Author Topic: How fast will a cow decompose?  (Read 2135 times)

Offline droid

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2199
  • WMRG
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2019, 09:10:48 am »
Acid is good for bones, but for flesh you need a strong alkali.  8)
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Online thomasr

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2019, 09:17:35 am »
Quick lime is extremely hazardous to use. It will preserve rather than decompose drying out a carcass until the lime is neutralised then leaving an unsitely mess Used I guess in war /disaster zones where a quick solution is needed to combat the spread epidemics

Offline kay

  • Not a
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2638
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2019, 09:32:06 am »
Get a bucket full of cow, bring it to the surface, leave it there for a few days, throw the bucket of cow back on the rest of the cow. Maggots introduced :)

Alternatively, any old meat, wait till it's "fly blown" ie with eggs - saves a visit to the cow.

Decomposition will also be being implemented by bugs already in the stomach.

Quote
We have the same issue with big bloated sheep blocking the way on. We just decided we would come back in 6 months and see how it fairs. Now whether that will give you an idea on the cow time I don't know.
according to a zoologist of my acquaintance you can't assume that decomposition time will be proportional to body mass because of the aforementioned gut flora - the cow will have more of them, and the carcass is likely to get to a higher temperature. With that in mind, I googled on how long does it take to take a human body to decompose and reached "Typically placed 6ft down, without a coffin, in ordinary soil, eight to twelve years to completely decompose into a skeleton." On the other hand "Maggots can consume up to 60 percent of a human body meat(skin) in under seven days"

Quote
but for flesh you need a strong alkali
- which contributes to why bodies are preserved in peat bogs - the acidity of the peat inhibits the action of the organisms which would otherwise cause the body to decay.

Offline scurve

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • BRCC
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2019, 10:00:31 am »
I suggest a bath, acid and a hack saw

That's your answer to everything, Alex.

Offline Robert Scott

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
  • A Yorkshireman with a Scottish father
    • http://www.hughendon.btinternet.co.uk
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2019, 11:33:48 am »
Hello John
Could composting be a solution?
https://tammi.tamu.edu/2017/07/20/composting-large-animal-carcasses/

and to keep Alex Ritchie happy it involves a hacksaw too!

Offline paul

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4305
  • Orpheus CC, NPC
    • Orpheus Caving Club
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2019, 12:01:26 pm »
Lime is something else I've heard of being used - but I'd have thought the resulting high pH would have discouraged the very microbes and insects that are wanted to get rid of the thing, thus prolonging the problem. (This makes me wonder if lime merely reduces the stink rather than dealing with the problem directly.)

From Wikipedia article on Quick Lime / Calcium Oxide:

Quote
Disposal of Corpses: historically, it was believed that quicklime was efficacious in accelerating the decomposition of corpses. This was quite mistaken, and the application of quicklime can even promote preservation; although it can help eradicate the stench of decomposition, which may have led people to suppose it was the actual flesh which had been consumed
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Cave_Troll

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1588
  • SUSS
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/cave_troll/
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2019, 03:35:07 pm »

Quote
but for flesh you need a strong alkali
- which contributes to why bodies are preserved in peat bogs - the acidity of the peat inhibits the action of the organisms which would otherwise cause the body to decay.
[/quote]
also lack of Oxygen and lack of free access to external munching animals and insects

Online 2xw

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 473
  • Caving slag (but SUSS really)
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2019, 04:22:41 pm »
I'd probably like to consider the safety and conservation aspects of chucking a cow corpse quantity of quicklime down....

Offline Andyj23UK

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 222
  • UCET , NBCC
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2019, 04:31:09 pm »
haul it out ??

Online thomasr

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2019, 07:21:26 pm »
Surely we must ask for the   opinion of CNCC, natural England ect. especially bearing in mind  the  recent controversy over tampering in caves

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4644
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2019, 08:49:41 pm »
Surely we must ask for the   opinion of CNCC, natural England ect. especially bearing in mind  the  recent controversy over tampering in caves

Thanks but worry not; those involved are switched on enough to make sure any intervention is done properly, if at all.

Online thomasr

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2019, 08:58:46 pm »
Then I presume you have  the permission of the cows owner to deal with it as you are dealing with someone elses property on their land

Offline blackshiver

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 186
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2019, 09:03:06 pm »
Never mind that, get some pigs down there.

I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel.

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4644
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2019, 09:49:20 pm »
Then I presume you have  the permission of the cows owner to deal with it as you are dealing with someone elses property on their land

As I tried to articulate above, if anything is done, it'll be done properly.

Really this topic was just started as a way of gathering a bit of information.

Offline Cave_Troll

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1588
  • SUSS
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/cave_troll/
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2019, 09:33:14 am »
"you see your honour, as i explained to the detective, i was just wondering how you'd dispose of a body"

Offline Alex

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3848
  • BRCC, UWFRA.
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2019, 12:05:55 pm »
I can't udder believe it how mooving this subject is. You would think something like this was black and white. :spank:
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Online thomasr

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2019, 04:10:02 pm »
Your being a bit bullish  now pitlamp

Offline blackshiver

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 186
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2019, 05:31:54 pm »
I think he should Mooooove on now.
I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel.

Online The Old Ruminator

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3287
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2019, 06:11:12 pm »
When digging at Weston Super Mare Edwardian rubbish tip with an excavator we came across a buried herd of cows. They looked to have been buried in lime or something but the hide had not decomposed at all. Perhaps being buried under sand inhibited decomposition. Anyway it sparked a full crisis anthrax scare but that did not turn out to be the case.

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4644
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2019, 07:02:41 pm »
Your being a bit bullish  now pitlamp

 :lol:

Online SamT

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6188
    • The Eldon Pothole Club
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2019, 11:28:58 pm »
I herd about this thread in the pub and I dont wont no beef like.. but  I think you're  milking it somewhat.

Offline mole02

  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Independent
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2019, 09:22:24 am »
We had a number of cow bones/skulls etc in a pit years back.
Figured they may have been dumped in the f&m scare?
Took some time to clear them with all the spoil.
Later digging revealed large lumps of rock hard white fat!
The stench would make you vomit when broken, be warned!

Offline Andyj23UK

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 222
  • UCET , NBCC
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2019, 04:48:26 pm »
attempting to interject someting usefull .

on the subject of maggots - i suspect that boxes of " ready for fishermenn " maggots bought from a shop will be ineffective - you need to get " fresh hatched " - a lot of fishing shops breed their own - or at least used to - or ask them for contacts for thier supplier

lastly - it occurs to me - that fly egg laying // magot development // activity = quite temperature specific - andvice from an expert might be inorder [ via a uni cave club ??? ] - and if you go with a " maggot based solution " - a test - under controled conditions mimicking the temp etc - and see if your magoots of choice will actually eat at the temp the cow is going to be at


Online maxf

  • stalker
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2019, 05:54:59 pm »
 How about some vultures ? Apparently without them the world would be a rotting mess according to a documentary I saw recently

Offline Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3797
Re: How fast will a cow decompose?
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2019, 07:04:45 pm »
I've heard that in some parts of the world vultures are being killed off (by ‘Homo sapiens’ – wise man, huh) or dying out because of the activities of Homo sapiens, with disastrous consequences.