Can I do deep litter in a shallow coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmc, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Hi folks!

    I have a little coop: 3 1/2 ft. front to back; 5 ft. side to side; 3 1/3 ft high in back sloping up to 4ft. high in front.

    I am attempting to do deep litter in this but hope my coop won't prove to be too 'low' in back for it. So far so good. I realize you can just reply "Just trying dear wingnut and see!". But still I'd like to have a thought or 50 from those of you who are 'Out of the Brooder' and beyond!

    Tx!
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I did the DLM last year for the first time. From June to May it accumulated to 18" on the floor of the coop. What you could do is to clean it twice a year (say in April and then again in September) and see if that works for your coop. One of the big advantages to the DLM is that it helps keep the coop warmer in the winter - so you want to have a good depth by the time the real cold weather sets in.
     
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I would just try it ( I won't call you wingnut [​IMG] )

    You don't have to do the full-on, only clean it twice a year DLM either, if it gets too deep go ahead and clean it out 3 or 4 times a year.
     
  4. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    I'm curious about this too - can the deep litter method work in a smaller tractor?
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We have our hen house as part of a large barn, so can't help with the "small space" issue.

    But I will say that we don't start doing deep litter until autumn. The deep litter builds up heat and when it is 80° outdoors, it can be near 100° inside the hen house. So the added heat isn't necessary.

    Depending on our weather (as we have been known to get snow in April here in NE Ohio), we usually remove all the old deep litter to the compost pile around Memorial Day. Then clean and disinfect the hen house and put down about an inch or two of wood shavings. We keep the shavings level about that height all summer. Then around late September to mid October, we start to build up the deep litter by adding layers of wood shavings and straw each week. Before we add the new litter, we turn over the old.
     
  6. emandmikey

    emandmikey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Wake Forest, NC
    Does the DLM stink? Do you add DE to the litter, or just use the pine shavings, adding some every couple of days or so? I'm new at this and trying to learn about it!
     
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    If you don't mix it up, it can smell, because all the new droppings would just sit on top of the bedding. You need to mix up the bedding so that (like a compost pile) the droppings can start to decompose and heat up the hen house.

    If I think the hen house smells a bit, I throw in a bit of Sweet PDZ. I seem to use it most in the warmer weather when we aren't using deep litter.
     
  8. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Thanks! What is Sweet PDZ? Would using stal dri or DE offset the benefits of using the deep litter method? Things need moisture to decompose.
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could use a medium-depth litter and spot clean. By that I mean combine the shavings with DE or Stable Boy or Stall Dri, check for obvious signs of manure with a kitty litter scoop and control the buildup that way, renewing the litter entirely as needed...[​IMG]
     

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