Deep Litter Method VS Poop boards OR in addition to?

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

  1. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    No, no odor at all.

    A key factor is plenty of ventilation.

    No odors, but plenty of dust.

    My coop flooring is 40+ years old...8+ containing chickens.
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

     
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  3. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought I was going to do both poop boards and DLM in the coop. But it turns out that with the poop boards not enough falls to the floor for DLM to work.
    So instead I have poop boards with Deep Bedding in mine. With the poop boards catching 95% or the poop, I find that the pine chips on the coop floor last easy 2years without any issues.

    I'm kind of disappointed because I built my coop with the DLM in mind so the nest boxes and pop door are all about 8" up off the floor and if they were lower I'd have fewer height problems with my setup. Since I'm vertically challenged I do have some problems with my current setup but will learn from it for future builds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    This^^^^
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Deep litter should be about 20-25% moisture to function properly, that is pretty 'dry' overall and won't cause a humidity problem in a properly ventilated coop...

    Look at this chart of average summer and winter outdoor ambient humidity levels...

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/us-outdoor-design-temperature-humidity-d_296.html

    I live in the Chicago area where outdoor winter humidity levels are about 70%, I'm not concerned that the 20% moisture content of my deep litter is going to push that existing 70% humidity higher especially if the coop is ventilated properly...
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Heated yes, AC no... I only heat to about 35°F when I heat so for most of this winter since it was a very mild winter the furnace didn't even run or I had it turned off... My coop generally holds about +10° to +15° over outside temps due to the birds and heat given off by the deep litter so the furnace only runs on 20° or less days...

    Either way me heating or not has no bearing on what I stated, the minimal evaporation from deep litter at 20% moisture content simply isn't going to have much effect on the humidity in a properly ventilated coop, in fact I doubt it has any more effect the humidity given off from a poop board...

    I can't see a legit argument that a properly working deep litter bed is going to cause a humidity issue in a properly ventilated coop...

    I think people have this mind set that deep litter is muddy or wet, it's not, it's actually quite 'dry' when working properly... Here are some pictures I just snapped of right now, notice how 'dry' the litter is? This isn't steaming or giving off any realistic amount of moisture into the air that isn't immediately removed by the ventilation, I can kneel down or sit on this and my pants would not even get wet, in fact I could take a paper towel and push it against the litter and I doubt it would even show any dampness...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that the humidity emanating from deep litter inside a well ventilated coop should not be an issue for the birds.

    I know it varies depending upon the materials used in the deep litter, but 20 - 25% moisture content would seem a bit low to support much microbial activity required for proper composting, if this is what you are suggesting.

    If not, what you have is essentially deep bedding.

    I have personally produced copious amounts of compost working closely with Rutgers University Master Gardeners, but I have listed some sites to support this statement from those much more credible than I. [​IMG]

    http://compost.css.cornell.edu/monitor/monitormoisture.html

    http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/fundamentals/needs_moisture.htm

    http://anlab.umesci.maine.edu/soillab_files/under/Compost Report Interpretation Guide.pdf

    http://www.cias.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/artofcompost.pdf
     
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  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Deep litter is a type of composting but it's not that same as the type of composting your articles describe, although similar they are not the same, thus I believe your articles above fall into an apples category when we are talking oranges... You will find many deep litter articles that point out the fact that deep litter is not traditional composting and should not be compared or equated...

    A compost pile needs the extra moisture as it's designed to run 'hot' and compost fast at about 135° -160°F, deep litter doesn't run anywhere near that hot thus it doesn't need as much moisture to support that level of compost action... Every article I have read about 'deep litter' specifically says the litter should not clump, litter at 40% moisture like in a traditional compost pile will clump readily... Also from what I have repeatably read moisture in excess of 30% really starts to promote the release of ammonia... Note this article says the "At 75°F, maximum ammonia volatilization occurs at approximately 42% litter moisture" http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Program/212/LivestockGRACEnet/LitterMoisture.pdf Thus running deep litter at that moisture content (as you would a compost pile) would be counter productive to ammonia reduction...

    Can someone list their perceived differences between the proclaimed 'deep litter' and 'deep bedding' being talked about, what makes them different and not synonymous?

    I find the two wordings to be synonymous unless you are saying 'deep bedding' is tossing excess litter in a coop to 'hide' the poop with no significant composting action or attempt to compost... If the goal is composting and you have composting it's deep litter to me, or as many call it deep litter bedding eluding further to the synonymous meaning...

    I posted the pictures of what my litter looks like, it's clearly composting (aka deep litter) as that litter is now going on 2 years old, with about 100 birds pooping on it every day, if it wasn't composting properly it would not look like that nor would it be odor free... All I have done over the course of two years is add more carbon material (leaves, straw, wood chips, grass clippings, corn husk) and fluffed it when the chickens are not scratching enough...

    If I have time I'll go out today and take a moisture reading of my litter, as I honestly never bothered to check it, it's inside the coop and it does it's thing so actual numbers are not a concern to me...

    The 20-25% moisture content I typed above was found on multiple 'deep litter' articles I have read over the years, and I suspect it to be a fairly accurate number...
     
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  10. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for all this input you guys! So, for ventilation, that would be areas that are left open 24/7? Would open eaves be enough? All around the top? Or do I need additional vents in the walls?
     

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