Alfalfa pellets in run to soak up mud and in deep liter to aid composting?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by heiditam, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. heiditam

    heiditam Chirping

    Aug 8, 2014
    I am not kidding. I have an idea. [​IMG] Ok so the run is MUDDY now. Well, it is frozen but thaws to mud. Ugh. So, I read a great article here about muddy runs, and I am ready to sand/gravel it with some paver barriers come spring. BUT, until it dries, I know it needs some organic material to soak up the mud. We are low on leaves. I will add some. I have some pine shavings I can add those too. BUT...I have a big bag of alfalfa pellets the chickens hate. Won't eat. I know these decompose nicely in the soil and gardeners love them. Can I just sprinkle a layer over the wet mud? Is there any reason that is a bad idea? It should soak up the water, and it may even make the soil nice for later use.

    Also, on this reading about alfalfa in composting and gardening, it seems that alfalfa jump starts a composting pile. That begs the Q-can alfalfa pellets be added to your deep liter INSIDE the coop to jump start the composting?

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Everything organic will eventually rot and smell bad as it out gasses. It would be a pretty stinky, yucky garbage place in short order.

    Inorganic is superior. If the area is wet, you need drainage and/or evaporation. I might suggest you consider 3-5 inches of good, coarse sand.
  3. tnmommy

    tnmommy Songster

    Apr 14, 2013
    Loretto, TN
    I use deep litter in my "run" as my hoop coop is a covered run in the warm months and a coop covered with a white tarp acting as a solar heated coop in the cold months. As long as you have enough chickens, throw out scratch and treats, and add enough new material, deep litter does NOT smell, even in a run. Mine does not smell when used as a covered run or a "coop." Now, if you don't keep adding new material, keep it turned, have too much moisture, or clean it out too often, then it will stink. It HAS to be looked after, deep litter doesn't mean that you can just keep throwing things in there every so often and ignore it the rest of the time.
  4. heiditam

    heiditam Chirping

    Aug 8, 2014

    I will do that when it dries, but with it being muddy, sand will just disappear. I need to add some organic material to soak up the water, then scoop it all out when dry and then add sand.
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Composting material can have issues if not in balance.

    Alfalfa pellets are essentially a "green", high in nitrogen, as is chicken manure.

    You will need to counter with "browns" such as dried leaves or wood chips.

    I once solved a similar problem in my run by dumping free wood chips, supplied by my municipality, 12 inches deep...

    This became the base of my deep liter run.

    I maintain the deep litter at 8 to 24 inches deep.

    No nasty smell, flies, or mud.

    The run odor is the is the same as the deeply wooded area behind the coop.

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