Originally Posted by Mims
So can sawdust be used in DL? My co-workers parents are furniture makers, and would be delighted to give me as much as I could stand.
It can be used, but I'd advise using it too much, unless in conjunction with other materials and only as your bottom layer or in thin layers between other materials...it tends to hold moisture well, which makes it great for the bottom layer but not so great as the whole litter pack. It's very dense and doesn't allow a lot of air into the pack, so decomposes slower...but does break down faster than pine shavings because it has a smaller particle size.
I've used it as the bottom layer under my roosts and, at first, I thought...big mistake...because you can't really flip it well and can't flip it at all when it's too moist~ it tends to cake. But, as time went on and it stayed below and the leaves and other materials were worked right on top of that, I found that it was wonderful for holding moisture where I wanted it and for helping the litter decompose in that manner.
If one is layering in materials like lasagna, just starting out and wanting to get a good pack at the bottom of the DL, the sawdust works really well for that. I don't know that it would work as well in the dryer parts of my coop and would probably increase the dust factor there but I really love it at the bottom of the DL under the roosts. It lasts a long time there and accepts a lot of manure but it worked best in the areas where larger particles got mixed into it and there were resulting air spaces...those areas decomposed faster than the ones with solid, caked sawdust. I could dig those caked areas up a year later and still find pockets of dry looking sawdust and it wasn't a bit broken down.
I'd use it sparingly at first and just play with it until you see how it acts in your coop. It may work better in the run than the coop as it would get more moisture there and have a better decomposition rate. I'd definitely get some of that free stuff and start experimenting with it....let us know how it goes?