Deep Litter in Run??

corvidae

Songster
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
488
5
111
Utah
I'm a little confused about the deep litter method--does one only do this in the coop itself, or also in the run? My run isn't covered by anything but hardware cloth, so it will get rained on--I'm guessing that will make a mucky mess out of the deep litter, yes?
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
265
336
DFW
Yes, it would be like having a big, open compost pile. And if you use wood shavings, they'd blow all over the place in the wind when dry. Doesn't sound to me like a great idea.
 

Mattemma

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
5,314
94
291
I have read of straw in the run that is raked up and composted every so often. I have done the straw in the run. I did the deep litter method,but did not really like it.
 

corvidae

Songster
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
488
5
111
Utah
Hm, the sand is sounding like a good idea... Chicken poop has got to be easier to scoop than cat poo.
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debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,912
516
middle TN
What about something like wood chips for deep litter? Not shavings, but the stuff you make with a chipper and a pile of brush. I'd think it would let the water run through so it doesn't stay soggy for long after a rain and the pieces would be big enough to not blow around.

My run area gets terrific drainage because it's on a bit of a slope so my concern is mostly with erosion protection and using something that isn't going to wash down the hill when it rains hard. I know sand would wash because we have sand around our bonfire ring and it's all down the hill even with a retaining wall
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carolinasculpture

Songster
10 Years
Mar 21, 2010
599
37
191
Straw in the run doesn't work so well if it is going to get wet. I know because that is what we are doing temporarily. We are moving the girls to a bigger run, so they have to work with this for a little while. I shovel it out each time it rains and it just flies out on its own when it is dry. But the girls love it when I first put it down and sprinkle a little scratch over it!
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Kaneke

Songster
12 Years
Jan 9, 2008
1,691
7
173
between Yelm and McKenna
if you have a good bit of rain --- and the straw in the run stays damp -- you will probably have to deal with MOLD and MILDEW

not that great for chickens !

in the damp Northwest, bread left out goes moldy in a day or two

all the farmers I see with outdoor haystacks, have gone to the "white shrink wrap" procedure -- makes their hayfields look as if they sprouted marshmallows

may be different if you have a good bit of sun and wind to dry the straw out, but sounds to me like sand is a better deal
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
345
341
Ontario, Canada
Quote:
It would not usually be termed "litter", but if you want to put some sort of coarse organic material out there as run footing, you can.

There are potential downsides to consider, especially if you live in a wet area on poorly-draining soil (will get increasingly spongy and mucky over the years!), I would recommend a look at my 'fix a muddy run' page (link in .sig below) for more on the subject.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

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