Changing Straw??? how often ........

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 6chicks&aduck, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. 6chicks&aduck

    6chicks&aduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2009
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    I put staw down in my run for winter ,and was wondering how often i should change it out ,or can i leave it till spring ?????

    The ground is frozen and the girls dont like to go out unless they have straw to walk on lol .

    I've been just raking it around every few days ,to keep it from getting compacted. Thanks for your input
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  2. Justuschicks

    Justuschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keswick, Virginia
    Unless it is real smelly I would just leave it. I haven't changed my in quite some time. The old litter can also put off a little heat as it breaks down. I use the "layered litter method" to heat my coop. Found this info on a "Keeping chickens in Alaska" article. You just add clean litter over old litter and as the old litter breaks down it gives off heat. It is working well so far. As it gets a little smelly I just scoop a few of the badly soiled areas out and replace with clean litter. I also spread diatomaceous earth over the old litter before I spread new litter and that helps cut down on moisture and bugs. It has to be the food grade though, not the kind for pools because that is treated with chemicals. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. 6chicks&aduck

    6chicks&aduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2009
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    ok great i will keep an eye on it and see how it goes , as i have never used straw in my run , thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. Justuschicks

    Justuschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have used stray, hay, and shavings. I like the straw the best for the run area because it holds up longer. Hay works well for the coop because it is softer and lays on the floor better. Shavings are ok but I find they break down too fast. Good Luck.
     
  5. 6chicks&aduck

    6chicks&aduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i use shavings in my coop and change them e/ o week and clean up droppings under roosts daily . seems to be working well
     
  6. BigIslandChicks

    BigIslandChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    6chicks&aduck :

    i use shavings in my coop and change them e/ o week and clean up droppings under roosts daily . seems to be working well

    This is what i do but with straw not shavings. i live in the rainy mt. area of the big island, HI and it does not take long for the mud to happen!! shavings would break down way to quick here with all the rain and warm weather. i spread DE everywhere!! and rake out everything every 2 weeks or so. half of my chickens free range for part of the day and half of them stay in for now, so it gets poopy pretty quick. i dont know about raking it out all the time over winter though... i would just keep putting fresh over the old until spring when you can clean it out. DE helps alot for the smell and does really well with the flies! which is never ending here. aloha [​IMG]
     
  7. Justuschicks

    Justuschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DE is real good to have on hand. It has so many uses! I sprinkle it in the food too. Keeps those pesky food bugs at bay and is suppose to be good at keeping worms away too. I also don't use shavings, we had a ton of rain last night and the shavings would have been a muddy mess this morning....even with a roof on the enclosure. When I first got my chickens I was all about cleaning after the chickens every week. Yeah....that didn't last long. With 3 kids on top of a cat, dog, and 8 chickens.....the chickens seem fine with only getting a litter change once a month. More often if things start to smell.
     
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    i have extra hay all over the place. i buy it in bulk, so i put a bit inside the run, and the rest outside the run. when its raining, it makes a mess of the hay, however as soon as its nice out. i go outside with a rack and fluff it up. ill be using this hay for snow, when that happens here in connecticut. ill put all the hay in the run, then i will make tracks in the snow with the hay. it always go's to good use. [​IMG]
    i also line the nesting boxes with the hay.
    i used to buy hay by the bag, however my farm store only offers it in bales, so i havent any choice.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    There are also pelletized lime and Stall-Dr when odors or flies are a problem. When the cows behind me are in a certain pasture, the lime is the thing. Stall-dri is meant for horses and has DE in it. Pelletized lime is meant for gardens or lawns and it the best against flies and odors, IME. Easy to handle and doesn't make clouds of white dust. Costs maybe a buck more than plain agricultural lime but is so worth it to me.

    You really shouldn't use large amounts of DE as it should not be inhaled, even food grade. I use it but lightly sprinkle it around only.
     
  10. Justuschicks

    Justuschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right. I always wait until the chickens are away from the area I am spreading the DE. It is a very fine powder and goes everywhere. I like the stuff and it works well, plus I can use it in my garden for pest control as well. It also work well for poultry lice. When I adopted my roo he was covered in lice. It worked fast.
     

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