Deep litter method in chicken run??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 4luvofchickens, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. 4luvofchickens

    4luvofchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2010
    Northern NY
    I have a covered chicken run. Since it's fall and we have a large amount of leaves I have been using those instead of sand/shaving in the run. I add more as the hens shred them up. I know a lot of people use deep litter in the coop, will it work in the run too? I think the run smells better now that I am doing this. I though I could bag some up for use in winter and add them to the run as needed. Them come spring I will have a nice batch of compost for the garden. What do you think??
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthEast Texas
    I think using leaves in the run would be great. I wouldn't do deep litter with shavings though unless you can keep any rain/snow from getting in. Shavings smell awful when wet. Plus, chickens love scratching around in leaves.
     
  3. 4luvofchickens

    4luvofchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2010
    Northern NY
    That's what I was thinking. I had been using a mix of shavings & sand, them removing them about once a week. They were smelly. Since I started using the leaves it has smelled fresh and I haven't removed them at all. Just keep adding to them. I think it may make less work during the winter months too.
     
  4. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I have a covered run. I have deep shavings in mine! It works well. Everyday, I sprinkle a handful of good birdseed around the run, they scratch around and it stays fresh and not stinky @ all. My only problem w/ it is ==we built the coop door only four inches above ground level --So, every night, I have to rake the shavings away from the door way before I can close it... My next coop will have a higher foundation so this will not be such a problem..
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  5. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    I have a covered run too. It has 3 foot tall wood siding on 3 sides to block some of the wind/rain. During winter I add a bit of clear plastic sheeting over the wire portion so it stays fairly dry during winter. I added a couple of inches of sand last year on top of the dirt and in the fall a thick layer of leaves. Worked great!!! The chickens loved scratching around in it, no odors and by spring it was all dirt. I left it, just turned it over some and the soil is now looser. I just added a really thick layer of leaves again for winter. I guess next spring I will shovel the top layer out for compost. The chickens don't like snow but they hang out in the run almost every day during winter (and it gets cold here in WI......).
     
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Leaves make great bedding for the coop or the chicken run! I use them every year. The chickens seem to love to scratch around in them. Good idea! Free and natural!
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    fldiver, I like your sand idea too! I already have sand in the run, but I could put more fresh sand on top.....
     
  8. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Leaves in the run are a wonderful idea! I always bag up a couple dozen for the winter months and disperse them randomly or when the girls need to stir up the ground in the coop a little bit.

    They'll love ya' for it!!
     
  9. 4luvofchickens

    4luvofchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2010
    Northern NY
    The girls do seem to enjoy it. Each time I add more leaves they start scratching around like crazy to see what they can find. I think it may help ease boredom during the winter months too. I throw some boss down to give them something to look for sometimes. And yes, the leaves are free and that's the best part. I think they also seem less dusty than shavings.
     
  10. redfeather

    redfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2010
    I wouldn't mind using leaves here.... but I think it would make it initially too wet inside my coop!! Especially this time of the year, it rains all the time.... how do you make sure the leaves will not make the coop too damp?
     

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