Clarification needed about wood shavings

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by annaraven, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Hi folks:

    So I am the proud owner of 3 chickens and they have a lovely coop and a new run. But I have a stupid question - in spite of reading here and several books. I'm probably overthinking it, but... I am trying to figure out - what do you do with the wood shavings? Where do you put them?

    The coop is two levels: the bottom is open so it's just the ground, surrounded by wood on some sides and netting on ohter sides, with doors I can open for them to get in and out. The top floor has a roost, and an enclosed area for a nesting box, and that's where they generally go to sleep. I have a couple inches of wood shavings in the enclosed top-floor area now and a nesting box with another couple incnes of wood shavings. Is that the areas that they're talking about with the "deep litter" method? Or is that for the bottom floor or something? Should I put shavings on the bottom floor as well?

    Here's a pic of their coop, Il Pollaio.

    I've got some leftover sod going in to the run to try to minimize some of the mud when the rainy season hits... If it doesn't last (I don't really expect it to... but, how better to turn it into compost), what should I put on the floor of the run? Should I put more wood shavings there?
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    You have the wood shaving were you need them. The wood shavings are used to soak up the wet poop and stuff, so that you won't need to clean the coop everyday. The deep litter method is working to do the same thing. It is a lot easier to clean up the poop when it is covered up in the wood shavings and it is fairly dried out with the use of DE or stall dry.
  3. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    What you do with the bottom of the run depends on how much drainage you have. If water is going to be an issue due to poor drainage or very flat property, I would put a layer of gravel then several inches of sand on top of that. You can rake the poop out or use a kitty litter scoop to clean out the poop. If the area drains well then just the sand would probably work. Shavings only work on the ground in an enclosed coop that water can't get into. Wet shavings are a pain to have to clean up.
  4. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    i dont know if that style and kind of coop would work well, with the "deep litter method". i always thought height would be a factor, making the "method" work better? good luck tho. [​IMG]
  5. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    My old coop is just like yours! Cool. I would say put pinestrawr in the nest boxes and wood shavings everywhere else (the floor). If you use the same material for the coop and the nest boxes, the chickens could try to lay on the floor. [​IMG] And hay I learned can attrack rodents... So just to be safe don't use hay. Hope o could help and good luck!

  6. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I'll just keep what I'm doing then. If it ends up with the coop getting too muddy underneath, I'll put something down. So far the wood shavings up top have been pretty easy to keep clean with a kitty litter scoop. So, I'm glad to hear I'm not totally off. Thanks!

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