Deep Litter Method VS Poop boards OR in addition to?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DreamsInPink, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been reading all day. I'm curious about the deep litter method... how hard it is to maintain and if it is to be used versus the poop boards or in addition to?

    I am assuming it is in addition to, but the pictures I've seen showing some of the deep litter methods, did not show poop boards.

    I definitely want to use the poop boards with the Sweet PDZ under the roosts... should I do the dlm also? I've been reading about health benefits of the dlm as well.

    Any insight on the two would be greatly appreiciated.
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    Excellent question I am going to use both however only have deep bedding, deep bedding only needs to be turned once every couple days if you were to use a poop board in addition to deep bedding you would only have to do a deep cleaning once a year cleaning the poop board every day when you let them out of the coop. So yes you should use both
  3. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    Oh and if you do, do the DLM, use laminate flooring over the entire floor of the coop It helps to keep the floor from rotting and it also keeps out mice and rats that may burrow into the coop if you decide to have a dirt floor.
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Here's another vote for deep bedding + poop board in the coop.
    I'm doing the deep litter method in my run though. That way I can use my tiller to churn it all up if it gets too packed. The bedding from the coop will just be swept out into the run during clean-out.
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you only have a few chickens you can probably get by with just the deep liter...

    But as the chicken numbers grow the amount of overnight poop, poop that falls in the same exact location night after night will overwhelm the deep liter in that area in many cases... So IMO it's best to use a combo deep litter and a poop board and/or remove poop under the roosting areas to avoid overwhelming the deep litter...

    Personally I would never use laminate flooring in a wet location, seen it fail way too many times in kitchens, bathroom and even entrances when water pooled on it for one reason or another...

    Dirt bottoms are best for deep litter as they provide and replenish all the microorganisms that do the composting and add depth to the litter... If you do it over a floor be it plastic, wood or concrete you really need the litter to be about 18" deep for it to work well...
  6. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    There is a difference between DEEP BEDDING and DEEP LITTER. (Someone more knowledgeable, please correct me if I'm wrong).

    We use DEEP BEDDING in our coop (with a poopboard). It's a deep layer of pine shavings. It stays dry due to the poopboard collecting most of the droppings. The water is outdoors so spills don't make the bedding wet.

    We use DEEP LITTER in the run, it's a dirt floor with straw, lawn clippings, leaves, hay, old pine shavings, pine needles and other garden debris. Even though the run is covered, rain sometimes blows in helping with the decomposing process.

    I don't use the deep litter in my coop due to the moisture needed to break the litter down. I like the coop very dry, especially in winter.
    2 people like this.
  7. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I saw Laminate flooring, my brain read vinyl.... no way I'd use laminate flooring in a chicken coop... I won't even use laminate in my home... like meepbeep said, way too many opportunities for it to fail. Vinyl though, I'd use. Or I may just put down a couple nice coats of exterior gloss.

    You have a wonderful point. I hadn't thought of that. Deep bedding in the coop and deep litter in the run... sounds good to me. :) Thank you!
  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop floor is wood, unsealed.

    I use a deep bedding of pine shavings.

    I keep it ~ 8-10 inches deep.

    No poop moisture reaches the floor with 13 chickens pooping directly on the litter (no poop boards, too much work for me).

    My coop footprint is ~ 50 square feet, and the coop is very well ventilated, keeping the litter relatively dry, too dry to heat up.

    Once a year or so, I empty the spent litter into the uncovered deep litter run, where the composting process completes in a few months.

    Very easy, little effort, no odors, no flies, no mud.

    Works wonders for my needs.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Like so many things here, there's no hard and fast rules or one right answer [​IMG].

    It's perfectly good to use both. Do you have to? No.

    A lot will depend on your coop set up. Some smaller coops really aren't conducive to a poop board, there's not enough height. Some folks use a sliding tray in that situation. Some use a piece of vinyl flooring they pull out and dump the entire thing every few days.

    Do you have your coop already? If you do, post a pic so we can see what you're working with. If you don't have one yet, it's harder to give specific advice. Just remember with all your research, to be flexible. Don't be afraid to try something and be open to changing it if it doesn't work for you, no matter how much someone else swears by it.
  10. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the info. I will definitely be sealing my floor.. or using vinyl. Probably sealing though. It may not be entirely necessary, but I'll feel better with that extra level of protection for my wood. I don't want to have to do this again.
    Do you have a lot of odor, if you only clean the coop 1 or 2 times a year? It just seems like there would be a LOT of built up poop. Idk. Your method definitely sounds easy.

    Yes, I understand there are many ways to do just about everything and everyone will prefer a different method. I don't know what you consider a smaller coop, but mine is going to be at least 10x12' with 6' head room on the low side...(it will have a slanted roof instead an A frame roof.... I'm planning on putting poop boards with roosts along each 12' wall so everyone has a place and there's no bickering for premium roost spots. How high do the poop boards/roosts need to be? My plan for the poop boards is to make it scoopable using Sweet PDZ and sand as the litter. And have the roosts above the poop boards.

    I am definitely open to suggestions.. which is why I'm trying to learn as much as I can before we build the coop. We will be starting construction this week. I figured I'd ask for lots of suggestions and ideas from more experience people... so hopefully, I can skip the trial and error on at least some things. Thank you for your reply. :)

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