Deep liter dust.... What's the concern?

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

  1. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sebastopol, CA
    A lot of post talk about keeping dust down but no one explains the reason for the concern. Please advise? [​IMG]
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Inhaling dust (for both humans and animals) can cause respiratory issues. That's why, when you are cleaning out your coop, you should wear a mask so you don't inhale all the dust.
  3. hatchaholic

    hatchaholic Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    Quote:So true...I learned this the hard way. I cleaned out my coop last weekend and have been coughing terribly ever since. Feels like bronchitis. I'll definately have a mask next time!!
  4. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Actually, feather dust is a respiratory health concern whether you use deep litter or not.

    Maybe a little less of an issue with some deep litter systems than with systems that have you stirring it up a lot with weekly clean-outs.

    Commercial poultry industry workers have, if I recall, truly alarming rates of respiratory disease, despite using respirators and usually very aggressive ventilation. Too many birds in too little space.
  5. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Would it help keep dust down to have a fan blowing out of one window of the coop? (not on cold days, of course)
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Deep litter oughtn't be any dustier than non deep litter (tho obviously it is dustier than housing chickens on bare wire)... you don't START with the litter being deep, you just add more as required.

    The usual knock against deep litter is *moisture*, as indeed it can be a bit damper than regular litter depending on how it's managed and what your ventilation is like... but damper litter is *less* dusty not more.

    A fan blowing out the coop window is not going to do much of anything about dust. Either the coop is dusty or it's not, you know? However you do always need ventilation and it should be of a type not to let strong gusts of wind stir up the litter. Fan-operated ventilation is not generally necessary as long as you have a well designed system of 'normal', passive vent openings.


  7. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    When composting to create heat, some moisture is required for growth of the necessary microbes and critters.

    Moisture is wicked from the earth floor up into the litter in the appropriate amounts if it is stirred regularly.

    The idea is to keep it going w/o it getting too wet or too dry.
  8. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I was concerned about this 'dust' too. Someone brought me a bag of 'Aspen' Pet bedding. It says its made of hardwood and processing virtually eliminates any dust and it has NO aroma from oils. NOW, my question is, is this ok to put in the coop. I don't know if its cedar, it doesn't smell like anything... is this ok to use? I didn't pay for it, so I don't want to waste it. [​IMG]
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    An aspen is a type of tree and their shavings make fine litter for a chicken coop. It's perfectly safe.
  10. okcin06

    okcin06 In the Brooder

    Oct 4, 2008
    With questions about dust and all, I have a question to add to this, it that is alright. We are attending the Chickenstock in our state in about 2 - 3 weeks. We might get our first chicks there. We know the coop we want to build (we think), and we are thinking of using some pine straw for litter and using the deep liter system. We have plenty of pine straw on our property. Would there be any concerns with using it exclusively? Should we add something else to the bedding? [​IMG]

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