Deep litter for the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickyboomboom, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    117
    0
    89
    Jun 14, 2011
    My girls are usually out for 3-4 hours a day, but when I'm not home they are in their 15 by 5 foot run. It's grass and dirt.... I'm sure it will soon be all dirt. Anyway, I've just been using DE, stall dry and filling with sand every week or so. And twice a week I hose down. But it's getting so poopy in there. And their poops are getting huge!

    Wondering what people do to their dirt runs? Straw? Hay? Can you deep litter the run?

    I want to find the easiest fastest method to keep clean that doesn't require daily maintenance.

    Thanks so much for the advice!
     
  2. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,466
    24
    171
    Jul 10, 2010
    I'm curious to see what people say. I clean mine out constantly because I don't like it to smell Poopy.
     
  3. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    117
    0
    89
    Jun 14, 2011
    Mine doesnt smell- I think the stall dry and DE really help with that... also we don't have extreme heat in Coastal San Diego. I'm just so tired of stepping in so much POO! I do have coop shoes, but still... it grosses me out! [​IMG]
     
  4. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have large tree bark wood chips in mine only because the "chicken whisperer" recommend it on one of his videos and I haven't cleaned it out or added to it or anything and it's been over 6 months now and I don't notice any smell or even really notice any bird droppings. They kick them around so much while scratching that it gets covered up I guess. Look for yourself in some of the pics and tell me if you see any reason to clean or do anything different. I think I'll just buy more and put them over the top once they break down and decompose.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. greenpixies

    greenpixies Out Of The Brooder

    45
    2
    34
    Mar 17, 2011
    Natchitoches, LA
    I am definitely a newbie, but I wondered if maybe the fact that you are hosing things down so often is keeping things stinky. Isn't part of the concept of the deep litter method that one wants the poop to dry. When it's dry it tends not to smell so much and you're well on your way to it breaking down. I am about to move my brood out to their run and new coop. I plan to put down a combination of sand and pine shavings (got tons left from brooder) and sprinkle DE. Then I'm going to watch and see. But my goal is to keep things dry to cut down on excessive/unhealthy bacteria, and insects.

    If your poops are huge, maybe you could use one of those slotted scoops like folks use to clean kitty boxes and transfer big poops right to the compost. Just some ideas. Looking forward to hearing others. Who want's a stinky environment (even if the chick(en)s don't care?)!
     
  6. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    117
    0
    89
    Jun 14, 2011
    Ooh, the bark does look nice. Hmm... did you have to buy a specific kind? I know that cedar isn't good for chickens. It looks great and clean... and low maintenance. 6 months? Doing nothing? I like the sound of that! I guess the chickens would turn it over. Thanks for posting the pictures! Pretty chickens too! I love the Easter Egger in the middle of the first picture. She's a beauty!

    greenpixies, thanks for the suggestions. I have too much grass in the run right now to do the kitty litter method. I use sand in the coop and do it there, but I would hate to have to do that for the whole run.

    I just hose it down because there are giant chicken turds that don't seem to get broken down. Then after all is dry I sprikle de and stall dry on top. But I find myself having to do this more and more often, the bigger their poops get. Seriously! I cannot believe their poops are so huge. Must feel like having a baby everytime! LOL. And my birds are only 8 weeks old!
     
  7. greenpixies

    greenpixies Out Of The Brooder

    45
    2
    34
    Mar 17, 2011
    Natchitoches, LA
    chickyboomboom:

    understandable!

    Wish I could get my 'hands' on your giant turds, that's half the reason I got chicks in the first place [​IMG]

    Mine are 5 weeks old and aren't making nearly enough for us!
     
  8. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    117
    0
    89
    Jun 14, 2011
    Quote:LOL, don't worry greenpixies. You'll be up to your eyeballs in chicken poo soon. I feel like they get bigger everyday! And I only have 5 chickens!

    So, I did a little research on using bark, and I think I'm going to give it a go. What's great is, when you change it out, it will look great in the garden beds, no composting necessary! I don't think pineshavings or hay looks too good in the garden beds! Thank you colebarnhart!
     
  9. thepoorehouse

    thepoorehouse New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 18, 2011
    Sorry. What's DE?
     
  10. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    117
    0
    89
    Jun 14, 2011
    Quote:It's Diatomaceous Earth. Lots of people use on BYC. I'm still on the fence on whether I like it or not. I love Stall Dry though. It's awesome!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by