Frozen poop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RockyToggRanch, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Well I doubt if I'm the only one who has had enough of this cold blast. It's bad enough when you try to pick out horse poop and its frozen solid. It's like walking on que balls. Flinging it into the wheelbarrow does bring flashbacks of the pool hall in my younger years. Although, step just right and you could break an ankle. But with this extreme cold, I'm finding that my plastic dura fork won't even penetrate the pile. It seems to freeze on contact. HHmmmm....strange for such a hot manure.
    Forget about scraping the chickens roosts! Not even a hammer and chisel will help. Before you get 2 inches across a roost, your finger tips are blue. That's inside the thinsulate chore gloves.
    When you find yourself wishing..that your horse will give you a hot steamer.. while you're in the stall..just for added heat...[​IMG] ya know it's soo cold your brain is freezing.

    How do you deal with chores in the cold?
  2. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    I put wood shavings on my dropping boards, which keeps the poop from directly contacting the boards most of the time. I scrape it off with an old dust pan or a kitty litter scoop, used if needed a bit like an ice scraper on the car windshield. Have not tried the hammer and chisel technique.

    Forecast is for -16F tonight, but I'm betting we will hit -25F. It's already -6 now. I turned the coop heat emitter on just before sunset, and so far the temps in the coop are going UP.
  3. big greg barker

    big greg barker Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    My chickens are lady like enough to dump on the floor in the shavings as a proper chicken should. And believe me, I don't miss the days of horse plops. You could use a hockey stick and practice your slap shots.................
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Yup, the poo freezes to the ground, or on bedding it freezes to the dampness of the bedding.
    Whatcha need is a shovel or mattock or anything like that. Go thru the area to be cleaned, whacking the poo piles loose from the substrate with a brisk 'low blow'. Then go back around with the fork and collect it all. Not much extra work at all, once you get into the routine of it.

    I broke a LOT of plastic manure forks before my husband suggested this. It is a BIG quality-of-life improvement [​IMG]

    I sprinkle shavings (used, from the floor) on my droppings boards so that poo doesn't freeze on so tight I can't get it off. I don't really get poo *on* my roosts much so don't have anything to suggest about getting frozen poo off *there*.

    How do you deal with chores in the cold?

    Swear a lot? Whistle "Margaritaville"? Remind the horses that at least there are no flies or mosquitos?


    Pat, having just this afternoon realized that when you've accidentally let horses' buckets freeze totally solid, and forgotten to put em upside down in the sunlight all day to get the ice loose, you can float them in the heated water tub for five or ten minutes to loosen the ice enough to hammer it out.​
  5. antlers

    antlers Songster

    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    Ahh you aint seen nothing yet! When I had feeder cattle, (only up to 20 a year) I had a fence line feeder. This was nice becasue I could feed hay and grain with out having to actuall go IN the pens. But as the cows stood there doing input, the output was being deposited behind them. Come this time of year, they were standing at maybe a 60 degree angle and often on their knees to get the feed. You went out on ANY above 0 day with an old pick axe to try and chip away at it. If you got it down to the concrete and then got a January thaw, it ould come off in 2 foot thick sheets. Man that was work.
  6. chicksalot

    chicksalot Songster

    Sep 20, 2008
    Quote:hmmmm, lets see...1 layer of thermal, flannel lined bluejeans, wooly ear-flapped 'Elmer Fudd' hat...[​IMG] ...and then there's the 'tools'... ice pick, hammer, TNT... [​IMG] or the lazy-laid back approach...just wait til the spring thaw ! [​IMG] I have secretly wondered how helpful a gas blow torch would be in thawing....hmmmmm [​IMG]
  7. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Wood pellets for horse stalls. Breaks down into fine sawdust. Manure comes right out. I love frozen manure stalls. They are 10 times easier and faster to clean than squishy manure being scattered all over and packed into the bedding. Also with deep shavings instead of fine sawdust just throw the bedding against a wall and let it fall in a pile. The frozen manure being of different weight and size will fall differently than the shavings and roll right off the pile. Leaving you with a clean pile of shavings surrounded by manure that's easy to pick up. I've never broken a plastic manure fork. Your bedding should be thick enough you can just get under it. Even with only a thin layer of wood pellets I can stab at the bottom a few times and lift up the manure.

    Chicken roosts I don't know since I haven't had to clean mine yet. They don't really poop much on the small trees I stripped and put up for roosts. I did have to sweep some chicken poop off the boards along the side of the coop where the bantams like to sit but that's it. What chicken poop is in my coop is in solid little frozen pieces not runny or splattered on things.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  8. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    We are through the cold weather here now and back to rain!
    I really liked the -12 C mornings we were having - the horse poo was like stones and so easy to collect. I found the tying up of haynets the hardest - I have to do it without gloves and my hands were numb in seconds!!
  9. Splash_Guard

    Splash_Guard Set Free

    Dec 3, 2008
    When you find yourself wishing..that your horse will give you a hot steamer.. while you're in the stall..just for added ya know it's soo cold your brain is freezing.

    Too funny! Yep, that's one sign of frozen brain syndrome.

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