Best method to keep small coops and runs clean?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by QuoVadis, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. QuoVadis

    QuoVadis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been using the deep litter method in my small bantam coop, but I want to move away from that because I think my coop is just too small for it to work well; for the shavings-to-poop ratio to be right I have to add way more shavings over the course of a winter than I have room for height wise. Plus the door opens onto our back sidewalk so the shavings always get all over it and look messy. And I live in the city with a small yard so I really don't need that much compost, nor do I really know what to do with it when I do clean it out. I know it is not supposed to stink but sometimes it still does and I noticed a decent amount of flies in the summer, and since I have close neighbors I don't want either of those.

    So I was thinking of once I clean out the shavings putting down a bunch of Stall Dri, and using a muck rake to scoop it like a giant litter box each week. Would that work well? My main goals are to keep it drier, stink free, limit flies, but not have it be something I have to do every single day.

    And what is the best option for the run? It is also small but about 5 times as big as the coop. I put wood chips down and that seemed to work ok in the summer, but now after a winter of being compacted, snowed and pooped on it is stinky and way too poopy. I put a bunch of lime on it and tried to stir it up but only the very top layer is unfrozen yet and that is pretty much solid poop. Do I need more wood chips? Any better options?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bradfordj

    Bradfordj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im not sure about the coop, I have a 12x14 foot coop and use straw, my birds free range in grass all day, however for your run the more woodchips the more it will insulate the ice and snow and the longer it will take to melt. I have areas with small piles of straw (from cleaning the coop during winter) and it could take till June or July to melt is its shaded.
     
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like sand under their roost. Sift out poop like kitty litter.

    Sweet PDZ is zeolite (a mineral) that absorbs odors. Spread that down when you do your clean out.

    I also like wood shavings for the smell and for where I walk.

    I put Timothy hay in the run. Smells sooooo good! They also like to forage the small bits of leaf matter.
     
  4. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 100% sweet pdz in my coop and run (6x4 coop, 12x4 covered run) - takes me 5 minutes to sift once per week (5 hens). No odor, no mess!

    In the process of upgrading to a 10x16 coop and a 10x20 run and it will also be 100% pdz. By my calculations I'll have to come up with about two pallets of the 25# bags (2000 lbs). Overkill...yes...easy to maintain...absolutely!! I swear by PDZ...

    Good luck with it!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. QuoVadis

    QuoVadis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think Stall Dri is a lot like sand, only better at absorbing moisture and smell. Doesn't the hay get icky in the run eventually?
    Yeah, I would live to find Sweet PDZ by me but I haven't found anywhere that carries it. Stall Dri is the closest thing to it I have found... Does your run have a roof? It seems like neither Sweet PDZ or Stall dri would work on an uncovered run like mine...
     
  6. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would only use sweet PDZ under the area where they sleep. I don't know the product you mentioned.
    My run is not covered, though it has some tree and shrub cover.
    The chickens turn the sandy soil over enough in their run that anything gets turned in: leaves, poop, the hay, old food...all of it. I have a very heavy earthworm population, plus wood eating mites, fungal and bacterial growth that break everything down. Even though my soil is very sandy, if you go stick your hand in it, your hand will be coated with fine black dirt. But if I spray a hose in one spot, all that dirt washes out of the sand, and I have a white spot there. A month after throwing down wood shavings about 1/2 in thick, they are just about gone.
     
  7. TheFruitLoops

    TheFruitLoops Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay how many chickens so you have? I have 4 hens. I have poop mats in their coop and I pull those out and clean it weekly. I sprinkle DE I'm the coop each time I clean.

    Poop mats, I just got 2 dollar rubber mats from the dollar store lol. It takes about 6 of them to put all over my coop floor. I just pull them out and spray them off.

    As for the run. It was on top of grass. Once they ate it all I put sand down in the run. About 3 inches deep. I also sprinkle DE in the run. I rake it about once a month.

    It doesn't stink.

    I also live in a subdivision.
     
  8. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that will work for you as well if you can't find the PDZ. My run is covered and you're right...if the pdz is exposed to rain it won't work very well.
     

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