You might try DL in the bottom of that setup but I'd not even bother with it in the top....too small for any real purpose.
for those that use deep litter method...please advise me - Page 15
I've been researching to see if this would work since i have a solid coop floor.This is part of the answer i have been looking for. My questions are,
1. Do i need to use fresh organic garden soil ( which i am lacking in)or can i use a store bought organic garden soil? The bags are airated but im worried the beneficial microbes would be dead.....
2. And how much do i need? Enough to cover the entire bottom of the floor or just sprinkled on?
Id be covering this with pine shavings. I was planning to use a little DE but have read that would also kill off the good microbes so i won't be doing that.
Im trying to set up for my first ever chicks so any help is greatly appreciated!
Edited by SunshineAnShade - 8/2/15 at 6:12am
If you want DL as opposed to just deep bedding, you'll likely not want to use too many pine shavings...they take forever to compost, so when you need to add more for moisture control, it just gets deeper and deeper without really composting down....pretty soon you'd have to shovel it all out and start fresh, but those shavings would still be sitting in a compost pile for a long, long time before being able to use them effectively.
I wouldn't stress too much over the soil...just scoop some dirt from your yard, throw it in the coop. No need for organic this or that, your soils in your yard should have you a good start on anything you might need there unless you use a lot of pesticides or other harsh chemicals that have killed your soil. Even better if you can scoop some from nearby woods...nothing fancy, just a scoop of dirt or two...the chickens will scatter it for you. Then start using materials that compost at different rates, particles that are different sizes, maintain a really good airflow in the coop at all levels and in all seasons, keep your moisture in the bottom layers by not digging and fluffing it more than need be(the chickens will do that anyway, but you don't need to), keep the depth at 6-10 in. for good composting and disturb the bottom layers as little as possible.
Try raking up yard debris, plenty of leaves, woody stems, dried grasses, etc. to mix into your DL...even twigs, pine cones and needles, bark, etc. All of these things will help you get a more successful DL started and is a more natural footing for the chicks than even pine shavings.
I add right on top when I add new bedding. This will bury and trap any moisture in the previous layer so that it can help with composting the litter pack. I don't ever stir my litter, though when I started out with DL I encouraged the chickens to do it....but that was before I really understood the capabilities of a true deep litter and had only a deep bedding system with the use of pine shavings.
Since then I've learned more about this stuff and how it can really work. I no longer add pine shavings to the coop bedding at all. Did add wood chips this summer from ramial chipped wood and that was a wonderful addition to the litter...and FREE.
The most I ever do to the poop deposited onto the litter at night is to either toss a few forks of dry bedding from the front of the coop on top of it or flip it directly over where it lies, much like flipping a pancake. This turns it under the surface where the bugs and worms are more likely to access it and it gets deposited into the middle of the litter pack where it can do the most good.
This is very helpful for me. I am a newbie, and have been trying DLM in our coop which has a vinyl floor to be easy to clean. The wood shavings are not decomposing, but the coop doesn't smell. The poop is not wet, just hardened into clumps of different sizes.
I think that the solution is adding some good garden soil. I will try that first. Not sure about the kitchen scraps. I throw in scratch grains, so the girls are turning the shavings already.
I promise when I get time (ha ha ha) I will go back and try and read all of the posts, but for now one quick question. Have any of you used Hemp for your DLM? I am the same as @CoopDeGrass I am a newbie well even more so because my coop is not even done yet and my chicks are still in egg form. It looks like it will be expensive to get the Hemp at first but seems to be worth it in the long run. Just looking for any thoughts. "May the Force be with You"