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Topic of the Week - Coop Bedding and Waste Management; Deep Litter Method etc. - Page 8

post #71 of 77

We love our girls and want to keep them healthy. Keep me posted on how you make out with my suggestion. I see you live in Ohio, no wonder you have some issues. I live NW Coast in Canada!

post #72 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirsy09 View Post

We love our girls and want to keep them healthy. Keep me posted on how you make out with my suggestion. I see you live in Ohio, no wonder you have some issues. I live NW Coast in Canada!
Ha Ha Ha "If you don't like the Ohio weather wait 5 minutes." I wore jeans and a t-shirt one day and woke up to snow the next. We hit 70 degrees this weekend! Next weekend is forecasted to be in the 30s. Parts of my lawn are so soggy it tries to suck my boots off my feet. At this point I'd try just about anything to combat the mud. ūüėā
post #73 of 77

I currently have 9 hens. The coop is raised ~4 feet and is 4 X 8 feet. attached run with ramp is fenced -- 12 X 12 open air plus 4X12 covered.

 

Bedding in the coop:

- ¬†What do you use? ¬†‚ÄčLayers of newspaper with lots of mulch hay spread over it.

- How deep do you let it get?  When the hay gets flattened out and starts to get messy, I just add more hay. It gets pretty deep by cleaning time.

- How often do you clean it out?  In warm weather, every two months or so; in winter 3-4 months depending on weather. I rake out everything, including the paper, and compost it. I clean the nesting boxes more frequently summer & winter.

- What is your coop floor? Plywood.

- Do you use a poop board or something similar? No. The poop mixes in with the hay and makes great compost. Also, the hens spend a lot of time in the run.

- Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your experience? 

- What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? No products, just good ventilation.

post #74 of 77

Hi,

For bedding in the coop we use an initial covering of sawdust/fine wood chippings then lots of paper-shredding from friends, relatives and even the local school as its degradable can be put into compost bins and the brown lid council bin for composting, plus it soaks up everything and costs us nothing ! On top of that they get straw if it's really cold.

Larger 'poops' and wet patches are grabbed and 99% of the time removed daily (which takes less than a minute so why wouldn't you ?) so smells etc aren't an issue.

 

Floor of the coop is removable boarding and a slide out metal tray though as I say we can pretty much remove everything from the top by opening the 3 hinged roof sections so this all gets pretty much all removed and replaced over the course of a week.

 

The floor of the run is just soil (mud in this ridiculously wet weather, to which we add more sawdust, straw, hay etc when weather is dryer, to add something they can scratch away at, plus we throw mealworms, sunflower seeds and hearts, rice krispies, porridge oats etc etc which they LOVE ! 

 

Whenever we're away and they go back to the breeder we got them from (which they enjoy immensely) the kids and I totally clean the whole thing out, scrape out the run too and then spray the whole coop and run for mites etc which gives it all time to dry ready for their return.

 

They also get all the grass clippings from lawn cutting to kick through (but NEVER if you've used 'weed & feed' etc), and when we had 2 x 30ft conifers removed  I asked to keep all the shredded trees for covering the run floor which the girls thought was heaven lol.

 

Hope this helps if anyone wants ideas ?

post #75 of 77

This is an excellent forum with perfect timing.  I cleaned the coop early January and it already smells like the litter should be changed.  We have eight hens who lay almost every day.  We average 6-7 eggs daily.  

 

- Bedding in the coop: What do you use?

   deep litter method / pine shavings 

- How deep do you let it get?  

   several inches

- How often do you clean it out?  

   was every 5-6 months but it may need more

- What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)

   vinyl

- Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?

   no but am considering it - worried they will step in it more. and where do you put all that poop?

- Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your experience? 

   thought deep litter was the way to go. the coop is ventilated.  i even prop the door open on very sunny days.  

- What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)



***and what do you do with the old litter? We dont have a compost. And the dogs would roll around in it if it was tossed out of the chicken yard
Edited by LifeOnTheMt - 3/12/17 at 9:13am
post #76 of 77

you should ask around to your neighbors if they want the chicken poop.  It is great manure to add to a garden.  I am sure you will find some happy takers.

post #77 of 77

:cdI agree that you can probably find some neighborhood gardeners who would love the coop material for composting.  Also, if you use mulch hay for bedding instead of pine shavings, it's even better -- composts faster and the hay/poop combo can be worked directly into the garden after frost. Originally my labs were quite enamored by the pile, but lost interest after the novelty wore off.

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