Advice on cleanining grass (where the run is)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by frickenchicken1, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. frickenchicken1

    frickenchicken1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi I'm New to keeping chickens and am loving the fresh eggs! We live in an urban and keep the coop on grass. The problem is the grass gets poo caked and tangled in it and is becoming hard to clean/take out, it's starting to smell and flies are coming. I pulled some of the poo caked grass out today, raked it and hosed it down and so many flies were buzzing around! We moved the coop over to another patch of fresh grass and we're planning to just alternate the coop back and forth between two patches (so that while they're on one side the other grows back) how can I get rid of the smell, keep the grass cleanish and get rid of the flies? Thanks for the advice in advance[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Either move coop more often....is it meant to be a portable, tractor type?
    You may need more than just 2 spots to rotate.
    Or stop moving it and add a mix of dry plant material to start a 'deep litter' type if situation.

    Knowing more about your flock(numbers, ages, genders) and coop(size in feet by feet) would help us help you.

    Also what your climate is, adding your location to your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    What are your goals for keeping chickens..eggs, meat, pets???
     
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you need to move it more often and to more than just two locations. It won't take long for even a handful of chickens to destroy grass with their scratching and eating it. Moving frequently will let the grass recover, but if you are only moving it between a couple spots, the poop left behind won't have a chance to break down before you are putting the coop back on that spot and adding more. Chicken poop is "hot" (high nitrogen) and in high concentration will burn the grass in that area. It is likely that the two spots you move it back and forth to will both become bare in short order.

    How many chickens? How big of a pen? What's the dimension of the lawn?

    It might be that you are better off keeping the coop in one location and maintaining dirt or adding litter as a waste management method.
     
  4. frickenchicken1

    frickenchicken1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Quote: Hi, thank you for the reply, we have three 6month old hyline female chickens- for laying eggs. They live in a 4 ft by 3ft coop that is not a chicken tractor type coop. It's currently summer here in Melbourne Australia and it reaches up to around 40 degrees celsius on really hot days. I think I might lay tarp under the coop and just place pine shavings on top of the tarp so that whenever i need to clean it out I just take the tarp out and empty the shaving into the compost; just wanted to ask for your opinions on that :). If that doesn't work out I may just have to move them around more frequently. I'm a bit worried about doing the deep litter system because I read that it doesnt work as well in urban areas, I dont want to disturb the neighbours because theyre literally a few feet away from us, our houses are right next to each other :). I hope the information I gave you helped. (the profile pic is my coop)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  5. frickenchicken1

    frickenchicken1 Out Of The Brooder

    27
    2
    29
    Nov 27, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi, thank you for the reply, we have three 6month old hyline female chickens- for laying eggs. They live in a 4 ft by 3ft coop that is not a chicken tractor type coop. It's currently summer here in Melbourne Australia and it reaches up to around 40 degrees celsius on really hot days. I think I might lay tarp under the coop and just place pine shavings on top of the tarp so that whenever i need to clean it out I just take the tarp out and empty the shaving into the compost; just wanted to ask for your opinions on that :). If that doesn't work out I may just have to move them around more frequently. I'm a bit worried about doing the deep litter system because I read that it doesnt work as well in urban areas, I dont want to disturb the neighbours because theyre literally a few feet away from us, our houses are right next to each other :). I hope the information I gave you helped. (the profile pic is my coo
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure where you heard DL doesn't work in urban areas. Personally, I feel it would be perfect. I've not cleaned my run out since starting DL 2 years ago and there is no poop odor and no flies ever. The only possible impediment is the difficulty one might have gathering enough organic material on a small urban lot. But even that can be overcome with some creative thinking.

    If I were in your place, I would make a frame of 4x4 timbers and set the coop on that. I'd fill the frame with wood chips, leaves and grass clippings (you must know someone out in suburbia willing to bag some up for you). As it breaks down keep adding more. Or let it really break down and once a year remove the coop, use the composted litter in flower beds or container gardens (or bag it up for that suburban friend) and start the process over.
     
  7. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good advice, and More or less my suggestions too.

    Seems to me deep litter is the BEST method for urban areas--because it requires no rotation and minimal maintenance, and produces the least amount of flies and odor pollution! Even if you have to buy straw or shavings to use it seems like the savings in labor and headache should be worth it...
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Exactly.....and if a good mix of materials isn't built in, it can turn into a noxious stinking mess.
    Like many things, it's easy and very effective once you know how and have the right ingredients.
    Understanding what DL is and how it works seems to be beyond many.
     

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