harvesting ...... poop (for compost)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cajun Rabbit, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Ok,
    So we have 4 lil ladies all set up in a small tractor and it looks like it is going to work (hasn't fallen apart yet [​IMG] )

    Now eggs are still a few weeks out and we are moving the tractor every few days when we see poop on the grass below run. Well it struck me a few days ago.... manure! one of the reasons / benefits for having chickens is the fertilizer. So last time I moved the tractor, I took the yard rake and tried to 'sweep' it up.... yea.... no [​IMG] . I was able to sweep some up and threw it into the compost bin (was only about a cup worth).

    So I ask yall, how do you harvest it? I have a few ideas, but want to hear what yall have tried (and hopefully working) before I struggle with it.

    Thanks
     
  2. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Usually with the mobile tractor you keep it over one area of grass and move it around to adjacent areas, keeping it for a day/week/month or whatever. Move as frequently as works for you, though with only 4 birds you could keep it in one area for 1 week, no problem, before moving it. The manure will work on the ground where it fell. If you want larger amounts you may need to keep it there longer.

    Most people that have a non mobile coop use the deep litter method (DLM) which involves adding several applications of pine shavings 3-4" deep every 3-4 weeks or as needed. This will compost as it ages and you need only clean the coop 2-3 times per year. Each cleaning will yield several wheelbarrow loads each cleaning. My coop is 8' X 8' and I got nine loads over 6 months of DLM practice. Right now I have moved those birds to their new coop (see A Frame 2.0 thread under coop construction forum) and have not cleaned since April! It was loaded with poop and I have to let it dry out before gathering and cleaning it

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. gerryhouser

    gerryhouser Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    We also use the deep litter method in our coop (wheat straw, not pine shavings) with great success. We have not tried to collect droppings from our chicken tractor however. We keep 6 bantams in it and move it every few days. Early this spring I was quite sick and was unable to move the tractor for about a month, but, even after all that time I was not able to gather enough droppings to make it worth my trouble.
     
  4. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2011
    Wyoming
    If you have a garden, put your coop in it through the winter. The poo will mellow and in the spring you can till or mix it in. If you want to harvest it, put the tractor on an old piece of plywood, let the plywood set in the sun for a day and the poo will dry a bit. Scrape it into a snow shovel and onto the compost pile, or into the garden, or where ever. If the poo is 'absorbing' into the plywood, sprinkle a little diatomaceous earth (DE) on to the plywood after you scrape it and it will dry the poo on contact, like flour for rolling cookie dough, but not 'quite' as tasty (unless your a dog).
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Get a kitty litter scoop and invest in a good metal one.

    I have sand on the floor of my hen house and each morning I scoop up the droppings from the night and toss into the compost bin.

    My girls live in a 20' by 14' predator protected run and I'll go through there and scoop up the larger poops once or twice a day.

    When I had the three hens, I was scooping a little less than a quart yogurt container size every day. Now that I'm down to two hens and one is molting I'm only getting a pint size. But if you do that every day and toss it into the compost bin, it really heats up the compost and it breaks down really fast. I'm making compost right and left.
     
  6. TN_BIRD

    TN_BIRD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Quote:I put a piece of newspaper under their roost. Catches about 90% of the poop. The paper and the poop go straight in to my compost pile.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    So, is this the new expression? Instead of cleaning the coop, or shoveling poop, we are now "harvesting manure"? How nice. [​IMG]
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:[​IMG] I agree, invest in a good metal one. Here's my "scoop". It holds a bit more than a pint, though. I actually fill it three or four times during a clean out. But it also is easer to take out to the garden. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Fred's Hens :

    Quote:[​IMG] I agree, invest in a good metal one. Here's my "scoop". It holds a bit more than a pint, though. I actually fill it three or four times during a clean out. But it also is easer to take out to the garden. [​IMG]

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/69833_dscf2951.jpg

    SWEET RIDE!!!

    You obviously have more than two chickens.​
     
  10. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Quote:When using this method can you use the compost (pine shavings and all) to mix with a spring garden? I use the pine shavings, but I can't really separate them from the poop...or don't really want to try. [​IMG] It would be great if I can just throw some of the mix into the garden come spring.
     

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