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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by animal lover 13, Aug 17, 2013.
What to use
NOT cedar shavings or chips. Pine shavings, dried and untreated wood chips, or straw are all common choices. A lot of folks have begun to swear by sand. I like to use pine shavings plus wood chips in the summer and straw plus dried oak leaves in the winter. Summertime is for diatomaceous earth added to the bedding, whereas winter is for deep litter composting with nothing added. It depends on your location, how many birds are in the coop, etc.
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 have been the best. 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.
The wood pellet method sounds interesting. Are you saying you lay down a layer of pellets in October and then don't worry about it again for an entire year? Do you dig the saw dust into the garden to compost over the winter? What do you use in the next boxes?
We are just planning our first coop right now. Chickies on order due to arrive in 2 and a half weeks. Can't wait!
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 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. 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.
Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.