deep litter method in hot climate?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jorbri, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. jorbri

    jorbri New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Oct 21, 2008
    brisbane
    I live in Brisbane, Australia. Bought our first ever chicks (4) a few days ago. I would like to investigate the best method for cleaning coup and run (when eventually they go in the coup). Deep litter method wouldn't work in hot climate??? Any other suggestions? Would I need to clean weekly if deep litter is not possible? What do I clean with? Coup is 2.26mx1.52xh1.8m and I will also be making a run. Thanks Vicki
     
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    43
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I've used deep litter in a place with hot weather. Typically, you clean out the coop before the hottest weather comes and start with very little litter in the coop then.

    Are you planning on doing this on a solid floor or a dirt floor? Like a compost pile in the garden, deep litter can be a hot pile or a cool pile, as it breaks down. The way most people do deep litter in their backyard coops, it's a cool pile.

    It's easier to do a hot pile on dirt, as microbes will move up from the soil and it tends to keep the litter at the right moisture level. It also helps to have the right balance of chicken poo to litter, as well as the right amount of moisture. Too wet and it stinks. Too dry and it's dusty. If it's too dry, the microbes that compost the litter will also not be very active and won't heat up the pile.

    So, if you want a cooler deep litter, keeping the pile a little more dry is good. Not so dry that it's dusty, though. Also, a shallow pile, either litter or garden compost, will compost more slowly than a deep pile. Big compost piles really get cooking in the center of the pile.

    Really, though, if you just add some litter to the floor of the coop and any time it smells or looks too dirty you sprinkle a little more litter on top, your chickens should be fine. After you have your coop up and running for a little while, you'll get the hang of how much litter to add and how often. It's really pretty easy.

    You can clean it out when you choose to. I always wear a dust mask as my airways won't tolerate dust and just shovel out the old litter. Then I add fresh litter. You can scrape any dirty perches before you shovel out the coop. I don't usually have to do much of that and I tend to do things like that whenever I see it.

    The best thing you can do for chickens that live where it gets really hot is to build them a coop that's more open, to stay cooler. Also, make sure to give them some shade in their run, either natural or man-made. I'm not used to figuring chicken spacing in metric, but by my rough estimate your coop looks like a great size for 4 chickens.

    I hope you enjoy your chickens and have a lot of fun! And welcome to BYC!
     
  3. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    I use a bit of human grade Diatomatious earth (DE - not sure if I am spelling correctly) in my hot and humid area. I don't know if it is humid where you live - but if you have heat and too much moisture - the human grade DE is FABULOUS - dries up the poop, inhibits parasites and other creepy crawlies, and keeps the stink down... [​IMG] and good luck!!!! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by