Deep Litter in Run??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by corvidae, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. corvidae

    corvidae Songster

    Feb 27, 2011
    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?
  2. Momto3

    Momto3 Chirping

    Mar 1, 2011
    Northern Idaho
    I would NOT do it in your run. I would do sand. I am planning on doing sand in my run & deep litter in the coop.
  3. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    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.
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    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.
  5. corvidae

    corvidae Songster

    Feb 27, 2011
    Hm, the sand is sounding like a good idea... Chicken poop has got to be easier to scoop than cat poo. [​IMG]
  6. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    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 [​IMG]
  7. grammypam

    grammypam Songster

    Mar 16, 2010
    I use sand in my run.
  8. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Songster

    Mar 21, 2010
    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! [​IMG]
  9. Kaneke

    Kaneke Songster

    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
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    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,


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