A Super-Duper Poop Scoop

Ease the workload on your farmstead with a super-duper poop scoop.

| March/April 1981

Most farmfolks will agree that unloading manure and compost with a hand shovel is just about the most unpleasant task imaginable. My husband Fred and I thought so, too. Now,  thanks to our homemade "poop scoop," we let the tractor take care of such tiring (and messy) chores.

The "scoop" comes in quite handy for a number of other jobs around our Florida homestead, too. We frequently use our invention to dump manure on the garden, to drag water hyacinth from the Withlacoochee River, and to move heavy logs over short distances.

If you have a tractor — and a little bit of know-how — you ought to be able to build and use the same gadget ... or modify our design to fit your own specific needs. (With a lot of scrounging, we were able to assemble our device for only $12! If you're handy at "hardware foraging," you can probably keep your expenses as low as — or maybe even lower than — ours were.)

Filling a Need

The "poop scoop" was born of the desire to use an old '56 Ford 8N tractor to scrape manure out of our truck, over its lowered tailgate, and onto the ground. And although our standard boom crane was too short to handle the task, my husband decided that the apparatus could be modified so it would work.

(For the information of any folks who might be unfamiliar with tractors, a boom crane consists basically of one or more hooks fastened to a steel framework which, in turn, fits onto the tractor's three-point hitch. The attachment is used to lift machinery, bales, and so forth. Since such implements can be bought new for around $80, chances are that — if you don't already have one — you'll be able to purchase a used unit at a fairly reasonable price.)

When Fred set out to "fix" our crane, he knew the boom would have to be made longer. And the means to this end turned out to be right in our own junkyard ... in the form of a street-lamp "extension arm" (the curved stem that holds the light away from the lamppost). Of course, any piece of curved pipe (approximately 1 1/2" in diameter and 72" long) would have done the job just as well.

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