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Help! Springtime Stink in the Run - Page 6

post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

I'd go for the 'deep litter' rather than more sand.

 

I used sand as a brooder bedding, which worked great for daily cleanups, but eventually the sand become saturated with pulverized feces and you can't separate them or clean it. The sand was good for nothing but filling some holes in the front yard from an auto accident.

 

Sand can help with drainage but it can also hold moisture, as you've found.

When it comes to chicken poop, moist equals stink.

The DL can also hold water but will also support a microbial population to 'eat' the feces that sand can't.

 

If you do decide to try the 'side by side' comparison, better put a tall(~12") barrier between the 2 as the chooks will fling one side onto the other.....

......or you can evaluate the 3rd option of a mix between the two materials.

 

Best of cLuck to ya, looking forward to hearing about how it works out for you.

Not to change the direction of this thread but what aart says about sand makes a lot of sense. I use sand in my poop trays under the roosts. If aart would be so kind to give input on this I would appreciate it. Should the poop trays be used at all? I do the deep liter in the rest of the coop. My coop is more of an open air coop with 3 walls and hardware cloth for the fourth wall. Sorry about hijacking if I did....

Marie

post #52 of 57
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

I'd go for the 'deep litter' rather than more sand.

 

I used sand as a brooder bedding, which worked great for daily cleanups, but eventually the sand become saturated with pulverized feces and you can't separate them or clean it. The sand was good for nothing but filling some holes in the front yard from an auto accident.

 

Sand can help with drainage but it can also hold moisture, as you've found.

When it comes to chicken poop, moist equals stink.

The DL can also hold water but will also support a microbial population to 'eat' the feces that sand can't.

 

If you do decide to try the 'side by side' comparison, better put a tall(~12") barrier between the 2 as the chooks will fling one side onto the other.....

......or you can evaluate the 3rd option of a mix between the two materials.

 

Best of cLuck to ya, looking forward to hearing about how it works out for you.

 

TalkALittle's below observation supports my theory of a macro/microbial population in DLM vs Sand.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post

.......

I've got bugs!  Don't worry, it's good news.  I relocated the water in the run and when I moved the blocks that it sits on, there were some creepy crawlers underneath.  That's something I didn't use to see when the run was just sand.  As usual, the girls were right there sticking their beaks in my business and jumped in and gobbled them right up.

......

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by 16 paws View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

I'd go for the 'deep litter' rather than more sand.

 

I used sand as a brooder bedding, which worked great for daily cleanups, but eventually the sand become saturated with pulverized feces and you can't separate them or clean it. The sand was good for nothing but filling some holes in the front yard from an auto accident.

 

Sand can help with drainage but it can also hold moisture, as you've found.

When it comes to chicken poop, moist equals stink.

The DL can also hold water but will also support a microbial population to 'eat' the feces that sand can't.

 

If you do decide to try the 'side by side' comparison, better put a tall(~12") barrier between the 2 as the chooks will fling one side onto the other.....

......or you can evaluate the 3rd option of a mix between the two materials.

 

Best of cLuck to ya, looking forward to hearing about how it works out for you.

Not to change the direction of this thread but what aart says about sand makes a lot of sense. I use sand in my poop trays under the roosts. If aart would be so kind to give input on this I would appreciate it. Should the poop trays be used at all? I do the deep liter in the rest of the coop. My coop is more of an open air coop with 3 walls and hardware cloth for the fourth wall. Sorry about hijacking if I did....

Marie

 

Using poop boards and DLM in the same coop is a bit of a contradiction IMO.

 

The sand (and some PDZ in my case) in the poop boards is to make sifting the poops out easy and help cut down odor between siftings.

In my case the gathered poop is composted off site.

 

If doing a true composting DLM in a coop, I would think you'd want the night poops in the mix.

I would not do a true composting DLM in my coop because the humidity would be too high for my climate and goals.

JMO....others may see it differently.

 

 

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #53 of 57
Thread Starter 
I still do poop boards with sand in my coop. It's a wood floor coop and it's on the small side for the number of chickens I'm housing. My birds spend little time in the coop so I don't think they would turn the litter often enough inside the coop to make deep litter method work in there. I don't want a build up of unturned poop in there so I use the boards. I scoop them daily and that poop goes directly into my compost bin.

I don't pretend to know everything so I can't say that sand wouldn't work for some in some circumstances. It did not work for me in my run where spring snow melt and rains created waterlogged ground. Even if I didn't have a wetness issue with my location, given how much more active and enriched my confined chickens lives are since being housed on deep litter vs sand makes me feel deep litter is the better choice for my birds.
post #54 of 57
Thread Starter 
***UPDATE***
Well, I figured I'd dig up this old thread and post one last update to complete the circle, so to speak.

It's been a full year since my last post and I am pleased to report that the deep litter run came through the winter just fine. The girls had plenty of lovely leaves and dried grass that I bagged in the fall to scratch around in all winter. I added a bag every time it seemed that things were getting shredded up or if they seemed bored. I have 2 bags left that I never used. I'll use them this summer to balance out the grass clippings.

We got far less snow than the previous year's record so I didn't have to deal with as much water from snow melt. It wouldn't have problem though as the litter is able to handle a lot of moisture with out causing any problems. I even found myself periodically spraying it down during the dry summer and fall. I never thought I'd ever find myself saying "the run could use a little more moisture" but I have and that's cool.

Most importantly, I have experienced ABSOLUTELY NO STINK since starting the deep litter. That includes the "drier than last year but still pretty wet spring" I've had. (Don't forget I live on the edge of wetlands. The water table is very high right now. I have a vernal pool about 15 feet from my run that won't completely dry up until August.)

I'm up to 6 LF hens and 3 bantams. I recently lost a bantam to a hawk and the girls have been confined much more. Thank goodness the deep litter gives them something to occupy themselves digging through. Sand never did that.

I just got finished applying some of the composted litter to my little raised garden bed. I raked aside the top 8 inches of litter down to where it was all nice and broken down and scooped and screened the good stuff into a bin. It probably could have cooked for longer down there. There was more bits of uncompleted straw and shavings than I would have wanted, but it makes sense there would be as that was all the material I had access to when I first started. Even if it is not completely broken down, it'll be a nice amendment to the garden soil.

I did encounter my layer of sand deep down there. In retrospect, it would have been better if I could have dug it out prior to doing the deep litter but at the time I still had 3 feet of snow on the ground so it wasn't practical. It makes no difference in keeping the chickens on it, it just means I have sand mixed with the compost. Not actually a bad thing though as I think it will help break up the clay soil that I'm adding it to.

Now for some pictures.
This is the top layer of the litter.


Here's one of the ladies "helping" me to screen it.


And here's the final product.


Like I said, it probably could use a little longer down there to really make rich compost, but I wanted to remove some to bring the level of the litter down and make room for this summer's grass clippings. We'll see how it goes.

So, if you've made it through all this, thanks for reading. If you have found yourself in a similar situation as mine and were looking for a remedy for odor or contemplating whether to use sand or deep litter, hopefully this thread helped you in your decision. If you're one of the many that posted tips, recommendations, or advice along the way, I thank you and so do my chickens.
post #55 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post


Here's one of the ladies "helping" me to screen it.


 

:D  Great pic!

 

Was just thinking about this today...as I watch the puddles grow in the runs with today's copious rainfall.

I've not got materials as deep as I want yet, but what I have put down really does help...

.....tho I'm on bit of a slope and have 3 times as many birds. I'll get there yet.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #56 of 57

I have the same problem with drainage - have been using wood chips but not as deeply as you suggest - definitely going to try 12" this time! Thanks! :-)

post #57 of 57
I think this is going to help me lots too. Thanks for all the information.
3 cats and 8 young feathered friends - 2 buff orps, 2 gold laced dottes, 2 speckled sussex, and 2 salmon faverolles.
Reply
3 cats and 8 young feathered friends - 2 buff orps, 2 gold laced dottes, 2 speckled sussex, and 2 salmon faverolles.
Reply
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