deep litter method in coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lisamcconnell, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. lisamcconnell

    lisamcconnell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Hi All,

    Found out about this concept at the modern homestead web site. Anyhow, he uses some sort of bedding--pine, leaves, etc. and says the chickens will scratch in the poop and then combined w/ soil and bedding will compost together nicely so that he doesn't have to clean the coop very often.

    I'd like to try this, but not sure what he means by "deep" litter. How much to use? Also, we have chicken wire on the floor of our coop and i am wondering if they can scratch w/ enough dirt for it to compost like he talks about it.

    Anyone do this?

    Thanks!
    Lisa
     
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Hi Lisa, most of us here do the deep litter method. If you have chicken wire down then I don't see how you can use it as when they scratch it seems like they will tear up their feet?? I spread a bale of pine shavings NOT CEDAR AS CEDAR IS TOXIC all over the coop floor, I also add Diatomaceous Earth by dusting the entire floor between layers. Whenever I can smell the coop while inside collecting eggs I add another layer of shavings. By winter I keep about six inches or more on the floor. It insulates the floor.
    By spring, I rake it all out and put into a compost pile for garden use and spread more. I do this in the fall and spring. Others clean theirs out monthly. I wouldn't do it any other way. I have healthy, happy chickens.
    Do a "search" and you will see all the different methods you can use.
     
  3. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
  4. lisamcconnell

    lisamcconnell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Hey,

    Thanks all for this great information! Now, I feel much more prepared to use this method and have lots of resources.

    Do you all think it won't work if there isn't enough dirt scratched in w/ the pine and DE? I could always cut the chicken wire and just keep a border of it along the sides. I wonder how well that would work.

    Also, I assume you do put food on the ground in the coop? I have containers for their food, but I am thinking for scraps and greens from the garden. I posted on the feeding section about this, but just wondering about people who use this deep litter method.

    Thanks again!
    Lisa
     
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    I put their scraps on an old cookie sheet. Their feeder and waterer are up on blocks or they would be filled with shavings. I forgot to add, I take a pitch fork in there and turn the shavings every few days and then there is really no odor to speak of for quite a long time...like months if you add shavings as soon as you do smell a little. I turned all mine today and put a light layer of shavings over the top and refilled their nesting boxes with the shavings.
     

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