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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mskayladog, Nov 19, 2012.
It's from my daughters horses her farm not mine. If that makes a difference. Thanks
Why....................For heat, food, or as air freshner?
Heat...to help the shavings start composting and for the girls to dig around in
I don't know what your goals are, and I'm fairly new to keeping chickens, but I do know a few things about composting. Wood shavings are not going to break down until the load of manure, be it chicken or horse, reaches a point where the moisture content of the mix has the shavings thoroughly damp. I know there are lots of folks on this forum that swear by deep litter, allowed to compost, and cleaned out only a couple times a year. Glad it works for them, but it is exactly the opposite of what I want my bedding to do. I want my bedding to dry the droppings out, which will knock down the odor immediately.
If I were you, I would take all the horse manure your daughter can provide and start a compost heap with it. Throw the bedding from the chicken coop on the pile when it is too saturated with droppings to dry up, and let the chickens kick through it all when they're free-ranging, instead of in the coop.
yes I agree the shaving & hay take a long time to break down. It is better to start a compost pile somewhere else, if you turn it once in awhile aerating it, it will compost faster.
I made some grazing beds in my run and in two of them I have 'composted' horse manure. I turn the beds once in awhile for the chickens to go for the worms and other little goodies.
I do the deep litter for my large chicken coop. 20'x20'. I keep about 20 chickens. It works for me. I clean out twice a year down to the dirt. Little to no smell from my coop. I put down new shavings down every other month or so or when it needs it. I would not hesitate to do some horse manure in the run, not the coop inside. Chickens are the last animal for breaking down manure. They love the bugs that help break it down and them scratching through it spreads it out. I would watch how much you put it down.
Creating a compost pile someone on your property it good. I just spread my old shavings/poo out on our field. It works for us.
I am not a big fan of using composting to provide heat. Chickens do not need the heat. As far as foraging, it would probably be good. The downside is everything you haul in and dump, you are going to have to load up and haul out later.
There will be no "composting" going on in a coop unless it's TOO WET inside