From 2004 to 2010 more than 1,600 families with a small child have received goat units under auspices of the Save the Children’s goat program In Guatemala‘s Western Highlands. A single goat produces enough for one glass of milk a day for that child. The units comprise of a milk goat and a small pen (2 meters x 2 meters) built with an elevated slatted floor in order to keep the animals dry and to collect manure and urine.
The solid manure is used to fertilize the agriculture plots with maize and beans, home gardens and to sell of surplus. The urine sifts through the solid droppings on a waterproof sheet of canvas which is hanging under the slatted floor. At the lowest point the urine drips through the perforated canvas into a small container. The collected urine is subsequently re-packed in recycled plastic bottles and either used or sold as urea-rich fertilizer. Notwithstanding that this type of urine collection is on a small scale and specifically with dairy goats in confinement, it demonstrates that urine collection is not always impossible. Urine is a valuable nitrogen fertilizer provided it is collected within a few hours of deposition to prevent nitrogen loss due to ammonia volatilization.
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