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Managing my flock now life has gotten harder - Page 2

post #11 of 17

Ok girls, I have always been a clean it out about every 6 weeks kind of set up. But today is cold, snowy and blowy and I thought what the heck, so I tossed  the scratch in the bottom of the new chicken house on top of some deep but getting used bedding, and we will test this theory.

 

Hope I don't feed the mice?

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. K View Post

Ok girls, I have always been a clean it out about every 6 weeks kind of set up. But today is cold, snowy and blowy and I thought what the heck, so I tossed  the scratch in the bottom of the new chicken house on top of some deep but getting used bedding, and we will test this theory.

Hope I don't feed the mice?

Mrs K
I'm with you Mrs K, I clean as needed, I tried doing deep litter but I found it too filthy for my set up, cracked when it got too stinky, I couldn't do the depth of litter that's required and I have concrete floors.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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post #13 of 17

I tried DL last winter, and found that it did not compost well at all, even with the addition of some compost and soil from my garden.  I think key to success is having the coop sitting on bare soil.  I'd love to hear from someone who is successfully doing DL... not just deep litter, but deep composting litter in a coop with wood floor.  But, hope springs eternal!  Am having an other go at it this season with some shavings, and lots and lots of leaves.  I regularly toss some scratch under the perch.  Even if it does not compost, the girls will have fun flipping through it for the scratch, and when I do eventually toss it out into the run, it'll be well on the way to becoming good compost.  My run has a gentle slope.  I'm doing DL there as well.  I dump my bags of leaves in the front end of the run, and the girls pick through them.  Eventually, due to the slope and their attention, the leaves end up migrating to the lower end of the run, where there is also a clean out door under the perch end of the coop.  So, there's some nice layering going on at the lower end.  In the spring, I'll cut an other door into the run at the lower end.  Perfect for hauling WB loads of finished compost out for the garden!

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #14 of 17

Shabana, I'd also like to add that you have my condolences about the changes in your life.  Time and birthdays tend to bring us to the point when we become care takers for the ones who used to take care of us!  I wish you the best, as you enter into this new stage of life.  Chicken care should not be so all encompassing!  Of course, that's easy for me to say... I'm still working on completing a coop build that was started over a year ago!  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #15 of 17

I only clean out the coop if I want to remove composted material...the longest time I went without cleaning it out was 3 yrs.  With good ventilation and the right materials, one should never smell ammonia smell in the coop.  Stirring it all the time is not a good way to get the materials to compost as you lose moisture to the bottom layers each time you do that...you'll want it to compost at the bottom, not throughout the mix.  The by product of composting is ammonia, so sealing that process into the bottom layers keeps the smell down, the moisture where it does the most good and allows your materials to diminish into true compost.  A simple flip, like you'd flip a pancake, of the poop underneath the roosts every other day and add dry material~don't stir it in~on top when it gets too moist on the surface is a good way to manage DL. 

 

I'd not encourage the chickens do dig in it...they will do that anyway...but I'd avoid disturbing the lower layers of the DL, unless you have to, and until it's time to use it on the garden. 

 

Avoid materials that are all the same particle size and shape and that are slow to decompose, like pine shavings or straw.  A good mix of various materials seems to do the best job, but leaves seem to compost the best. 

 
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10
 
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post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for all your great insight and good wishes.
I've got a few bags of leaves together to add and I'm adding hemp over the surface twice a week.
I hope it works long term but quite honestly even if I do a complete clean every 4-6 weeks it will be a major time saver for me.

Thankyou everyone xx
Kind regards
Shabana xx


12 zooming chickies, a special little maran, 20 or so little bantams, 4 white Silkies. a flock of Arucanas, a few black and white Polands,
3 lemon millefleur sablepoots, a flock of Porcelain sablepoots, 3 rescued "big girls",7 crowing roosters....and a guinea fowl in a pear tree !!
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Kind regards
Shabana xx


12 zooming chickies, a special little maran, 20 or so little bantams, 4 white Silkies. a flock of Arucanas, a few black and white Polands,
3 lemon millefleur sablepoots, a flock of Porcelain sablepoots, 3 rescued "big girls",7 crowing roosters....and a guinea fowl in a pear tree !!
Reply
post #17 of 17

I have to admit, I threw the scratch in the coop yesterday, and things look better in there today. Don't know if I will make spring, but I do like adding this to the garden. I use old hay both in the coop and in the run. I do flip it in the run, pile it up, let the girls tear it apart, and by spring I pile it on top of wet cardboard as mulch. No weeds!

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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