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gathering chicken poop? — The Grow Network Community
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gathering chicken poop?

BluLotusBluLotus KansasPosts: 5 ✭✭✭
edited December 2017 in Composting & Soil Fertility
Chickens poop all the time...even while sleeping. If the chickens have an inside-type area go to roost at night then directly underneath where they roost will be the best and largest pile of poop for scooping up and adding to or starting a compost pile.

I scoop underneath my roosting bar every few weeks and add to the existing pile of chopped leaves and other stuff from this past summer. Wet it down well and cover with a tarp. Turn it all and start again in another 2-3 weeks. Keeps the coop cleaned out and the compost pile 'hot'.


  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 323 admin
    edited January 2018
    We have a very similar practice. We use sand under our roost - and every few weeks we scoop it up and add it to our compost bins! I also add the nesting box material on top of the poo. Then, I just let it be! I can't lie...I only turn it once in a blue moon. We have a 3 bin system and I'll stop adding to a bin and let it sit for at least 6 months before I use it. No problems yet! :)
  • suediederichsuediederich Posts: 1
    edited January 2018
    Consider putting a worm bin under the roost! Doesn't need to be more than 5 or 6 inches deep, and the shavings/bedding makes a good start for them. They will compost poop right there, and not only will you have great soil, but the worms can be harvested and added to gardens and lawns as well. Also cuts down on the smell. We used to do this with both rabbits and chickens when we lived in Idaho.
  • Robert HeldRobert Held Posts: 4
    edited February 2018
    It will be pretty difficult to gather the chicken poop if their not in a coop or in an area that they roost at night, but you'll get plenty if their in a coop.  I clean my coop once a week and it's a great additive to my compost pile.  I recently had a tree trimming company working in my area and they asked if they could unload some of their chips on my property which I gladly let them do.  Since the chips suck up a lot of nitrogen I've been adding my chicken manure to the chips to help the compost quicker.
  • griesjoegriesjoe Posts: 5
    edited March 2018
    I agree with what everyone said.  My first thought was with a garden hose turn on full to "wash" them into the soil so you do not have to walk on them.  I compost my chicken waste from the coop and let the chickens fertilize the yard when they free range.  But unlike  Margery,  I wear shoes in my yard.  After all I live in Iowa and it gets real cold here.
  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 902 admin
    edited March 2018
    Ha, ha, well I probably would wear shoes if I lived in Iowa...  :)

    But yes, being a barefooter with free range chickens in the yard, ohhh, that can get ugly.  I am switching my chickens from a free range to a rotating pasture setup.  Hey, have you read that ebook we published "6 Ways To Keep Chickens"?  The system outlined in there for a central coop, with 3 to 5 paddocks radiating out, is what I am working on implementing now.

    It keeps the chooks off the pation, and my feet stay clean :)

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited April 2018
    Weeeellll, I know this is gross, but I've got two dogs. And there's really nothing we've been able to figure out that will keep them from eating the chicken poo. Since the two species can't really share diseases, I finally just decided to stop worrying about it. It does, at least, help keep the chicken poo in the yard down to reasonable levels.

    Other than that, I'd look into Marjory's suggestion for rotational grazing.

    We've decided against it on the fenced acre our chickens range on because we live in the mountains and our Buckeye chickens are amazing at pest control. Since we've been letting them free range around our wood pile, the mouse population in our yard (and, consequently, the number of mice that find their way into the house) has plummeted. Another unexpected benefit we've experienced is that our free-range chickens have driven the pocket gophers out of our yard. I know the previous owner of our house tried all sorts of things without success -- but she didn't have chickens. Turns out, that's all we needed!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited April 2018
    And I agree with griesjoe that the garden hose is your friend in this situation! :)
  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin
    edited April 2018
    Oh yeah, lots of good info here. I wouldn't too much about the random poop around the yard. Likely more trouble than it's worth! I'd focus on the poop collecting beneath the roosting area like others have mentioned.

    My situation is exactly the same as yours, and the rest of the poop I think of as a gift to the yard! :p
  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 323 admin
    edited April 2018
    Yeah, that is how I think of the chicken yard....the poo is a gift to the pecan trees! haha!
  • sfpanamasfpanama Posts: 1
    edited February 2019
    I am wondering if i can raise a few chickens un my closed in nursery?

    they are great for eating ants and scorpions - general pests in the garden.
  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,387 admin
    edited February 2019
    You could try this, just watch your young plants. They would be tasty treats!

    You might want to consider guinea fowl too, as long as you don't mind their sounds.
  • MissPatriciaMissPatricia Posts: 87 ✭✭✭

    I haven't quite figured out the "flag, quote, vote down, vote up...". I clicked on one two. Anyway, I love the idea of a small worm bin beneath the chickens' roost bar. That sounds so smart. I plan to try it.

  • alindsay22alindsay22 Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    I would love a picture of the worm bin under the roost. So clever!

  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin

    Hi @MissPatricia! Clicking the 'quote' is a good way to reply to a comment (like I'm doing right now!), giving context to your response. Voting up rewards the person for a good reply and vote down would be used for a bad reply. 🙃

    Flags should only be used when the post is spam, abusive, or otherwise should not exist.

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 636 admin

    Me, too! Great idea if you can make it work with your setup!

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