Chicken tractor questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by silkie3, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. silkie3

    silkie3 Hatching

    May 27, 2012
    My first questions to the BYC community!

    I have a chicken tractor on the go for three silkies of around 12 weeks old. We don't have a big backyard but we move them about on the grass and are about of move them onto a dirt spot where no grass grows.

    The chickens are for eggs and company, not necessarily for gardening purposes. My question is this... What do I do with the poop?! This morning I went out and saw some white froth on the grass where the pen has been moved from which I think means that the manure is composting itself (?). Do I till it in and put grass seed? I don't want a lawn covered in poo... Maybe it's best to restrict them to the garden beds where I might put plants or veggies...

    Also when I move the pen should I put rice hull that I use for their box bedding on the ground? So many questions!!
  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi silkie3,

    you can leave the poop there and it will degrade into the soil (and become fertiliser), or you can rake it up and form a poop heap (or add it to a compost bin).

    I find it tends to kill the grass off when it's fresh, so if you prefer a good lawn you'd be best off composting it first.

    However I'm not terribly neatness conscious so I just let mine lie. I find moving the tractor before all the grass has been eaten to bare dirt is the best way to balance lawns and chickens. Also mine aren't in an area of the yard where little kids play.

    Putting the tractor onto garden beds sounds a great idea, but you have to let the droppings rot down a little before you plant.

    best wishes
    1 person likes this.
  3. ub1243

    ub1243 In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2012
    south jersey
    i move my tractor every 3-5 days.
    i just take the water hose and spray the droppings until they go away.
    this way no one steps in it. and i haven't had a burn spot yet.
  4. Ehirning

    Ehirning Chirping

    May 18, 2012
    You can also scoop up the poop and offer it to people who garden. Maybe a posting on Craigslist...
  5. silkie3

    silkie3 Hatching

    May 27, 2012
    Thanks for the replies all. Really very helpful! So much as changed since I first posted this... I now have a particular spot for the coop which we change semi-regularly. This is because my chickens free range all day long now so they are spreading their little blessings everywhere else, instead of the same spot.

    In the beginning I was too nervous to let them out all day when I wasn't there, but now I have a little white Silkie Lola and an ISA brown Bridgette (I have lost all of my black silkeis to various things) and they love scratching about all day. With Bridgette around I am not worried about Lola! She is a serious chicken!

    Thanks again!

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