Deep litter...in the yard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by arcatamarcia, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2009
    I have a small suburban backyard that is shared by two people, four chickens, two dogs, a cat and 100,000 honeybees. It also has four apple trees. The chicken coop and enclosed run are in the back of it. The house and deck is in the front. There are a couple of chairs under the trees for the people (and chickens) to sit on. Over time, the chickens have scratched up most of the yard. We planted and caged some lavender and mint but the rest was getting down to dirt. With winter (and six months of rain) coming on, I was picturing mud everywhere. So I started throwing all vegetable garden refuse just on the ground in the yard. When I trim suckers from the apple trees, I just left the clippings laying where they fell. When I cleaned up my herbs at the end of the summer, I threw whole stems into the yard. Pretty soon it started building up into quite a pile of stuff. And the girls spent the whole day picking and scratching for the bugs and worms that got attracted to the rotting vegetables. Then I asked my neighbor, who is a gardener, to throw his lawn and leaf clippings under my apple trees. The yard leveled out and got a cushioned feel when I walk on it.

    I love what this is doing in my yard and the chickens and dogs seem to like it. But I never hear of anyone doing deep litter in their yard, so I wonder if there's a downside I just haven't seen yet? Here's a picture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  2. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    When I clean out my deep litter (shavings) from the coop I throw a bunch in to the run. It can get muddy in the wet. I find it keeps the hens happy when they are confined. My neighbour also throws his lawn clipping/compost/garden scraps over the fence in to the run. Now there are quite a few layers, as my chickens can not keep up.

    Unless you want grass, and you are happy with an entire yard of chicken run, then go for it.
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    How long does it take for them to get the grass down to nothing? My run only has a small grass free patch going from the gate door to the pop door. [​IMG] I have 11 chickens, and a pretty large run.. I was going to put down mulch after they got rid of the grass, but it just keeps growing and sometimes I even have to weed-whack it!
     
  4. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2009
    There are some kinds of perennial grass that never go away if they're mature when you get chickens. Quack grass for example and some clumping grasses. But if you have regular lawn grass, it depends on how big is your space is and how many chickens you have. Eventually.

    The problem I was having is that the yard became very uneven, with clumps of clumping grasses separated by dirt. It was hard to walk on. That's the thing I like best about this deep litter method; it's easy to walk on. And it was ugly. I think this looks better.
     

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