Well why not, for goodness sake?! No, I didn't mean it, but if you have seen the 'floating' thread you'll understand.......... perhaps. Anyway, so how long does it take to dry sufficiently; how do you store it to dry - spread out or heaped? Whereabouts are you (ie are you somewhere warmer than UK)? Re the moulds - it would appear you need to make loads to have enough to keep fire burning then make next lot etc. Is it really worth doing that? Presumably the product of spring/early summer grass is far too wet to use? Blimey, we as horse-owners could make such a difference to the state of the planet couldn't we? I love the fact that the ash is better for the ground (possibly) than the manure would have been, but it's recycling at its simplest and best.
Am definitely going to try this - have a huge wood burner at the new house and my horses are bedded on woody pet so little bedding in the muck heap. Could save me a fortune in coal and get rid of the muck heap issue
Well, I've produced my first eight 'bricks' this morning. I couldn't wait for the neighbour to make the mould and I found a pretty blue plastic container the right shape in the bathroom so it's been 'recycled'! They turned out pretty eaisly as the plastic is rigid and obviously very smooth. The only problem I didn't want to encounter was them falling apart if I stacked them as shown in the article so haven't - will have a go when they're drier and movable. I've left them to dry in the barn with both doors open and I'll let you know how long they take to dry - it's warmed up a bit here now (eight degrees - whoopy . I tried fresh poo (less than two hours old and from the earth barn floor) and some that was in a plastic feed sack that's a couple of days old - trouble is I don't think I can remember which was which - must stick little flags in next time! Can't wait to try them on the woodburner.....
Gill, why have you got +8oC there and I've got -2oC here (at 5pm in the evening too!)?? We were down to -9oC again last night as we have been the last week or so and temps haven't been above freezing for 3 days now. So too cold for drying poo bricks - could get frozen ones maybe but not dried!
My auntie in SW Wales has asked for the info sheet too - she has a small holding with sheep and horses so she's got plenty of 'fuel'.
I was being VERY dim! You don't dry them in the moulds then - doh! You mould & decant them & then leave to dry. Right. So, on the floor, on slats - they'd dry quicker off the ground with air underneath wouldn't they, so pallets or something might work well. It's no warmer where you are than here at the moment, our only problem is lack of anywhere to store many to dry, but I'll put my thinking cap on. I just keep getting the feeling that loads of people are going to be making poo-bricks, stacking them to dry & in 3mths time a message will go around saying 'April Fools'!!!
;Drj!!!! April comes early over here in 'real' europe!!!! Definitely sounds like a good idea to try and get some air circulating underneath the bricks - using all my pallets for hay at the moment though.
Wendy - sorry, it's your turn - it was minus 7 overnight rising to minus 3 if we were lucky for about a week. We had eight inches of snow last Tuesday and it's still hanging around - although today it's melted from the roof at last. At least I don't have to lug the water so far now as strategically placed tubs have collected the melt.
I sent the link on to another forum I'm on and several people are really interested in this, so got to thinking about ready-made moulds & came up with the following idea; do you think it would work? Take 2 large supplement tubs (round or square but must be strong & rigid) & a plastic feed sack cut to fit inside one of them. Put holes in the bottom of one tub, & line it with plastic which should also have holes around the bottom. Put a layer of poo in not sure how deep, then fold the plastic over the top. Fill other tub with enough sand to act as a weight, and put inside the first tub. How does that sound? I thought you could put a divider in the middle so you get semi circular bricks out, or could they be cut in half when you've taken them out, or even leave as circular? How about drying them in one of the ovens or on a rack above an AGA or is that completely gross? This is such a beautiful simple & effective idea, I really want to make it work - for everyone! I suppose there is also the commercial potential to sell our (horses!) poo to Power Stations as fuel, rather than payto have it taken away. They buy straw after all.
Well, in my very limited experience (2 days and 16 'bricks'!), the shape isn't the problem so your supplement tub idea might work but I think I'd cut the sides down as turning it out from a height, if you see what I mean, could cause it to collapse on hitting the deck! Although thinking about the shape - round might be difficult to stack and take up more room than oblong shapes.
My second attempts this morning out in the sun drying, I turned them out on to an old piece of plywood so I can move them back into the barn tonight or the horses will squidge them for sure:
Still using the plastic container but my neighbour left the wooden mould on my doorstep this morning - yet to be varnished so will have a root round in the cellar later to see if I can find some. I might get him to move the handles as you really need them halfway down the sides so that you can pick up the mould when it's inverted to tip out the bricks.
I think that, this time of year, the problem is going to be how long they take to dry. Until they are, as I found out this morning, they'll break up if you try and move them. Haven't found a way of stacking them as I make them either, you have to bash the mould to get the brick out which would squash the brick underneath......and then, when they're just made, if you try and move them they fall apart....
Can't imagine doing this cost effectively on a larger scale....it's very labour intensive.
Good on ya Gill! Can't help finding the photo of poo bricks slightly unsavoury tho.... LOL
As always when it comes to aeronautical engineers, hubby is over-engineering the solution(IMHO) and the poo mold is now waiting on its second coat of high grade varnish drying after he lightly sanded the first coat to get a good key and probably won't be assembled before weekend (*late delivery* coughs). Still, sun has only just come out again here and it's due to rain by the weekend...
I think oblong bricks might work better in the fire too somehow - if not for the fact that they will fit in better (depending on the shape of your logburner, I guess).
I know Wendy, I thought twice before I posted it!!! I had a good look over my shoulder this morning too as I took my camera out of my pocket to take the photo. Luckily my neighbour had already fed her chickens - I reckon the folk in our hamlet think I'm a bit of an eccentric anyway so don't want to add fuel to THAT fire .
When I first posted this thread I thought it would be ignored as a bit strange - makes me chuckle that it's at two pages already (OK I've posted the most) and all over europe there'll be people exchanging ideas on how to make the best poo bricks....
I'm even thinking about bringing one or two into the house to dry more quickly next to the woodburner as I'm dying to try them out...maybe I'll wait till the weekend when Chris goes back to the UK....
I'm certainly going to try it, although I might wait until the warmer weather - I think if I make bricks all summer from two horses worth of poo, then I should have quite a bit for over the winter. Got a friend thinking about it too ... this could be the start of something huge Gill!
Lol at the over- engineering Wendy - I have a hubby like that. When the kids were small I bought a double buggy which he said was too 'femur?' and proceeded to weld whopping great lumps of steel on the bottom of it. Great until muggins here had to push it - I had muscles like Geoff Capes after a week and then refused to use the blasted thing again!
Re my plastic mould design: I was hoping you could lift the 'brick' out by the pastic sack liner, but I guess that is not going to work, it'll just go blah. Aah, better idea - think of a cake tin; think of a cake tin with a loose bottom (don't go there!!) So, cut the bottom out of the tub, place the remainder where you want to leave your finished product, on a solid surface of course, put the 'product' in the bottom, weigh down with sand-filled container as before, but put something heavy on top of the lot to hold the bottomless one down & reduce seepage. When done, remove weights & lift off the container - so no need for turning out at all. Couldn't the wood moulds have loose bottoms or none at all to avoid the turning out process altogether? I thought your photos are very impressive, and am most impressed by your progress thus far!