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Bedding Info Needed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shadowchicks, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. shadowchicks

    shadowchicks New Egg

    Dec 3, 2013
    This is my first winter with chickens and I am using shavings for the bedding.I try to clean the coop once a week this week its been to cold so I put in some staw on top of the shavings.My question is how long is it safe to not change the bedding? I just seen a post about turning it? I didn't understand what it meant? Just looking for info on the right way to clean it when its very cold out. Can they go out in snow? I been told no by some and yes by others.Thanks
  2. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    For cleaning out my coops, I try to pick out the worst of it and replace it as needed every 3 days or so for a few weeks, then do a full clean once a month or so. When it's really cold, I add about 6 inches of straw to the nest boxes. How often you clean does vary by how crowded your coop is, though. If you have a lot, you'd need to pick out and fully clean more often than that.
    I don't turn my bedding, but I believe the idea is to lift the dirty bedding and put the soiled under so the clean shavings/straw is at the top, then when that part is dirty as well, remove all of it.
    My birds are allowed out year round. When the weather is really bad, they usually stay in or near the coop, but I like giving them the option. I've been keeping chickens for more than 10 years without an issue doing it that way, so I'm sticking with it [​IMG]
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    You might want to research the deep litter method. I clean my coop once a year, if it needs it or not [​IMG] Basically, the idea is to just add more shavings if/when you notice an odor. Some folks rake/turn the bedding every so often. I just toss some scratch in there and let the hens do it. My birds also dust bathe in the shavings, so that keeps things pretty well turned. I think I last added shavings in April and my coop has no odor.

    Yes your chickens can go out in the snow. They may not want to, or may be unsure about it at first. Birds can tolerate quite cold temperatures. I don't get snow much, but do get a lot of rain. I'm not concerned about predators right now, so I just have an opening between the coop and run (no door to close them in the coop) and let them choose where to be. I have birds outside in the rain and cold all the time, never have any issues.
  4. shadowchicks

    shadowchicks New Egg

    Dec 3, 2013
    Thanks I will let them out tomorrow. They have been in about a week and haven't been happy, but I didn't know if they could take the snow. And I will just clean their coop. I have never let it go longer then a week I was just wondering how long I could go.Thanks for the info.

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