“Litter Scoop” mod for hemp bedding?

ladybrasa

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Jun 13, 2020
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So I thought I might try hemp bedding in one section of the coop (approximately 9’ x 14’) instead of the usual TSC pine shavings. From what I’ve read about it, I’m hoping that I can get it to last 3-4 months before needing to clean out and therefore cost would roughly be the same as buying pine shavings and having to clean more frequently. (Im not that concerned about cost, but it’s hard to swallow $22/bale of hemp bedding …). Anyway, I don’t use deep litter (have a wood floor), so I figure I could fashion something like a giant cat litter scoop. The only things I could find were using regular cat litter scoops for hemp bedding, but those were for very small spaces. So I got a cheap stall scoop thingie and kind of wrapped it in chicken wire to get a small opening size between the tines. Yeah, doesn’t really work much. Also on the fence about hemp bedding - the poo does seem to “disappear”, but really I think it’s just blending in better. Also I’m kind of noticing a faint ammonia odor more, whereas with the pine flakes I didn’t really notice an ammonia smell at all.
Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for maintaining hemp bedding, especially fashioning a not too expensive “poop scooper”, that’d be very helpful!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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My Coop
My Coop
So I have hemp in my underroost area for scooping purposes. I got a scoop like this one (not sure if this is exact same, as I bought mine locally): https://www.amazon.com/Petmate-Litt...tic+litter+box+scooper&qid=1632287071&sr=8-14 and then I duct taped it to a broom stick, so now I can scoop standing up.

I use a dog poop scooper set in conjunction. The paddle part pushes poopy litter onto the litter scooper, and I then shake to sift, and poops go into the shovel part of the poop scoop. And from there I take it out to my poop collecting bucket for composting later.

I only plan on changing out my hemp once a year. In the meantime I do find that I need to add more hemp every few months, as some of it gets taken away since it sticks to the wetter poops.
 

ladybrasa

Songster
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Jun 13, 2020
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Hmmm🤔, how big is the area? Mine’s about 9 foot by 15 foot. At the moment, I have various age young birds living in that section (too many cuz chicken math, but I’m slowly working on reducing the number). I’ve got 3 bales in there now. Not sure a kitty litter size scoop is gonna work. But yes, that was my hope to do as you do, just on a bigger scale. Do you notice any odors with yours?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,841
35,709
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Hmmm🤔, how big is the area? Mine’s about 9 foot by 15 foot. At the moment, I have various age young birds living in that section (too many cuz chicken math, but I’m slowly working on reducing the number). I’ve got 3 bales in there now. Not sure a kitty litter size scoop is gonna work. But yes, that was my hope to do as you do, just on a bigger scale. Do you notice any odors with yours?
No odor issue with the hemp, but I do fully clean out under the roost every morning.

I actually only have hemp in a small area, about 3x6 (as seen on right side of photo), as 99% of poops in my coop are under the roost. So for my set upa litter scoop works fine.

For a 9x15 area that wouldn't be practical if the birds are freely pooping on it all day. My coop is 6x10 but the rest of the coop is wood chips (as seen on left side of photo), and that's an annual clean out. The chickens are surprisingly good about not pooping too much on the main section of the coop flooring.

coop7.jpg
 

Laurie11111

In the Brooder
Apr 16, 2021
15
11
34
So I thought I might try hemp bedding in one section of the coop (approximately 9’ x 14’) instead of the usual TSC pine shavings. From what I’ve read about it, I’m hoping that I can get it to last 3-4 months before needing to clean out and therefore cost would roughly be the same as buying pine shavings and having to clean more frequently. (Im not that concerned about cost, but it’s hard to swallow $22/bale of hemp bedding …). Anyway, I don’t use deep litter (have a wood floor), so I figure I could fashion something like a giant cat litter scoop. The only things I could find were using regular cat litter scoops for hemp bedding, but those were for very small spaces. So I got a cheap stall scoop thingie and kind of wrapped it in chicken wire to get a small opening size between the tines. Yeah, doesn’t really work much. Also on the fence about hemp bedding - the poo does seem to “disappear”, but really I think it’s just blending in better. Also I’m kind of noticing a faint ammonia odor more, whereas with the pine flakes I didn’t really notice an ammonia smell at all.
Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for maintaining hemp bedding, especially fashioning a not too expensive “poop scooper”, that’d be very helpful!
I have been using hemp bedding since day one and have had no problems as long as I do a daily scoop/collection of their nightly poos. No odor whatsoever. The hemp guy that I bought it from said he had filled his coop with hemp 18 months ago and still hasn't needed to do a deep clean yet. He uses the deep litter method as do I. Hope this helps.
 

Stephoney

Chirping
Apr 7, 2021
28
66
52
I thought I’d reiterate that I also use hemp on my 16’X21’ indoor chicken run/greenhouse floor and also in the nesting areas of my three Eglu coops. I started using it after trying the usual shavings, straw, bark and sand. Hemp is amazing. It absorbs odors and liquids, deciccates droppings and it keeps ammonia down. It’s fluffy so air gets trapped in it and keeps the hens warmer, even as it breaks down over time. The hens don’t eat it so no worries about impacted crops and it keeps the eggs nice and clean. It’s not cheap, but it definitely makes up for it in ease of maintenance. I spread a few new bales every 6 months or so to keep a nice layer on the floor of the greenhouse and compost the nesting box material every few months. It breaks down great and is a nice addition to the garden, too. All around worth it.
DE05A314-B838-4FB7-9794-35BE8B4E8CE9.jpeg
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Premium Feather Member
Aug 28, 2020
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Iowa
I thought I’d reiterate that I also use hemp on my 16’X21’ indoor chicken run/greenhouse floor and also in the nesting areas of my three Eglu coops. I started using it after trying the usual shavings, straw, bark and sand. Hemp is amazing. It absorbs odors and liquids, deciccates droppings and it keeps ammonia down. It’s fluffy so air gets trapped in it and keeps the hens warmer, even as it breaks down over time. The hens don’t eat it so no worries about impacted crops and it keeps the eggs nice and clean. It’s not cheap, but it definitely makes up for it in ease of maintenance. I spread a few new bales every 6 months or so to keep a nice layer on the floor of the greenhouse and compost the nesting box material every few months. It breaks down great and is a nice addition to the garden, too. All around worth it. View attachment 2889248
Love your greenhouse/run setup! Where do you buy your hemp?
 

Stephoney

Chirping
Apr 7, 2021
28
66
52
Love your greenhouse/run setup! Where do you buy your hemp?
Thanks! We love the greenhouse. It was a major perk when we purchased our house last year. We’re in the process of adding some French doors and siding to the side you see in the photo. The other sides have removeable glass panes. This year’s project is to build wire mesh panels to replace the windows in the summer when it’s hot, but also keep the critters out.
I purchase hemp from Eco Solutions in Oregon (https://hempsolutionsoregon.org). The owner has a daughter who lives in Vancouver. She keeps a stash of bales in her garage. I drove down in August and picked up 6 bales from her. It’s a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it. I first started by purchasing from Amazon, but shipping was killing me. This way, no taxes, no shipping and a nice drive, to boot. If you were only purchasing for a smaller coop, you probably would only need a bale or two to get started. Amazon works if you don’t have anyone nearby. If you’re really interested in using hemp, I’d take a few minutes to google to see if there are any distributors near you. I was excited to find Eco Solutions, semi-nearby.
What I forgot to mention before is that I just keep adding to the floor of my greenhouse instead of removing all of it after a season. I don’t find that it’s really heavy with waste or anything. It has absolutely no smell. I rake it out, especially right now when everyone is molting, but I really haven’t removed much. What I do remove goes into the composter. The greenhouse has a dirt floor so I’m really adding to the soil in there and also trying to create a nice fluffy layer to retain heat. After realizing how great it was last year after all of my experimenting, I decided to fully commit to hemp for all of the greenhouse and coops. Not having to constantly replace it, buy it or worry about it being sanitary for the girls, is well worth the price for me. The ladies free range for a lot of the day so if your hens will be in the hemp full time, it might break down faster.
 

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