? about run area & litter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by slystr, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. slystr

    slystr Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Dallas TX
    I have a tractor set up and I have a question about using litter & maintainence. My tractor won'tbe moved often due to yard space constraints. Right now it is on my garden bed. I have not put any litter on the ground yet but AI can see where it is going to get poopie really fast with 10 1 month old birds in it( It is 10X4 ft). I planned on using pine shavings as litter. I guess I have a question about cleaning. I have not seen anyone talk about cleaning the run area. How often do I need to clean out the run? If I use a deep litter plan will it stink too much? I read in Keeping Chickens that the deep litter method smells too much to use in a city setting. I realise it depends on the number of birds and the space provided. ( I ultimately plan on only 4 adult birds) I have Sweet PDZ I use for my cat( it works fantastically BTW) and I plan to use it for the chix.
    Can anyone give me some advise about the maintainence? Thanks
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    My rule of thumb.....if it stinks....rake it out, and provide new litter. With 10 chicks in that size area...maybe once every 2 weeks? I dunno, since I live in the country, and mine free roam. But thier coop gets cleaned about once a month. They dont spend too much time in there tho.Maybe someone with a tractor can help ya more.
  3. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Any litter is going to get too damp in your hoop coop. Sand works best. It drains well and is easy to clean. You can take a dog or cat pooper scoop and a putty knife to rake it in, and clean out the poop every other day or so. It really doesn't take long. Just do it when you feed or add water. The Sweet PDZ mixed in the sand will work great too.
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    slystr, if your current location is on your garden bed, you could turn the soil over with a shovel, giving the flock fresh soil to scratch in and make dust holes. It will make your garden more managable and reduce odors, if that is a option for you. Just a thought....

  5. Wes in Tx

    Wes in Tx Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Sly I wouldn't put any litter in it at all. With that style coop you would be setting youself up for mold problems. I have birds on dirt floors that are open style coops and I just rake the poop out every couple weeks. Takes a couple minutes and that is it. As for yours on the garden just fork it under every couple weeks. Do make more work for yourself than you have to.
  6. One thing I've noticed with my tractor is that most of the poop (probably 80%) is under their preferred roosting bar (there are 3 offered; they only use one of them). Since it is at one end of the tractor, I always push the tractor 3' past the poop and then collect the droppings before my dogs can use them as "body spray" (Eau de Poop; coming to a doggie fragrance counter near you! LOL!) If I didn't have much space to move the coop frequently, I would still move it that 3', rake up the big area of poop, and then move it back to its original position. That way, you wouldn't have to clean the whole area as often, if your chickens are like mine.
  7. slystr

    slystr Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Dallas TX
    I've been thinking about this all day. what if I used hardwood mulch instead of pine shavings. the garden is made up of hardwood mulch & leaf litter anyway. when it rains the water seems to filter down rather rapidly. I could just layer mulch and make a raised bed. Or would this smell too bad.
  8. ChicknLover

    ChicknLover In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2007
    I have a couple of hens, (once there was three) and a tractor, it is a homemade 8 ft long A frame with an insulated enclosed area and then the rest is open to the groung but enclosed with chicken wire. it has a couple of wheels on the house part so you can lift it and drag it to a new piece of lawn. In winter I put it on the south side of the house, and put lots of shavings in the run area and wrap the whole thing in plastic to keep it dry and warm, (greenhouse effect). I also use shavings in the house part, they have been in there all winter with no problem, I do take out the big clumps from their roost when I get the eggs and just throw it out in the flower bed and yard. I would put some sort of roof over the run to keep it dry, dry poo doesn't smell

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