Anyone in south use the Deep Litter Method?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by iam4hymn, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. iam4hymn

    iam4hymn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to try this, but I am afraid of the coop getting too hot in the summer. We have had a killer summer this year in Georgia (though very dry in my area which is unusual) and I would hate to add heat to the coop when nights are already in the 70's. Also, I have a dirt floor in my coop, so can I still do the DLM? My coop design is such that I have sufficient ventilation in my coop but not a deep area in front of my door.
     
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I've been using DLM in my coops for the past couple years. At least I think I have. I haven't really, really analyzed the DLM articles on this site, so I may not even be doing it right.
    In my old 8x12 coop I put down a thick layer of hay on the dirt floor and just stirred it over every couple days. I added a little hay on top as it started to thin down. I did a complete clean out twice a year.
    This spring I built a new bigger coop, 16x16, and converted to pine shavings. What a huge difference! It's much easier to stir up/turn over and smells much better. About once a month I've added some grass clippings from the run on top of the pine shavings just to gradually add a little bit of depth to it. Still have a dirt floor. But I've never added any other organic materials, so it's not actually composting, I guess.
    In neither case has it increased the temp inside the coop, but I have lots of ventilation. My coop temp has never been above the outside ambient temp.
    My 16x32 run is not covered, so I can't try DLM there. Any build up just gets pushed down in to the mud and ends up making a stinky mess with all our rain.
    I hope my experience helps a little.
     
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  3. iam4hymn

    iam4hymn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump
     
  4. jane s chickens

    jane s chickens Overrun With Chickens

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    I am trying to get all the deeeeep litter shoveled out of my 3 chicken pens. I put it in my garden & it will get tilled & harrowed in this spring.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Yep...it actually works very well in the south, where it's humid and warm...that speeds up composting. Just make sure you have some really good airflow in the coop at all levels(BIG windows/openings) or even fans.

    Don't stir the litter, cap it off with dry materials when it becomes too moist and let it cook down. I'd avoid pine shavings unless you are composting too fast and need to bulk up and slow down the composting a tad. They take forever to compost, don't absorb well and put off a lot of ammonia as they compost....I'd use them sparingly if you want some real, working compost going on.

    To avoid too much heat in the composting litter, don't add any green materials like grass clippings, hay and such. In a humid environment, you'll want things with different particle sizes(so don't use all one kind of material) so that you can provide air pockets in the litter pack, and you'll want some woodier materials like leaves, a little straw, pine needles and cones, woody plant stems, corn stalks, aged wood chips(not shavings)etc.

    It will actually work better on a soil floor, so no worries there.

    Rosemarie1 is in MS and she uses DL, though I think hers is mostly pine straw...she loves it, though hers seems to compost rather quickly for her. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/811243/pix-of-my-chicken-house-and-their-run
     
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    Not sure if this is considered DLM but so far working for me....Ground is clay dirt up on a high spot in the yard, it get HUMID & WET (Hawaii) here, using pine shavings, got a spot under the dog house/nest box with play sand for dust bath but they prefer in the dirt in front of the door. Sprinkle of DE when I add more shavings, dusting pullets monthly. We don't have the predator problem you all do, so it's chicken wire all the way around with shower curtains hanging off EMT rods which I close nightly & tie back during the day IF it's not raining. They'd sleep on the roof of the house so had DH install a roost above with a MUST is a poop board under the roost above the house/nest, PERFECT.
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  7. iam4hymn

    iam4hymn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is beautiful!!
     
  8. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you! It's so simple & plain compared to others I've seen on BYC but it's functional without much work/cost [​IMG]
     

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