Coop bedding/litter options

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DreamsInPink, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sounds like a good plan.. which is kind of what I was leaning toward. :) What is 'situ'? (sorry, dummy here) I wish I could find the one picture I found of the roosts with droppings board...
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Sorry, in situ means; in place, or in position. So you are composting right on the coop floor in deep litter as opposed to removing soiled bedding and composting it elsewhere.
  3. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2014
    How many birds do you have? My system has worked well, I think, but I do not have a large flock. The floor of my coop is also elevated far off the ground -- there is a run underneath it with a ladder for access.

    I have used pine shavings since they were in the coop, and I like pine shavings because they do a great job keeping the environment very dry. I have about 1" - 2" deep shavings the floor of the coop, and every morning, when the girls go out to the run, I put on a glove and just grab up all the poop I find in the coop and throw it in the composter. It takes two minutes at the most, but I definitely am committed to doing it it daily. Then every few days I will add a handful or two more pine shavings if the bedding looks thin. Maybe once every six months I might get rid of all the shavings and put in a new layer, but it never really seems necessary even when I do it -- everything is always very clean and dry. That's it -- even though I don't change the shavings, it's not deep litter because there isn't really any organic matter in there breaking down. It's just keeping the pine shavings scooped and occasionally replacing. So that has worked for me, but that's just me.

    I have sand in a covered part of my run, which I like, but it is REALLY heavy. For me it would be hard to use in the coop.

    To me your plan to start with a layer of pine shavings sounds good, actually. oldhenlikesdogs is right that it should be thicker in winter and thinner in summer.
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  4. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ahhh, I'm going to have a large flock. Chicken math has hit me HARD! lol

    Yeah, I think I'm going to skip the official DLM and just use pine shavings as needed. I'm researching droppings boards, (basically looking at pictures on google) right now.

    One question I do have regarding a dust bath area for them, does that need to be covered? Protected from rain? I'm thinking if it gets wet, I'll have a mud bath... lol
  5. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2014
    Yes, if I had a large flock I might probably opt for droppings boards to manage the poop, too.

    Definitely cover the dust bathing area, esp if it is sand. Wet sand can really smell. I think it is money well spent to cover as much of your run as you can manage; the girls can dust bathe even when it is raining pretty hard. Mine have a choice of sand or dirt for dust bathing, and they use both.
  6. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, the goal is a covered run...or at least covering part of it, but it's not going to happen right away.

    I'm planning on using a mix of wood ash, DE and probably sand. :)
  7. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Even a tarp and bungees can help for covering and providing dust bathing...mine are about 7 weeks and their entire job is growing feathers, as far as I can tell..must be pretty itchy...all those little feather shafts and pieces of down and bare spots under the wing....they have established dust bath under the coop...before that I gave them wood ash and peat moss and plan to keep throwing that into their protected areas...they also love the simple top soil I put down in the it was dry they went to town digging in it and rolling around...

    Have to say probably the best thinking i had was to provide a covered run...this is snow country...
  8. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, that's a good idea. Mine will also be able to get under the coop. Right now they are still in brooders... and they are tickled when I clean their bedding. They roll and thump around like they are in heaven. lol
  9. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2015
    My Coop
    I got River sand i love it but that's what works for me. I scoop it out once a month in the large run and once every morning on the poop boards and their main hangout area. But it is tons of work to shovel it in for sure but thats once a year. Also it acts as a huge dusting pit for them and has natural pebble for grit. If I had a larger flock, deep litter sounds more realistic
  10. cluckin around

    cluckin around New Egg

    Apr 9, 2016
    I use equine pine for my bedding. It stays dryer than sjavings and I use a hay rake to sift. I mix in a little pzd to help keep the freshness up. It seems to work. A little goes a long way with the equine pine. When I'm done with it I add it to my gardens and mix in with mulch for fertilizer. It keeps my flowers growing strong.
    1 person likes this.

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