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Poop Tray Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LilCtryGal, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. LilCtryGal

    LilCtryGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is a picture of our nesting boxes. On top of that we have a plastic "poop" tray. At the end of summer I filled the tray with sand. The sand has never really dried out completely and with the cold weather it's become frozen which in turn makes it difficult for me to clean out. I thought of using the clay kitty litter but want to get suggestions as to what may be the best solution without having potential harm to my chickens. Since there isn't a cover over the tray Chickens could eat what ever I put in there. I've heard about the Food DE and Stall Dry. Any recommendations from the group would be appreciated.

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  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). My coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed. I now have 17 birds in there (it is crowded but no problems) the three levels is the secret. I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    Winter months even easier flex over compost bin DONE!

    My buddy bought a piece of vinyl floor when he seen how easy my boards cleaned. It was then we found out all vinyl flooring is not created equal. His froze and snapped like a piece of peanut brittle when he flexed it. Try to get some that is as thick as possible and very slick on the surface. Cut them up into smaller
    easy to handle mats if you are covering a large area.

    Feed bags work well in winter the nylon mesh type (do not split them open lay them flat and fold them to suit your needs. I used clothes pins to hold them in place on my ¼ plywood board) the poop when it freezes just peels off. My hens after a time starting pecking at it and making holes (they never bother them in the nest boxes go figure??)

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    Easy peasy!.
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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    You don't want to use clay kitty litter, not good for the chickens to eat clay and they usually have other additives. Don't think DE would be a good choice either, IMO. Not familiar with stall dry.

    Not sure why your sand wouldn't have dried out unless it was really wet when you put it in. Where are you located?

    I use bagged fine builders sand and Sweet PDZ (zeolite for ammonia neutralization) haven't had it freeze unless there's really wet poops.

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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t use anything on my droppings board. It’s the top of a built-in brooder and just a piece of plywood. To scrape it I use a garden hoe with a broken handle so it’s short enough to use in that tight space without breaking a window to break it loose, then a squeegee to rake the poop into a plastic bin. This doesn’t get every stain off but it does keep it cleaned off enough that there is no smell. This way I get pure poop for the compost pile, not something with a lot of filler. I’m not sure this would work with yours because yours is a tray, not a flat surface.

    How often I need to scrape mine depends on the number of chickens I have and how humid the weather is. With a lot of chickens and humid weather I may need to scrape it once a week or so, but with fewer chickens and drier weather I can often go three weeks with no smell.

    I don’t understand why that sand is still wet enough to freeze solid, especially since you have been stirring it to rake the poop out. I think that may be your problem, not the material you are using in the tray. What you are doing should work. Is rain somehow getting in to wet it? Is your ambient humidity so high it can’t dry out? Do you have sufficient ventilation? Is it truly sand or is there something mixed in it to hold moisture? I think I’d approach your problem from the aspect of the wet sand as opposed to the media you are using.
     
  5. FoxyChicken

    FoxyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use Sweet PDZ and I love it. I got a Kitty litter scoop at the dollar store, and just scoop it every morning. Takes me less than a minute, but that's only with 6 birds. Since I'm sifting it I end up with mostly pure poop for the compost pile, but PDZ is a safe and natural product anyway so it's not a problem. The birds can eat it if they want to. My setup looks very similar to aart's so I won't post a pic.
     
  6. LilCtryGal

    LilCtryGal Out Of The Brooder

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    I think the problem is when I added some sand it was still wet and never had the chance to dry out before we got our crazy Michigan weather. I prefer the sand but there isn't any available until the Spring (play sand). Why is it play sand is so wet ? Thanks for the input. Going to try the builder's sand and sweet pdz for now and see how that works.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Home Depot has Quikcrete brand fine sand, it's white and dry, 50# bag, $3-4. That's what I used, I had it on hand from concrete sculpture projects.
     
  8. LilCtryGal

    LilCtryGal Out Of The Brooder

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    aart, I found it today and picked up 2 bag's! I think they are enjoying the dry soft sand! I also added some of the Sweet PDZ under it so hopefully that will help with the smell in there. Now to figure out what to put in the nesting boxes that they will leave in the nesting boxes! Filled them all with straw and they scratched it all out within minutes.
     
  9. Chickens R Us

    Chickens R Us Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use PDZ in my poop boards, in my nest boxes I use pine shavings they scratch out some but not as bad as straw. In the winter I put straw on top of the shavings hoping to insulate the eggs from freezing as fast but most of it ends up on the floor.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Do you have a board or something on the front of the boxes to help keep the straw inside the nest?

    BTW I use one of these mesh baskets to sift the poop board, don't lose much sand.
     

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