Deep Litter..it works!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sparks, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Sparks

    Sparks Songster

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    Aug 10, 2007
    WI
    Yesterday it was 40 degrees out so I decided to fork out some litter and turn some over. I have a wooden floor in our coop. I was so surprised that it was steaming when I turned it over! Thats why our hens were so comfortable this winter. First time it has worked that way for me. Besides pine shavings we put some straw in when the shavings were low. [​IMG]
     
  2. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

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    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I've noticed my woods chip have an earthy smell. I like using this method. I also do not use poop boards. I tried it for just a little while but no way do I want to have to scrape poopy boards everday. It's much easier for me to let it go into the litter. I top off the wood chips as needed and add de to help dry it up and keep the odor down. Also once a week I will rake in the accumulated droppings to keep it mixed up so I don't end up with any really nasty spots in the litter. Deep litter method really does work and is a lot less work!
     
  3. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    One thing I did notice... We had long hard cold spell in February with below zero temps and the area under the roost froze solid for a few weeks. Then when it finally warmed up one day and thawed out, I walked in and smelled ammonia fumes. I opened up the windows and turned over the thawed shavings and everything got better quickly, but it still is something that can apparently happen with deep litter if it gets cold enough. Other than that, it seems to maintain itself.
     
  4. falinagirl

    falinagirl In the Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2011
    Arizona
    Hi I am new to all of this and my chicks are 16 days old. I am very interested in the deep litter method and wonder how deep do I start the shavings? Any help will be appreciated!
     
  5. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Southwest TN
    Quote:I started mine like that by saving all the spent brooder shavings in plastic bags and dumping it into their coop to get it started as they grew. When they were big enough to go into the coop, a fresh layer got tossed down on top, and as they soiled it it got built up continually with fresh bedding. Eventually you'll have 8 inches or so with the bottom most layer naturally composting under the fresh stuff. I clean mine completely out once per year and toss it in the garden spot to use for vegetables. It is easy!!!
     
  6. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

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    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I started with about four inches in the bottom. When it started to get nasty I would dust with DE and when i thought it looked like it needed more wood chips I would throw another inch or two layer in the coup. Kind of like a compost pile I tend to rake mine around and mix it up a bit once a week.
     
  7. falinagirl

    falinagirl In the Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2011
    Arizona
    Thanks for the info. This gives me some idea changes on the coop floor and main door. I hadn't thought about saving the brooder shavings but will definitely so that [​IMG]
     
  8. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

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    Milan, MI
    Some ideas for ya! I made sure my people door and my pop door were raised up. My people door is where I will clean out the old litter in the spring. I made the sill of the door removeable so I can park the wheelbarrow out of the door and shovel up the litter without the door sill being in my way. Hope that makes sense to you. It takes a lot of litter when you first put it down, but then very little after that.
     
  9. falinagirl

    falinagirl In the Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2011
    Arizona
    Moetrout - Thanks so much for that post. It made me realize that we did not raise the pop door high enough. I just told my very tolerant DH and he thinks we can fix it [​IMG]
     

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