 12:27 pm

I am raising chickens in my backyard and using this method.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/70/deep-litter-method

It works really well and I have had no odors at all, in addition I am looking forward to some very usable compost amterials every 6 months to a year.  This should work for his birds equally well and you could offer to take the compost off his hands at the end of the season.  Be sure to point out that this would require much less work and expense to him.  If done properly, it should also help with the rats, they are being drawn to the left over feed in the droppings by your fence.
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Post  Turan 6/30/2013, 3:15 pm

Mixing his manure with larger amounts of 'browns' like wood chips will put the composting going on in a better balance for smells.  Depending on his operation that could be by deep litter like bnoles suggests.   If the birds are on deep litter they will eat any flys breeding in it as well.   There are also some sort of fly paprasites you or he can buy to help control them.

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Post  plantoid 6/30/2013, 5:44 pm

@bnoles wrote:I am raising chickens in my backyard and using this method.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/70/deep-litter-method

It works really well and I have had no odors at all, in addition I am looking forward to some very usable compost amterials every 6 months to a year.  This should work for his birds equally well and you could offer to take the compost off his hands at the end of the season.  Be sure to point out that this would require much less work and expense to him.  If done properly, it should also help with the rats, they are being drawn to the left over feed in the droppings by your fence.

Quail are quite a bit different to chooks . usually they are commercially raised on small wood shavings , are suicidal critters and very messy with their feed and water. So it quickly gives rise to a stink problem and pests .

I used to own a successful small mammal farm with over 10.000 small mammals .

Because he's been an arse by putting his waste material next to your property line in the first place instead of using dumpsters to hold it and dispose as commercial waste I'd go the environmental heath route as soon as possible .
Once such waste really gets wet / moist & heat gets to it your life will be hell , you'll also be inundated with all the pests associated with it .
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Post  sanderson 6/30/2013, 7:05 pm

Lynda,  If you can work it out privately with your neighbor, that will be the best route to take.  Once it goes to an agency as a complaint, any possible friendship is usually ruined.

Plantoid had a good point about the commercial aspect of the business. ""Because he's been putting his waste material next to your property line in the first place instead of using dumpsters to hold it and dispose as commercial waste I'd go the environmental heath route as soon as possible.""

In CA, he would have needed a use permit which means a plan submitted to the Bldg. Dept Land Use and to the Env. Health Dept.  As part of the plan, he would be required to have odor, noise, dust and pest prevention controls in place plus an approved method of waste disposal.  I actually reviewed such plans and that person choose to dispose of droppings and mortality in double-lined garbage can and secure/tie the bags for disposal in the property dumpster.

Plantoid also stated ""The rats are being drawn to the left over feed in the droppings by your fence.""  ""Once such waste really gets wet / moist & heat gets to it your life will be hell, you'll also be inundated with all the pests associated with it.""  I spent a lot of hours inspecting poultry facilities in response to public fly and odor complaints.  Depending on design, some buildings provided attractive venues with spilled feed, constant water supply and harborage (nice place to live and raise a family).  Flies were naturally attracted to manure but could not successfully breed new flies if the litter/manure was kept dry, water source separated from food source, etc.

You mentioned the liquid waste seeping onto your property.  "Fugitive waste"  Also, there have been a few State and National vegetable recalls because the fields were contaminated with animal waste runoff from neighboring operations.  

I wish you the best of luck in resolving this issue.
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Post  llama momma 6/30/2013, 8:16 pm

It may not be legal for this neighbor to have this operation.  Rats can carry bubonic plague, so I wouldn't be too worried about saving this neighborly friendship since they aren't.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague
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Post  walshevak 6/30/2013, 8:38 pm

You mentioned the liquid waste seeping onto your property.  "Fugitive waste"  Also, there have been a few State and National vegetable recalls because the fields were contaminated with animal waste runoff from neighboring operations. 




I had not considered this aspect.  This could seriously impact your garden.  Just how close is the runoff?   You may have a case for damages/decline in value to your property.

Kay

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Post  batmap 6/30/2013, 9:12 pm

@walshevak wrote:Have you talked to the neighbor?  Does he have a garden?  Take a copy of ANSFG over (along with either something from your garden or baked goods) and see if you can come to an agreement on poop management/composting and maybe start him on SFG.  You might get some good compost for your own garden.

The rats will have to be addressed, but maybe together you can find a solution.

 This. Most direct route is likely best, unless the owner suddenly cuts off communication. I would suggest you arm both your left and right hands. Take some cookies and composting materials as well as research about his operation. Knowledge about his affairs or how he maybe should be running his affairs will help protect yourself if things go "south".

Try the nice friendly suggestion approach, and follow up with other if it comes to it.

v/r
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 edit: Is there an easement restriction along the property line in question?
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Post  batmap 6/30/2013, 9:49 pm

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) looks like a good place to start if there is an issue with animal waste. www(dot)cdfa(dot)ca(dot)gov/is/
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Post  camprn 6/30/2013, 10:45 pm

@batmap wrote:The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) looks like a good place to start if there is an issue with animal waste. www(dot)cdfa(dot)ca(dot)gov/is/
But I thought the OP lives in Alabama.

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Post  batmap 6/30/2013, 11:46 pm

Yes thank you. w w w. agi. alabama. gov/contacts is likely more appropriate.
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