Chicken tractor - ?? about poop

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mcf3kids, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK so maybe this will sound silly but I am wondering what people do about all the poop that their birds create once you move the tractor to a new area. Do you water it into the ground? Do you let it dry out and try and pick up?? I heard someone put straw down and picked up the straw each day? I will be using my yard and am concerned with the kind of grossness factor of it being walked on into and then making it into the house. Just curious how others handle this when they are being moved around on "yard space". [​IMG]
     
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    If it's moved every day the manure left behind should not be so thick as to be a significant problem. You could water it in if it really bothered you. Putting straw down then gathering it up every day rather takes away the entire point of a poultry tractor.

    I don't tractor meat birds, but I do use them for my layers, turkeys, and birds I'm growing out. It's doing wonders for my pasture.
     
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rake it up, use it for fertilizer around something. It's gold, I tell you, gold. Don't waste it.

    Seriously, if its just one days worth and you don't want to rake it up, you could probably just sort of "smush" is around with the head of a soil rake and then just water it in. I don't think it will burn the grass unless you had a lot of really big ones in a small tractor. With mine, whenever I've put them out, its small enough that they pretty much do trash the grass, both with poo and just with compacting and crushing it, but in a week its grown right back.

    The only thing you DO need to avoid are big, solid mats of poo and/or spilled food -- they will suffocate the grass underneath. Those you should rake up and dispose of elsewhere or break up into small bits that will dissolve.
     
  4. silkeysandra

    silkeysandra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. The raking idea sounds best. We water our lawn each morning when we can and it just disappears. The reason for the tractor is so the chickeys aren't walking around in their poo the next day. If this is a highly manicured backyard, then the rake, used upside down should handle any big poos and break it up. Water when needed, but not just to dissolve the poo. it will break down pretty quick.
    2. If you have a dog and worry the dog might ingest poo--mine does, so I make sure it is broken up and spread away--then if you pick up that poo where you see it, pick up the chickey poo where you see it. BUT
    3. I would consider a compost pile to put your chickey poo in (not dog poo) also kitchen scraps-nonmeat--leaves, dead plants, old potting soil, etc. Makes great mulch for use around trees, plants, etc. not much work either. When you add some chickey poo to the pile, just use the rake to turn it good. done!
    4. There's all kinds of things people worry over that have little impact to their lives. I think what you are tracking inside from your yard is one of them. Too much attention to de-germing can cause the opposite reaction--being more susceptible to disease, not less. Your body needs to 'play' with germs you contact to keep your body ready for fighting duty. If they don't have 'enemies' to fight, they get lazy and won't be up to duty when needed. If you are worried about germs cause baby crawls on the floor, don't. Babies need contact with the real world or else they will develop allergies and have a harder time with colds, etc-- for the same reason I mentioned above.
    5. Simple solution for the tracking in thing is simply to take your shoes off at the door. Lots of households have adopted this Hawaiian habit and enjoy it.
    --We'd love to see pictures of your tractor and chickeys! Hope this will be helpful.
     
  5. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use it to destroy weed patches! Park the tractor on top, move it, and sprinkle desired plant seeds on top of the debris. Ended up with some nice rectangular garden beds with almost no extra work... [​IMG]
     
  6. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys - the chicks are one week old and the tractor is ready to go - looking forward to putting them out in it next week. Our lawn is pretty "manicured" but we have the outlook that it will get abuse and will bounce back - hopefully this year but if not next year. We have kept fertilizer off of it and are excited to "grow" our own food on it. We have lots and lots of gardens and a composter but from what I heard the poop will burn plants if it is directly on it with out breaking down first (composting) due to nitrogen levels so I have been at a loss what to do with the quantity I have [​IMG] (we now have 49 chickens - 25 which are the meaties). I'm learning as I go and I thank you all for your input [​IMG] I will post a picture tomorrow of the finished tractor - it came out NICE [​IMG]
     
  7. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use rice hulls as bedding for chicks. When I clean the pen I put it directly on my more nitrogen hungry plants like corn. I've not had any problems with burning.
    I wouldn't use it straight on root veggies or greens, due to possible pathogens. I'd compost first.
    In the tractor, if you move everyday, just spray the grass a bit and the poop will be no worse than some great organic fertilizer on your lawn. Sun is a great killer of bacteria and viruses. There aren that many things we can catch from chicken poop on the ground, what we can, the sun will kill.
    You'll notice your grass will be nice and green but not over fertilized. Bird poop is a great fertilizer, especially in small amounts.
     

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