Deep Litter in Run and How to Keep Clean

ladyhand

Songster
May 27, 2021
138
260
121
Greensboro, NC
I pulled a lot of my straw out this past weekend, I’m worried about potential respiratory illnesses. Two of mine have sounded hoarse since last Thursday, but are otherwise completely fine.
I put on three extra bags of cypress mulch (just dumped the whole bag in one pile) and five wheelbarrow fulls of leaves in on Saturday in two big piles. Sprinkled a little scratch on top of each pile and they were in heaven. Within 6 hours almost everything had been spread out. I’m going to try to add a pile of leaves every few days since they seem to enjoy scratching through it so much. Especially since they’re not able to go in my backyard for their hour of free range each day since we just laid grass seed.
 

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MaggieRose2001

Chirping
Jun 27, 2021
67
174
81
Bangor, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
Mine hate lettuce too. Even in winter they'd just stomp it into the ground and walk away. Like you said, it's all trial and error to find out what your flock likes.
Btw - I have been taking vegetables I know they won't eat - lettuce, bell pepper, carrots - and I have been just giving them a quick pulse in the food processor and then mixing it in with their food. They eat every last drop. It's a little more effort, but I figured it was better than letting it go to waste. Right now I don't have a garden, so I don't need compost. Anyway, thought I'd pass that along.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,881
35,832
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Btw - I have been taking vegetables I know they won't eat - lettuce, bell pepper, carrots - and I have been just giving them a quick pulse in the food processor and then mixing it in with their food. They eat every last drop. It's a little more effort, but I figured it was better than letting it go to waste. Right now I don't have a garden, so I don't need compost. Anyway, thought I'd pass that along.
Conversely I do garden and do need compost, but yes it's a much better "recycling" of scraps to feed it to the birds first, rather than compost it (though I'm definitely too lazy to throw it in a food processor though... I usually opt to chop things than break out one of the processors!)

Mine will eat unchopped carrots though. Not sure how they do it, but if I throw a carrot in there it completely vanishes in a day or two. So now I make sure to throw in carrot greens with the top of the root intact.
 

Dlepage

Chirping
Mar 26, 2021
63
281
86
Hi.

I am a new chicken owner and my chickens have been in their coop/run for a couple months now. I am wondering what do people put in their runs and how do you keep it clean? We have 10 laying hens - they all have names and my daughter bring chairs into the run and hold them a few times a week. Yes - we are one of those people who treat their animals like part of the family. 😊

The run is on dirt/gravel and I put down some pine shavings and pellets that I bought for the coop but didn't like - I went with Koop Clean instead. I clean the coop on a daily basis, but after a few weeks the run starts to get poopy and the chickens feet start getting really dirty (especially the cochins). We live in Maine and it rains and snows a lot. It is a covered run and I plan on putting hay in there over the winter to help keep it warm.

Anyway - I just didn't know what most people do to keep the floor of the coop clean and the poopy feet at a minimum. I am doing deep litter in the coop and loving it - it is staying clean, doesn't smell. Is there a way to do deep litter in the run or is it better to haul out the bedding every month or so? I read where someone puts activated carbon/charcoal in the run to facilitate composting and raise the carbon. Does anyone have thoughts on that?

Thanks for your time.
Hi.

I am a new chicken owner and my chickens have been in their coop/run for a couple months now. I am wondering what do people put in their runs and how do you keep it clean? We have 10 laying hens - they all have names and my daughter bring chairs into the run and hold them a few times a week. Yes - we are one of those people who treat their animals like part of the family. 😊

The run is on dirt/gravel and I put down some pine shavings and pellets that I bought for the coop but didn't like - I went with Koop Clean instead. I clean the coop on a daily basis, but after a few weeks the run starts to get poopy and the chickens feet start getting really dirty (especially the cochins). We live in Maine and it rains and snows a lot. It is a covered run and I plan on putting hay in there over the winter to help keep it warm.

Anyway - I just didn't know what most people do to keep the floor of the coop clean and the poopy feet at a minimum. I am doing deep litter in the coop and loving it - it is staying clean, doesn't smell. Is there a way to do deep litter in the run or is it better to haul out the bedding every month or so? I read where someone puts activated carbon/charcoal in the run to facilitate composting and raise the carbon. Does anyone have thoughts on that?

Thanks for your time.
Sand sand and more sand !!!!!
I’m a new chicken cooper too, but I did a lot of research before I built my coop. I have had them in the coop and run since June and we have zero smell zero flies and no moisture problems. I scoop the poop every day. We have 4 chickens. They free range all day but return to their run a lot throughout the day.
sand is great for warmth in the winter as well. Chickens roost they don’t need bedding just a draft free perch , I have a tray of sand under their perch and just scoop the poop in the morning . Google sand in coop there’s lost of information on it. I’ve attached a few pics of their roost. And my coop
 

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MaggieRose2001

Chirping
Jun 27, 2021
67
174
81
Bangor, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
Conversely I do garden and do need compost, but yes it's a much better "recycling" of scraps to feed it to the birds first, rather than compost it (though I'm definitely too lazy to throw it in a food processor though... I usually opt to chop things than break out one of the processors!)

Mine will eat unchopped carrots though. Not sure how they do it, but if I throw a carrot in there it completely vanishes in a day or two. So now I make sure to throw in carrot greens with the top of the root intact.
I’m with you on processors. I think the only time I use mine is for the chickens. Hopefully I will be able to have a garden next year - we are buying a house this spring. Then I will be able to learn how on earth to compost. ☺️
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,679
27,393
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I’m with you on processors. I think the only time I use mine is for the chickens. Hopefully I will be able to have a garden next year - we are buying a house this spring. Then I will be able to learn how on earth to compost. ☺️
Btw - I have been taking vegetables I know they won't eat - lettuce, bell pepper, carrots - and I have been just giving them a quick pulse in the food processor and then mixing it in with their food. They eat every last drop. It's a little more effort, but I figured it was better than letting it go to waste. Right now I don't have a garden, so I don't need compost. Anyway, thought I'd pass that along.

I don't like mixing anything with their actual food because I want them to be able to self-regulate so I have the all-flock feed in the feeder 24/7/365.

I've never seen them have any difficulty eating any softer food like squash, peppers, or apples or with any leafy green -- including some heads of very tired cabbage we got from the food pantry one time. Those took them a week to finish, but they ate it all.

I figure that any harder vegetable that they don't eat will compost mixed in with the bedding in due time. :)
 

Dlepage

Chirping
Mar 26, 2021
63
281
86
So… the idea is to just keep adding different organic materials - pretty much whatever you can get your hands on? Is it like the deep bedding, where you just keep layering over the poop and it just kind of breaks down on its own?
Google sand in chicken coop it’s a game changer!!! My coop has 6 inches of dry sand I scoop every day. My run has sand as well my ladies free range most of the day but I have zero smell zero flies and no moisture problem. It’s amazing
 

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