Deep litter method vs sand in the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by starsevol, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. starsevol

    starsevol In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2014
    Hi everyone. I just started keeping hens in May. I got two of them......then hatched 4 of their eggs. So far all the chicks look like pullets my coop is 16 square feet and the run is 45. I am having problems with flies and stink in the run. My husband is quite unhappy about it. I was using the deep litter method, but I don't think it is deep enough and I think I should've been turning it more. I just ordered sweet dpz from amazon and I am hoping that will help. The chicks are almost ready to go in the coop, and if I have smelly troubles with two.......well you get the idea.

    Half the run is uncovered and I plan to tarp that over either today or tomorrow.

    Anyway, in your opinion, are six birds too many for the deep litter system or should I switch to sand? We don't have sufficient composters for all the poop which is why we went with the deep litter in the first place.
  2. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Songster

    May 2, 2012
    both your coop and your run are on the small side for 6 full size birds. suggested spacings are coop-4sqft/bird and run 10sqft/bird.

    If you just throw scratch into the deep litter they will turn it for you.

    Is the run exposed to the weather, if it gets wet from rain you'll never get rid of the smell.

    In my run I use straw which I rake out about once a week and throw them some more to dig through. But you said you dont' have enough composters for all the poop. One pallet bin takes care of all my straw/poop that I clean up. Sometimes I throw some of it around trees as a mulch.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  3. starsevol

    starsevol In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2014
    I had read somewhere that one standard size hen creates roughly 100 lbs of poop in a year. Scary thought if it's true, isn't it?

    My run is half roofed and half uncovered, but we plan on roofing the whole thing soon. I will tarp it over if I see rain. The coop is under a tree, against the house in the backyard. I just put a bale of pine shavings in and raked it through. I scraped everything down to bare dirt this morning. Already I can see a difference.

    When we built the coop, I knew that four birds was about the right number for it.
    I never in a million years expected those four eggs to hatch, and for all to be pullets.
    I still won't know for certain if they are all girls for a few weeks.
    If I have to rehome two of them I will do it, but it will be a sad sad day around here.

    Thank you so much for helping me out.

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