Deep Litter Coop Cleanout

Rachel'sFlock

Songster
9 Years
May 21, 2010
1,293
39
168
Otis, Oregon ~ Chicken People Since 5/10
Does anyone else use the Deep Litter method for coop bedding?
I used it in out coop, my first one as an adult. Started this Spring, when chooks left the brooder, with pine shavings and straw, and layered straw each week for the season.
Just cleaned out the coop today, and found it to be really simple and really fast.
I laid a tarp down outside the coop door, and pitch-forked the bedding on to it. Then I dragged it down the hill to the orchard and empty garden beds.
I am really glad the coin-toss sort of decision to Deep Litter turned out to be such a winner for me and my girls.
Anyone else have any thoughts on their experience with DL method (or not!)
(hoping this is the right section for this post)

Bright Blessings
 

BigPeep

Songster
10 Years
May 27, 2009
208
11
111
I clean out my coops twice a year. Once in late Fall and once in early Spring. The only drawback is that the Spring cleanout is a real mess as the poop all freezes during the winter and forms a layer on top of the litter, without being able to be mixed in by the chickens as everything is frozen solid most of the winter. Then we get the first warm day and it all starts to melt and stink like crazy. You have to be able to drop everything and do the clean out immediately, which can be difficult if you have multiple areas to do. or have an actual job.

I compost everything for six months before putting directly on the garden beds. I think if you put it on right away you will burn the plants.
 

zazouse

Crowing
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
11,008
755
406
Southeast texas
Good idea.

Just did our roost areas, we use a cyclone rake that attaches to our riding mower,it has its own motor and sucks stuff up like a giant shop vac, then we hall it to the garden dump it,i then run over the piles with my bush hog to spread it,will be planting there in the spring
 

ams3651

Songster
12 Years
Jan 23, 2008
3,343
15
223
NE PA
my coop was a storage shed with a garage door on the end, I just block them out in the run, open the door and shovel out into a wheelbarrow and make runs to the compost pile. I clean out in the spring, put down a couple inches of shavings and just add as needed, right now I getting ready for winter and ready to put down another bag and stir things up. Much easier for me, I just dont have time to be cleaning it out all the time.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
83
283
Wisconsin
BigPeep, instead of putting in a thicker layer of litter and stirring it, you might want to try what I do. I start with enough to cover the floor and add small amounts of fresh litter to the surface as needed. That way you won't wind up with thick layers of solid chicken poop and it should be better in the spring. You should end up with thinner layers of chicken poop and litter that are combined as they walk on it, as if you had been stirring. If it's still a problem in the spring after that, then it means that you need to be adding more fresh litter in the winter than you've been using.

I like to keep a bale of shavings in the coop, with a scoop in it. It makes it easy to sprinkle a little on poopy areas when you are out there collecting eggs or doing other chores. It only takes a few seconds.

Sometimes it takes a little time to get a feel for how to manage the litter in your coop.
 

mandelyn

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 30, 2009
2,488
1,155
391
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
I know a lot of people will use poo boards under the roosts, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I grab the bedding from under the roost every couple days or so, move old bedding under it, add a little bit into the not-roost floor area. My bedding is always in rotation so to speak, until it's totaly gross from being under the roost, and I scoop out just that bit. Keeps it "pine fresh" since I'm always adding small amounts of new. I go through about 1 big bag of shavings every 2-3 months ($5.99 @ TSC)

Fall cleaning gets straw under the shavings for winter. Way better than no bedding, or minimal bedding. I like them to look comfy!
 

WisconsinChickenWhisperer

Songster
9 Years
Jul 25, 2010
191
0
117
Webster, Wisconsin
I also use a "rotation" method in my coop: about every 10 days or so, I go out and remove the shavings from under the roost. Then, I move the shavings from the area in front of the roost to under the roost, and the area around the walk in door/feeders gets moved to in front of the roost. New layer of shavings gets put down around the feeders and by the door. I go out and stir things up a bit at least every other day. I do plan on using the DL method for winter, though. Too hard to get to my compost heap in the winter time.
 

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