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Deep litter method, does this sound right?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jtbrown, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    I started with chickens in the coop in April. Have occasionally added chips as needed if looked dirty or less height than previous. Last week, I smelled slight ammonia smell for first time. So now end of September, I just emptied out the coop and started with 2 new bags of chips.

    Does this timeline sound right? If it works that way this winter, I would clean out on a nice day in late Feb or March. Thanks for answering, every time I have a 'first' I feel like I need to have some reassurance.

    It was very clean until this week. In fact my husband asked how many times I have cleaned it out so far, he assumed I had cleaned it out during one of my days off during the week.
     
  2. jrobertson

    jrobertson Robertson's Rare Poultry

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    Apr 24, 2010
    NW Alabama
    Yes. It sounds about right. Twice a year is what most chicken breeders that I know go by.
     
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Last October I put 2+ bags of shavings in the coop (6x8). I had 7 adult chickens at the time. I added some shavings over the winter. The total depth is around 6-8 inches when it is fluffed up. Each morning I pick up the worst of the poop under the roost. About a month ago I added 5 new girls (about 4 months old) and an additional roost. I'm planning to clear it out and scrub everything down next weekend and put in 3 bales of shavings.

    I have learned a couple of things. The board that is supposed to be a ramp to the second roost makes a dandy poop board that is nearly impossible to clean [​IMG] and 11 chickens make a lot more poop than 7 chickens (for those of you doing the math, one of the first flock died this summer of reproductive problems).

    In any case, I haven't cleaned it out, but I scoop poop every morning (it takes about 3-4 minutes). My plan is once a year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  4. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    Great, thanks guys, I have a broken rake and I turn the shavings over frequently. It really seems like a great method and it took only about 1 hour to get 7 wheelbarrow loads out of coop 1 this morning.

    Have not used poop board. We have 1 building 12x24 and divided into 3, center room is my garden/potting room. Coop 1 to the left has 19 birds, 8 of which are bantams. Coop 2 has 25 EE in it. So far, has worked well. we are finishing hardware cloth runs on each side of building. We kind of (me) bit off too much. I wanted chicks for so long, had all these pent up ideas, kind of went crazy, but all this work will be worth it when finished. So far the care of the birds has been a breeze compared to building!
     

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