My poop pit experience...so far.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ninabeast, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    775
    6
    121
    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I have been an avid BYC lurker since before we got our first chicks this past April. Well, we're swimming in eggs now, of our original twelve have lost one to gender and one to a fox (well. both to foxes, really, but that makes the story longer), and I'm beginning to feel that I have some actual experience under my belt. I'm a bit nervous about our first winter, but I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it.

    One of the things that appealed to me when we were conceptualising and building our coop was the idea of a poop pit. Ours looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Well. It looked like that before the chickens pooped all over it. Anyway. This thing is fantastic. Not only does it catch 90% of the night poop, but when I scoop up the poop from the rest of the coop (we have sand on our coop floor), it just goes right into the pit. No carrying it out to the compost pile. Ahhhhhh.....

    The chicks went in the coop the third week of May, and last weekend we decided it was time to empty the poop pit for the first time. I was DREADING it. I mean, decaying chicken poop, five months old, together with some smashed eggs laid by Pip who insisted on laying from atop the roosts for a good few weeks? Mixed in with wood shavings and Sweet PDZ and DE? It had to be gross. And smelly. And HEAVY.

    I'm here to report that it was none of those things. It was easy and light and not disgusting at all. It took, maybe, ten minutes, and I was being helped by an eight-year-old. I could have done it much faster alone. I am so sold. The fact that it might keep the girls a little warmer while the roost this winter is icing on the cake.

    Thought I'd let y'all know.
     
  2. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,083
    30
    196
    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Is that dark area at the bottom a hole into a catch area? And if the 2X4's are the roost, if they roost on the outside board do they poop into the sand of does that some how go in the hole?
     
  3. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    732
    1
    121
    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    Thanks for sharing! I love seeing other folks' ideas on how to deal with the poop board.
     
  4. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    482
    1
    121
    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
    Quote:If you look closely, it looks like the outside board is inset a few inches, to allow for birds roosting on the outside board to poop straight down into the pit. Neat idea!
     
  5. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    775
    6
    121
    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    Welllll...it went like this.

    "Honey, I need you to build the poop pit with a pit that's 6 feet long and 2 feet wide, with two roosts made from 2x4s, m'kay?" What I got was 6' x 2' in the outer dimensions, but considerably smaller in the actual poopable area. I didn't DARE comment. So, I'm making it work. The roosts are too close together, I know, but the girls are managing. Heck, the Brahmas put their feet on one roost and their breasts on the other! It was obvious to me in two seconds that the "outside" poops on either side were going to miss the pit. Sigh.

    So, every morning, I scoop the poops that are on the sand outside the pit, into the pit. It's not bad at all. Until I cleaned out the pit last weekend, the outside poop against the outer wall was falling between the pit and the wall. Niiiice. So, being the improviser that I am, I added the "poop chute", which is part of an old shower curtain, nailed to the wall, then into the inside ledge of the poop pit frame, thusly...

    [​IMG]

    It's working MUCH better now. The poop chute is an evolution from the egg hammock, which became a necessity when Pip insisted on laying from the roosts...

    [​IMG]

    Oh....PIP. (She's figured it out now, by the way, and lays pointy and WIDE eggs, poor girl.)
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,130
    26
    173
    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. flyjam1979

    flyjam1979 Out Of The Brooder

    48
    1
    24
    Oct 9, 2011
    i want to build that..............love the idea thanks for sharing:D
     
  8. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    636
    5
    141
    Dec 27, 2008
    Pasadena, CA
    I love the idea (and especially your ability to roll with the "modification" your hubby introduced [​IMG]
     
  9. zoelovesmom

    zoelovesmom Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Jul 22, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    That looks and sounds fantastic.

    This is probably going to sound dumb, but I'm fairly new at this, so please forgive me for asking if it's obvious: what goes IN the pit to keep it from getting stinky? I know you mentioned DE, but do you just pour some on top every few days, or what?

    Thanks.
     
  10. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    775
    6
    121
    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    Quote:Not dumb at all! I sprinkle a fine layer of wood shavings along the bottom of the pit when it's empty. Then, on average, I put something on it every other morning: wood shavings, DE, Sweet PDZ. Usually wood shavings. Think a sprinkling of confectioners sugar, not a layer of icing. I'm still on my first bag of wood shavings.

    Even in the two 90+ degree weeks we had this summer, there was no smell and very few flies. We HAVE had an extraordinarily wet 4 months, and there has been no problem. When I shoveled it all out, it was light and fluffy and didn't smell.

    It takes me all of 5 minutes to scoop the coop in the morning, because most of the poop is already in the pit. As I understand it, it will be ready to go in the garden next spring, because it's already been breaking down over the winter. Sweet!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by