Overrun with Poop! Lawn sweeper or some other pickup tool?


9 Years
Jun 29, 2010

I live in suburbia with a backyard that seems a lot smaller now that I have a roaming chicken tractor. I think I expected the poop to break down quicker or easier. Unfortunately, after the chickens being moved about the yard for a month or two, the place is full of poop.

We need to do something about it or we have to abandon our chicken experiment.

I was thinking it would be awesome if a lawn sweeper (much like a restaurant carpet sweeper) could pick the poop up. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone successfully used a lawn sweeper?

Since the birds are in a tractor, they tend to walk on the poop, so I'm not really dealing with individual droppings. Otherwise, a dog poop scoop seemed like it might work.

Do you have a droppings board or tray under the roost to collect night time droppings? That might help. You could just dump these droppings out into your composter daily. Cuts down on the accumulation in your yard by about half.
I could rent you my dog. He is excellent at finding and vacuuming up chicken poo. Bleah

More realistically, use a leaf rake to scrape up the chunkiest parts, and then hose the rest into the lawn or wait for a good rain.

No matter what you do, though, chicken tractors DO leave a trail of pooed-on stomped-apart areas across your lawn.

Good luck, have fun,

A combination of moving the tractor daily, using a dog poop rake/pan and/or hosing it into the grass should help a lot. How many square feet do you have per chicken and how often are you moving it?

If you don't move the tractor every day and you don't have much room per chicken, it can leave a mess. I don't think the grass recovers as well, either. If we move it daily and don't crowd the chickens, rain and mowing usually takes care of everything for us. The last time we had chickens in our tractor, we allowed 8 square feet per chicken.
I started with a chicken tractor. I noticed that the area the chickens hung out in would smell after a day or so. I had to move it about every 3 or 4 days, I have a big yard so this was no problem.

The tractor was heavy and was breaking my back so I made a run out of a kennel. It still has grass in it and I noticed the same problem. I was going to add sand after the grass was gone, but for now I put a bunch of leaves that I collected for my compost heap. I also added diatomaceous earth, and I have a tarp top on the kennel.

The problem I think is the grass, it holds moisture. Hosing the poo in didn't help as much as I thought it would. You can't really get it all, and you make whats left even wetter. When I added pine litter to the coop and lots of leaves in the run, plus the DE, I have a fresh dry run! I mix it with a rake every day. I imagine things might smell some when it rains. Once I have the sand it will drain. I can simply replace the leaves until then.

You might be better off with a fixed pen and deep litter and/or sand.
I have the same problem, I underestimated the amount of chicken mess left behind when you move the tractor in a small yard. I hit it good with a hose after I move it, the funny thing is I have all these bright green rectangles in the yard from all the "fertilizer." I move it every two days and probably everyday would be even better. I've started letting the girls out in the afternoon to roam and it spreads things out a bit. I have a designated spot I can put it for long periods of time, but the gravel bed gets pretty yucky after a bit and the shape of mine, A-frame with an enclosed roost above the the run makes any kind of deep litter clean out method a little tricky.

Good Luck, I'll be following to hear what everyone says but those of us in Suburbia with 5000 sq ft lots might be better served with an alternate method for chicken keeping???


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