A nasty job done! (cleaning out the henhouse)

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Cleaned out the chicken shed Sunday! Whew what a mess. There was just a slight hint of amonia, so that wasn't bad. We do it twice a year, spring and fall. There was about a six inch build up of shavings and stuff. The girls just loved it! Fresh wood shavings! The manure went out to the compost pile, and the old compost pile went in the garden. New pile started, with leaves, and leavings from the garden.

We tilled the old manure in using our Troy Built so the garden is ready for winter.

Only jumped one rat in the Chicken house. Big improvement. The cats are doing their job. We set up the heat lamp and the water font warmer while we were finishing so their ready for the cold weather. It was 70 while I was shoveling and wheelbarrowing. Quite a warm fall here in NorthEast Missouri

-- Rickstir (rpowell@email.ccis.edu), November 15, 2001


Response to A nasty job done!

Rickstir, Putting barnmuck directly on our garden plot this fall is something my husband and I are still debating. This is the first year that we have had enough goats to really make any kind of muck pile, which is still sitting beside the barn after the fall cleaning. We're afraid of burning the garden next spring. Have never done this before. We have clay soil, so I'd imagine the composted hay/straw from the barn will help that, but what about the manure? And, how deep is the barnmuck you tilled into your garden? I hope this doesn't sound silly, but I really don't want to waste the muck if it is supposed to sit for a season.

-- Iris (Sar_India@msn.com), November 15, 2001.

We built the floor of our coop a foot above the ground using some old 2X6 planks spaced about 3 inches apart. The outside is wired and boarded up to prevent predators, with the downhill siding easily removed to allow us to pull out all the manure that falls below where the chickens can't get to it and it can dry out a bit. We just cleaned ours out (a spring and fall job, too), and made our compost piles three days ago. The compost pegged out our thermometer way above 120 degrees last night (overnight low outside - 28 degrees).

-- Sadge (firesignfarm@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.

Hey Iris, I do a deep bedding thing with my goats and clean the shed about every six months. The lower part gets rather damp and solid and it's real work getting it out of the shed. Each year, I have put the cleanings about 12 inches deep directly onto areas that I then planted the following spring. I have had some truly remarkable results in the gardens. Very happy plants. Based on my experience, I don't think you can really get hurt with goat bedding.

-- Laura Jensen (lauraj@seedlaw.com), November 15, 2001.

Goat manure will not burn like cow, horse, etc will. It can be directly applied to your garden if you want to.

-- Leslie in Western WA (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), November 15, 2001.

Hey Laura, thanks. You just made my work easier.

Sadge, we are needing to build another chicken house/run in a different place this year, since we are converting the old henhouse next to the barn into more goat space. Sooooo, we wanted to try one of those chicken mote things around the garden area. I like your idea of having the henhouse up off the ground some. Sure wish that would work with goats. lol Thanks for the idea.

-- Iris (Sar_India@msn.com), November 15, 2001.

We also made latched doors into the back of the nest boxes so we can collect the eggs from outside the coop. (and Iris, I met my husband after wishing on a meteor!)

-- Sadge (firesignfarm@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.

I too have raised my chicken coop. I had a number of old metal-frame- and-spring beds, which formed the base. I then laid 1/2" heavy duty crab pot mesh atop those, and bent the mesh up at the edges to fasten inside the inner double wall of the coop. This made the coop absolutely proof against anything (like our weasels) from below. It also gave great floor ventilation. Now, the manure didn't fall through as I'd hoped - the mesh was too small - but it did enhance its drying considerably. Now of course it's far too cold to muck it out (it's averaging just under 0 deg F here; we had it to -29F on Nov 9.), so that job will have to wait till spring (mid-late May). But I highly recommend to all raising the floors. Staying warm in Paxson, Alaska - Audie

-- Audie (paxtours@alaska.net), November 15, 2001.

Yep...one of my favorite things to do also !! I put on an old shower cap and gloves and jump right into it...the coop I mean. Do the same putting it on the garden and into the compost pile. Chickens go crazy when it is finished. I even clean the windows of the coop...I need to get off the homestead more often. Wish the windows in the house look as clean !! A Happy Chicken Lays Bigger Eggs !!! ?????

-- Helena (windyacs@npacc.net), November 16, 2001.

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