Chicken Manure everywhere

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ConcreteWaves, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves Just Hatched

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    Obviously chickens poo alot, I get that. However, I was under the impression that if I got a roosting pole and put a box under it (basically a poo catcher) they'll go in the box that I built off of the pole.

    I'm asking because right now, (havent built the box yet) they just crap all over the place, in the run, in the coop, in the nesting beds, wherever! And I'd like to kind of consolidate it to a certain place or so, so that I can easily collect it to mix in with my compost.

    How do yall collect manure for compost? What's the easiest way to go about this?
    I'm not worried about the mess if they DO continue to crap all over the place, if that is what it is, how do yall collect the manure the best way?
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm very sorry but I cannot help but chuckling over your post. A sense of desperation comes through. Truthfully, though, I did more than chuckle...it was more of a laugh. Thanks I needed it.

    If you notice a concentration of poop beneath the roost poles then the poop board will make it easier to clean/harvest the manure...but only the manure "that happens" while they're on the roost poles will land on the board. Chickens poop a lot during the night so this helps. The poop elsewhere is just, well, where ever they feel like it...they will not go back to the roost poles over the poop board to relieve themselves.

    How many chickens and have big of a coop and run are we talking about? They don't have diarrhea, do they?

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  3. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, what type of bedding/litter are you using? Got a picture of your setup?

    Ed
     
  4. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the quick replies yall.

    The nesting beds have pine shaving in them. And that's it. The floor of the run is just dirt and a bit of straw, mainly dirt. And the floor of the coop is concrete.

    The roosting pole is there, but none of them have used it yet, that i've seen atleast. I didn't build a box to catch manure under the roosting pole yet, so I haven't added any bedding / litter to the box. Whatcha think?

    I'll get some pics up tomorrow when it's light out for sure.

    I have 9 chickens. 8 pullets 1 cockeral 4 pullets and 1 cockeral are 6-7 weeks old. 4 other pullets are 11-13 weeks old.

    At first it was diarea in the box on the way home from picking them up, i think cuz they were stressed, but by the next day i see tons of hard stool in there.




    Should I remove the poop from their nesting beds?
    Do yall clean the floor regularly or let the poop be, someone told me it keeps moisture in the air or something.
    Let me know what ya think, just a guy trying to learn here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  5. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the "nesting beds" the actual nest boxes that they will be laying eggs in? If so, get a piece of wood or something and block them so they can't enter them. They should really not be going in them right now. They will poop a LOT at night while roosting and if they're in the nest boxes...guess what?...you're gonna have very nasty nest boxes. Chickens like to lay their eggs where it's clean...repeated soiling of the nest boxes might prompt them to find other places to lay their eggs when the time comes.

    Personally, if it was me, I'd be getting lots carbon material...DRIED leaves, wood chips, etc., down on the coop floor in a thick layer. Most (but not all) plant matter that is chopped, broken, cut down into smaller pieces work...most things from the garden is fine without chopping up...tomato and potato plants aren't good though. You can buy wood chips at Walmart and TSC (among other places). You can also keep your eyes open for power-line clearing crews that chip up trees and limbs...ask them if it's ok to take the chips. Also, sawmills can have wood chips. Beware than some chips can stink, though. Pine chips are what you really want, in regard to wood chips.

    The run can use that same organic matter, too. With all of that chicken poop sitting around it'll stink and flies can be a problem...the microbes that break down the nitrogen (chicken poop) needs a balanced diet, this is accomplished by adding carbon material (leaves, wood chips) otherwise it'll be a mess. People report a big difference in the smell and in the fly population after adding organic matter. Adding this organic matter is sometimes referred to as the "Deep Litter Method"...DLM, or as "built-up litter". Once a thick layer gets put down in the run it can help greatly with mud problems, too. There again, some people do not like this method and prefer a bare floor and run...they curse the DLM. It all depends on what works for you.

    The chickens will scratch through all of this stuff, stirring it up for you (it needs to be stirred). Sometimes you might needs to take a pitch fork and break up the top layer a bit. Eventually it will break down into some nice compost. It will also give the chickens something to do to keep them from being bored and the microbes that establish in the litter can be good for their health

    None of the chickens are using the roost poles because they're most likely sleeping in the nest boxes. Close those nest boxes up and they'll be more apt to "find" the roost poles. Where is the highest concentration of poop located? As I alluded to earlier, normally the concentrated poop is wherever they roost at....they go to bed with a full crop, digest and poop all through the night as they more or less sleep...then they wake up in the morning with an empty crop ready to eat and start the cycle back over, pooping at different locations during the day, but again concentrating it at the location that they roost at night. If you can contain/handle the poop created while they're roosting you will have taken care of probably more than 1/3 of the poop problem. That's where a poop board helps out. If you don't use a poop board (or dropping pit) then there will be a high concentration of poop beneath the roost poles which can be raked up a bit and fresh litter thrown down if you wish to.

    Clean the poop up, don't leave it there for them to constantly walk through. Raw poop will raise moisture and ammonia levels...both are not good. Getting a layer of wood chips down and stirring them a bit every day or two (if the chickens aren't doing a good job), in my opinion, will help a lot.

    Keep asking questions, that's how we learn. Read all you can. If you have a subject you are interested in...DLM, fermented feed, electric fence, vaccination, etc., etc., do some key word searches here on the forum and also Google. That's will give you a "quick fix" in regards to your sought after information and will give you information to ask even more precise questions. Research and questions...and the education continues. ;)

    Get some dried carbon material down on the floor/ground and block off those nest boxes until they start laying.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I laughed, out loud, too...sorry....then I read the ages of your birds...and laughed some more.
    Those cute little baby poops are nothing compared to what they'll drop when they get older.
    OK sorry....now to your questions.

    Oops......Ed just saved me a shitload(hahaha!) of typing...love the 'new post' feature!

    I use dry plant matter, wood chips, etc in run, really helps.
    On coop floor I use kiln dried large pine shavings from the farm store.
    And poop boards, which are the bomb https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...raphic-gross-poop-pictures/1100#post_13179595

    Oh and the nest thing, definitely don't let them roost (sleep) in the nests....they may 'like' a clean place to lay but will lay there anyway.
    They like to sleep as high as possible so roosts should be higher than nests by about a foot.
     
  7. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens poo A LOT, that's for sure! There are ways to manage it though and keep it out-of-sight.

    What type of roosting pole do you have? Maybe take a second look at that since you say they aren't using it. Is the roost a comfortable diameter? Comfortable material? We use a 2 x 4 (4" side up). Others use a thick tree branch.

    You say they're pooping in the nesting boxes, close them off so they don't have access until they show signs of laying.

    Under our roost we have a 'poop board' filled with PDZ. PDZ is also called Stall Dry and sold at farm/feed stores. It absorbs odor and dries the poo. I sift it out everyday and dump it on the compost. Keeps the smell & flies away.

    [​IMG]

    We have a deep layer (4-6 inches) of pine flakes in the coop, any poo falls into the pine bedding and dries up. Our coop is 8' x 9' and we used 2 large bags from Tractor Supply). We clean it out twice a year.

    [​IMG]

    In the run we do deep litter. It's a deep cover of grass clippings, straw, hay, leaves, pine needles and other landscaping debris. The poo falls to the dirt below and decomposes. The result is some beautiful compost for the garden. We clean that out once a year. There is no odor or fllies.

    [​IMG]


    Hope this helps.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves Just Hatched

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    Delta, CO
    I have taken the time this morning to read the replies and cant thank you enough.

    I will close off the nesting boxes and clean them out completely.

    Im going to clean the floor and start fresh with the deep litter method n put organic matter down in the run, and for the coop ill use pine shavings and straw.

    Here are pics of my setup i took this morning, ill prolly also post in coop setup thread to ask for criticism on what i can do to make it better. But yep here is my setup, and my roosting pole isnt the highest point. That can be fixed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. cmarlowdrive

    cmarlowdrive Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For me, sand in the coop and poop board is the only way to go. EZY PEEZY. I clean the dirt/grass run every evening and the poop board every morning. Nesting boxes are under the poop board avoiding direct hits.
     
  10. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry.... I had to bust up laughing as well. They just go wherever and whenever they want. If you can train them to go just in one spot. Right a book and sell it and make your fortune. I use fine wood shavings in my coops, its supper easy to clean up. I do it about twice a year. And if you think chickens poo is a mess. I raised emu a few years.... softball sized poo!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

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