Poo Pits - Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mr. Peepers, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Mr. Peepers

    Mr. Peepers Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2009
    I'm in the process of designing a 64 sq ft walk-in hen house and I'm considering the advantages/disadvantages of a "poo pit" in this size structure. It occurs to me that no matter where the poo lands it ends up having to be shoveled or raked away. Is the convenience of a slide out poo box or open pit worth the additional complexity and associated problems with weather and predator proofing? Is it any more work to walk into the hen house and shovel poo than it is to shovel poo from under or to empty a slide out?

    Your opinions?
     
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would like to know that, too.[​IMG]
     
  3. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    i find that 99% of the poo is under the roost so we put a board with a 4" rim around it and we use a dust pan to scoop it clean every now and then.. we use deep litter.. there is no bending over it is waist high and it works wonderfully.. it has been 7 mos and the deep litter on the floor has hardly any poo in it so we just add a little fresh litter to it occasionally. ours is 8x8 also

    [​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If you have a lot of chickens in not much coop space and aren't going to be cleaning the roost poo very often, I suppose it makes sense to prevent the chickens from stomping it down and making it harder to remove (i.e the traditional type of droppings pit, which is really just a screened-off area to prevent them trompling under the roost).

    However, you're doing this at the expense of giving the chickens even less floorspace (unless your mesh or slats over the poo pit are such that the chickens are not reluctant to walk on them), which to me is a major disadvantage.

    To me it would be a lot better and more all-round effective to correct the fundamental two problems there, though -- don't put lots of chickens in just a little space, and remove the poo from under the roost as often as possible, ideally daily. (People get this idea that daily cleaning of a solid droppings board is laborious, time consuming, or unpleasant. I would invite you to come over to my place. If you blink you will miss it. Wide scraper to 'snowplow' poo off in one long stroke along the droppings board, into a bucket carried in the other hand, ten seconds and the pen is done)

    IMHO, if you are going to clean the roost poo out fairly frequently, like daily or every few days, a solid droppings board that you scrape clean is more effective. Or, if you are not going to clean it that often, but have a good LARGE space for not so many chickens (why do people always think this means you have to build a huge coop? It doesn't. It just means maybe having fewer chickens) I am not sure that a screened-off droppings pit really offers any major advantages, as the roost poo will naturally form a 'ridge' under the roost that you can shovel out whenever you work up the energy or your nose tells you it's past time.

    As far as removeable drawers/hatches/etc, I'd say their major utility is in a large reach-in coop or a very short playhouse-style coop, where it is a big convenience and labor-saver to be able to bring the poo deposits to YOU to clean, rather than you having to crawl/stoop in there to get all of them. In normal coops I think people mostly jsut build them as a "hobby", because it can be entertaining to see if you can gadget things up to absolute minimum labor input, not because they offer real big practical advantages. (I am not knocking the entertainment value of designing and building things like this, I like doing that sort of thing too, I'm just saying, there is often a difference between 'fun challenge' and 'major utility' [​IMG])

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  5. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] What????? FEWER CHICKENS????? On BYC? Are you crazy???

    Of course you are. You have chickens, too![​IMG]
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe it's because I had indoor birds for several years and got in the habit of cleaning cage trays daily, but I also clean out the chicken droppings tray daily. Not only does this keep the coop cleaner and fresher smelling, but you can also check the amount and consistency of the droppings as you do this, and you can spot potential problems earlier.
     
  7. Mr. Peepers

    Mr. Peepers Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2009
    I'm getting the impression that most feel that a poo pit is not that important, that it's just as easy to shovel under the roosts (assuming an easy clean floor) as it is to shovel out a poo pit.

    Anyone else?
     
  8. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Monroe, North Carolina
    Quote:Right on, Elmo!! I'm with you![​IMG]
     
  9. RevaVirginia

    RevaVirginia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reva, VA
    I'll probably go to a drop board at some point. For now all I use is 50 lb. feed bags laid flat underneath the roost.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the pit Idea, I'll grind on it for a while and see If somewhat of an epiphany occurs.

    edited for "laid flat"
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  10. toyzbox

    toyzbox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's a great idea. DH put a flat board under the roost for my girls. But it's a bit too close so even my little hands have trouble. But a shallow pit would be great. He even suggested that it be on wheels to just pull out and hose off.
     

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