Deep litter method -- is it appropriate for a larger flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TeaLady, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. TeaLady

    TeaLady Out Of The Brooder

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    We've been bit by the chicken bug hard, and are building a coop this week to accommodate 100 birds. I want to use deep litter method. Himself is not sure it's a good idea & is hesitant to build to accommodate the litter depth. Our question is:

    ??? Assuming that the coop is has the appropriate square feet per bird, can you use DLM for a flock of 50 to 100 birds???

    We will have dropping boards under the roosts, BTW.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I'd say with dropping boards that will really help, but you are going to want to clean it more frequently than the DLM... at least I would.

    (I sweep and mop our coop weekly for our current flock of 19) (with 12 chicks in the brooder)
     
  3. ewesfullchicks

    ewesfullchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    The Deep Litter Method is what is used by people with commercial flocks which are FAR FAR Greater than your flock.

    At one time, I had greater than 1200 birds, but due to a Hurricane, I'm down to a mere 800 something.

    Certainly, I"m using the DLM......as are people who have more than 10,000!


    Rachel
    Rosharon, TX
     
  4. TeaLady

    TeaLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, thank you for your quick replies.

    I'm figuring we'll want to allow for at least a foot of depth below an inward swinging door. Himself is saying 6" or at most 8". I was pushing for a generous 2'.

    What would you recommend?
     
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:2' is waaay too much.. remember you have to go in and out..


    stairs would be required.. not a good thing when you are trying to get work done..

    I vote for 8"

    how are you going to remove the litter? have you allowed a couple of openings to toss it out into your tractor bucket? wheelborrow..? keep in mind it is easier to throw down than up..
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I'd say it's actually the *most* appropriate method for a larger flock [​IMG]

    If you are willing to build the people door outward- rather than inward-swinging, you can escape dealing with the issue of litter depth altogether. Because, if it swings *out*, you just screw a threshold of appropriate height across the inside wall to block litter falling out, and if things progress to where it isn't high enough, you screw another board on top of it to make it higher, and so on [​IMG] (This is not an issue for the chicken popdoor, I'd just make that 2' or so off the litter to begin with and if you need to have a step or ramp then that's no problem at all to build)

    For an inward-swinging door, a permanent 2' sill is indeed going to drive you nuts (among other things, good luck getting a wheelbarrow in or out to clean the coop!). Not that it can't be done with extra construction, but, you know.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    what is your snow depth in WA.
    If you make your door outswing, you have to allow for the depth of the snow..
     
  8. TeaLady

    TeaLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, all. It will make Himself happy to win on the depth issue.

    As to snow depth... where we are in the Cascade foothills we usually we get a dusting maybe once or twice a year. This past winter was exceptional; we had nearly a foot for weeks on end! What we do get is rain, pretty much constantly in the winter. I've requested a porch at the front door, and a generous roof overhang for egg collection.

    I have spec'd cleanout hatches all along, so I can just get in there and push the litter out through the hatch. The coop is up on blocks, so I'll be working with gravity.

    The door -- oh, wait 'til you see the door. We got a used front door on CL, complete with sidelights, and all 3 parts are still in their frame. We will just pop it in; it will take most of one wall. I'd rather it swing out, but Himself looked at it and said it wouldn't do. I forget why. Probably something about which side protects against the weather.

    What I'd like is a little antechamber -- an airlock or more accurately a chickenlock /storage area. That would be level floor as I walk in using the lovely front door. Then a sliding door & step(s) down into the chickens' area.

    I had him sold on a storage area, but now he doesn't want to give up any chicken space. We shall discuss this further today, I suppose. We'll be buying feed 10 bags at a time to get the price break (and storing them in an old paint locker, which is perfect). I truly want the supplies near the chickens.
     
  9. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:NOW< I am on your side about the foyer.. I did not do it and I kick myself for it daily..

    I like the idea of storing the feed in the foyer.. there is nothing pleasant about hauling feed through rain or snow to the coop

    I like your gravity aproach to cleaning also.
     
  10. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Quote:AH, but that's what snow shovels are for. [​IMG] I had to shovel snow away from the coop door many times this winter. What I really need to do is make a drainage ditch from the run door to aim the melting snow down the hill. The blasted snow melted and then froze the door shut!!! Chipping through 3 inches of ice was NOT fun!! [​IMG]
     

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