Deep Litter | Am I doing it right...?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RottenFlower, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. So I am 15.5 weeks in to my first backyard flock of hens.

    Briefly, we converted a Little Tikes playhouse into a coop for them, and used old 10x6 dog kennels for their run.

    I have about 4" of pine shavings in the bottom of the coop. Every other day or so, I scrape the poop off of the poop board, under their roost bar, and stir it around. Every couple of months, or so, I add more shavings. My plan is to take out all of the shavings next year, clean the coop thoroughly and start over.

    Is that the right way to do deep litter or am I doing it wrong...? It seems like it should be pretty simple, but I can mess up just about anything. :)
     
  2. J at Yoti Farms

    J at Yoti Farms In the Brooder

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    Sounds good to me
     
  3. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chirping

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    What I do is, I fill the shavings about 4" high. Every week I take a rake and I rake out all the poop and wet bedding. I take out all the shavings and scrub the floor every month or every other month.
    I'm a clean freak and so are my chickens. The pine shavings are really cheap at the feed store, so I don't worry about spending too much.
     
  4. Bethel3330

    Bethel3330 Songster

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    I leave it in, refreshing with fresh shavings on top every week. It doesn't smell that way and we'll clean it out twice yearly. The breakdown of the materials inside the coop is part of the benefit.
     
  5. Bethel3330

    Bethel3330 Songster

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    Btw, we started with about 6" and add from there.
     
  6. So, at the end of my year, I theoretically should be able to use what's in the coop breaking down as compost for my gardens... right?
     
  7. J at Yoti Farms

    J at Yoti Farms In the Brooder

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    Yes
     
  8. Bethel3330

    Bethel3330 Songster

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    If you clean out in the fall you can put that on your garden or the compost pile. What's in the bottom will have begun breaking down but a lot of it will be newer so it's not ready yet. Ideally, you can put it in your compost bin, then the next cleanout use what's in the bin for gardening and fill it again.
     
  9. <= doesn't have a compost bin. :(
     
  10. Bethel3330

    Bethel3330 Songster

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    Mine is just a pile right now. All you have to have is a place for it, enclose the sides and fashion a top for it. That helps it heat up and break down faster. We had made a tumbler but don't use it because it's heavy. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate.
     

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