All Material Options for Deep Litter Method in Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mike592, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Mike592

    Mike592 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone, I'm finishing my coop build and will be filling it soon! I want to use the DLM in the 8x12 foot enclosed run. What are all the materials I can use for that? Are there any I should avoid? I've heard straw can trap moisture. I later want to use the compost on my veggie beds.

    I plan to use as many dry leaves as possible as I can gather those on the property in the fall, but doubt I can store enough to use just that all year...

    So what are my other (hopefully free/inexpensive) options?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    To use in a run you might want to see if you can get wood chips or mulch from the city or your neighbors when they trim trees / shrubs or pick up the leaves in the fall. Around here I see some cities periodically advertise that you can pick it up for free or small fee at the dump etc.
     
  3. Mike592

    Mike592 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2013
    SW Ohio
    I own a chipper, but won't that take forever to compost down and not absorb the manure as well? It seems like wood chips never break down in our regular 3'x3'x3' compost bin. Do a lot of people use wood chips for deep litter method?
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Most people seem to use mostly shavings or leaves for the dlm... and don't forget some sort of lime or PDZ. I was looking for free options, and wood chips are often available for free, as are leaves in the fall. Wood chips or even shavings do take quite a while to decompose so you do need the room to let them compost for awhile. With wood chips decomposing, it depends on how fine they are chipped and what kind of wood they are, and if green or cured. Here they tend to do tree trimmings so it is usually fairly small branches with a lot of twigs and leaves chopped up to maybe one inch pieces at most and most smaller. If you are talking four inch pieces that is another story. They will take longer than just leaves or hay etc, but they do decompose. In a run they are not bad and I actually tend to like them since they hold up a little better. When we clean out though, we will usually make a pile and let it sit for a year or two though when we scrape them out. But in the coops itself I pretty much just use shavings anymore, leaves mold too fast, and the straw packs too much, and they are cleaner than chips. The best base for an outside run is probably sand or small gravel though, but that can be expensive and hard to manage.
     
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets (not always available either) have been the best. I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available. They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have 63 trips around the sun so it is not my first rodeo.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months it froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    Oh I might add I do have poop boards 3½" below my roost that I clean every 2 to 3 days (excellent for catching eggs laid through the night).

    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.


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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    DLM is usually used in the coop, not the run.

    There's long thread about DLM that would be good reading for you.

    and this one is very interesting and not as long.

    or you can do a search and read other threads too:
    advanced search>titles only>deep litter bedding
     

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