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Overzealous stall cleaner seeks recommendations-- best fine tine manure fork?

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  • Overzealous stall cleaner seeks recommendations-- best fine tine manure fork?

    I'll admit it, I'm a bit compulsive about cleaning my stalls and turnouts. I've got an arsenal of tools and dutifully pull one after another off the wall in an attempt to remove every speck of manure. I've got regular plastic forks, mini forks, ergonomic forks, metal tined forks, grated shovels and more rakes than you can imagine. I've even been known to try the leaf blower... But I'm not satisfied. There's got to be a better tool than the ones I have.

    Does anyone have recommendations for a fine tined fork? I use pellets for bedding, and my turnouts are sand and fine gravel. I want something to get the fine pieces that are left over by the regular forks. Suggestions? I know I'm not alone.

    Has anyone tried these:
    Mini Tine Flex n' Fork from Equitee http://www.equiteemfg.com/flexn-fork...i-tine-basket/
    Fine Tines Fork from A Plus Equine

    Or is there something better than I don't know about?
    Thanks all, for your enabling of this obsessive stall cleaner.
    --Becky & the gang

    "Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning & loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero." from storypeople.com

  • #2
    I actually use a stand up dustpan (the kind that has a long handle so you don't have to bend over to use it) and a small broom and sweep the small pieces into the dustpan. I got tired of dropping the tiny manure bits from my pitchfork 5 times in a row before I hit upon this idea. It's quick to use, too.


    • Original Poster

      I like it!
      --Becky & the gang

      "Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning & loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero." from storypeople.com


      • #4
        I have the Fine Tines and it's the best with sawdust or fine shavings!


        • #5
          The Fine Tines will catch all the tiny bits but it also will pick up any pellets that haven't broken down yet, so you end up throwing away perfectly good pellets,


          • #6
            I love the Fine Tines, you should get the Fine Tines Jr. as it's a little smaller and not so heavy. It's about the same weight as a normal fork, whereas the regular one is heavier since there are so many more tines.

            It is true that you can get some pellets in the tines, but once you get everything but the manure and pellets in there, you can just toss it in the air and catch the manure, you know what I mean?

            Also, the junior has a tiny bit more spacing (1/16") between the tines, and that puts most of my whole pellets through.

            I HATE wasting bedding, so I love this fork
            Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc


            • #7
              Will you guys come clean my stalls???
              Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
              Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
              Take us to print!


              • #8
                As you may know, I am a world renowned expert on manure forks. After conducting several clinical studies here at the Dreadful Acres Institute for Applied Dung Management, I have concluded that you can either be

                a) a bedding miser or
                b) fastidiously clean

                but not both at the same time. I mean, let's face it. No fork is gonna get all the poop. The only way to get those last tiny manure flakes out is with a broom and a shovel. This inevitably removes a certain amount of "clean" bedding. Although how clean it actually is, since there was just a pile of manure sitting on or near it, is debatable; my hypothesis is that the pathogen load in a typical "clean" stall is much higher than we would care to imagine.

                So unless you're stripping and disinfecting the stall on a daily basis, you're stabling your horse in its own filth, no matter how fine your tines are.

                Thus I personally tolerate a modicum of fecal matter in my stalls. That's right, I have made a pact with Satan. I use a Future Fork Junior. It only gets muffins 1/2" and up, but with its light weight, small size, and shovel-style handle, it's the German sports car of manure forks. Also, it's indestructible. Those fine-tine forks are like delicate orchids: expensive and fragile. But my Future Forks have been in the family for over three years with every tine intact. And I also use'em to scoop up giant rocks out of pastures.
                Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                • #9
                  I ran over the basket of my Fine Tines Fork with my golf cart last night and it was completely undamaged, so I can personally attest to its quality construction.

                  Like mkevent, I also use a stand up dust pan http://www.amazon.com/McLane-Stand-U...and+up+dustpan along with a cheap plastic-bristled broom to pick up stray bits of hay and manure.


                  • #10
                    I use the Fine Tines Fork to clean a stall inhabited by 2 mini's, and it does a great job on their microscopic poop balls! But I do agree with The Crone, you can either clean EVERY SPECK OF POOP and waste a bit of bedding in the process, or be economical about your bedding.
                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                      As you may know, I am a world renowned expert on manure forks. After conducting several clinical studies here at the Dreadful Acres Institute for Applied Dung Management, I have concluded that you can either be

                      a) a bedding miser or
                      b) fastidiously clean

                      but not both at the same time.
                      Oh I don’t know! I am VERY miserly, and pretty damn fastidious – BUT I have just one horse to worry about, and weather permitting, she is out half of the time.

                      Much of the time, miss mare is very clean, poops in one place (sometimes in a pyramid, and I want to sing and hug her when I see this), other times (like when she is in season) she tromps it all around into an unrecognizable mess that makes me want to cry when I see her stall.

                      I DO get all of the little chips out every time. If she has destroyed her stall, it means lots of sifting, and resifting, and yes – getting the last little bits up by hand! Wet spots are removed with a BROOM and a shovel – I want it all gone.

                      -Oh, and I am also a Future Fork lover! Saw this thread and thought – yes! That’s what I need, a fine tine fork! But then I read that they pick up whole bedding pellets – Shudder! Can’t throw THOSE away! So, its fork, broom, shovel and gloves for me
                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                      • #12
                        I'm anal retentive about clean stalls *and* wasted bedding.

                        And I end up with the World's Filthiest Horse. *sigh*

                        It's not unusual for his stall to not have a single manure ball still intact by morning. Often 50% or so of the manure is pieces dime sized from being smashed and then flattened. There isn't a for fine tined enough to pick out the Feces Pieces. The rest are barely able to be lifted with the fork/slightly larger.

                        One day last spring, as I was swearing up a storm over spending forever trying to get that slob's stall clean, I looked over at the pile of junk I had put aside to go to the dump. (spring barn cleaning) In the pile was a pedestal fan that had died. On that fan was a front grate...a large round grate so people don't stick their fingers or faces into speeding fan blades. I removed that grate by popping off a few plastic pieces...and took out a muck bucket. The grate fit perfectly over the top of the muc bucket. The sides of the grate tilt up. Hmmmm.....

                        (similar to this)

                        Since then for Sonny's stall I pick the entire stall as usual with a fine tined basket fork. (I also use pellets) Only now I shake it over that grate that's on top of a muck bucket. The bigger pieces stay in the fork and get dropped into the wheelbarrow. The tiny flattened Feces Pieces sift out onto that grate with the clean bedding. After a few forkfuls, the grate is full so I then grab the sides of the grate/muck bucket and shake it a few times. Clean bedding sifts through that fine grate into the muck bucket and the Feces Pieces stay on top! I tip the crap shreds into the wheelbarrow and start new again.

                        And now, despite having to sift every single inch of that stall, his stall takes a LOT less time to clean and I can keep it immaculate.

                        Yeah, it's overkill. But I loathe bedding full of shite shreds. And yeah...I think I have mild OCD when it comes to keeping a clean barn/stalls.
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!


                        • #13
                          ^^^^ Oh I love it MistyBlue!
                          APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                          • #14
                            This is what I want : http://www.brockwoodfarm.com/ but I will have to wait until I win the lottery and buy one of those forks...


                            • #15
                              Okay, I bought a fine tines...was due, my fork is 25% duct taped together. Hope it's as sturdy as you all say! Wonder how long it will take to get here.


                              • #16
                                Just to update, my finetine lasted all these years...even MI frozen winters. Going to order a second one now!


                                • #17
                                  Switch to bedding DEEP with shavings, like 8-12 inches.....the wet spots stay in one place just sccchhhwwwwwooop with a shovel and solids stay more solid, what can it hurt to try it for a week. Money and time wise you will probably be the same as you are now, sure you will sacrifice a few pure white virginal shavings when you go under neath a manure pile to get most of it up with out the dreaded shake n brake, but is that worse than chasing those illusive lil bits...


                                  • #18
                                    Depends on how cold things get. Once it gets to where the high is in the teens for weeks...everything freezes. Have to use an ice chopper to loosen things enough to pick up. Been using Fine Tines forks here since 2008, and they're great. We have broken a few, usually due to overly aggressive chopping of frozen manure. Not bad considering we've been taking care of 2-3 horses plus 20-60 alpacas twice a day. You can get just replacement heads online, instead of having to replace the whole thing.


                                    • #19
                                      Feces Pieces! MistyBlue that is HYSTERICAL!!!