Deep Litter Method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cp_30256, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. cp_30256

    cp_30256 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    32
    Oct 22, 2007
    Georgia
    Need some help. I have a 6x6 roosting house the problem is it has a dirt floor because my husband built it on the ground without a floor, can I use the deep litter method. If so how?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
    12
    313
    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Yes you can - do a search there are lots of topics with that subject!
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am not sure what you feel the problem is -- in many ways, deep litter works *best* on a dirt floor [​IMG] Just put a bunch in, then when it gets too pooey/damp/smelly/whatever put some more in on top, lather rinse repeat until either a) your chickens' heads are scraping the ceiling <g>, b) adding more litter no longer fixes the pooeyness/dampness/smell/whatever, or c) for any other reason you feel like cleaning it all out and starting over.

    On a dirt floor, deep litter (unless pathologically dry) will start to compost from the bottom up. THis is a *good* thing, and there is no real reason to try to interfere with it.

    The only possible problem I can see is that if the litter gets too damp esp. along the bottom edges it can encourage rot in the bottoms of your walls. (You don't really want it that damp, of course, but under some circumstances it could happen and you might not notice). If this concerns you, line the bottom couple feet of your walls with something that will either resist rot or that you don't mind replacing if it does start to get funny. No big deal.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. cp_30256

    cp_30256 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    32
    Oct 22, 2007
    Georgia
    Thanks for the advice, I just didn't know if I could do it with a dirt floor, I just know that the dirt floor smells even tho I clean it out, so I could just put the litter on top of it and clean it when I feel is neccesary is that what you are saying. What kind of litter would you advise me to use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:If it's smelly right now. sprinkle a good layer of agricultural or hydrated lime on there (WEAR A MASK AND EYE PROTECTION), then dig or till it in really well. It should help considerably.

    Also, smelly dirt floors are often damp dirt floors - NOW, before you have litter and chickens in there, is the easiest time to assess and fix that if it's the case. Mainly, make sure surface water and roof water are diverted elsewhere (ditches, french drains, berms, gutters, etc) and make sure coop and run are not a 'low spot' that stays wet or gets damp coming up from below -- raise the floor with extra dirt or gravel, if needed.

    Me, I am a firm believer in softwood shavings in bags from feedstore; but some people use chopped straw, pine straw, dried leaces etc. Sand is common in runs. Search this forum on 'bedding' for more points of view and discussion of options.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  6. cp_30256

    cp_30256 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    32
    Oct 22, 2007
    Georgia
    Thanks this sure does help. Pat can you tell me anything about molting, like how long does it last,etc.
     
  7. RyanAndMeri

    RyanAndMeri Out Of The Brooder

    92
    8
    41
    Sep 10, 2007
    We use the deep litter method and just keep it very dry and it never stinks. I guess it helps that we live in a desert, I'm not sure how well it works in high humidity areas.

    We hardly have to turn it either since they seem to do that to take dust baths anyway. Every week or two weeks we add a little more to the top of it and in spring I plan on adding all of it to my compost heap and starting over. I *LOVE* the deep litter method, it's been perfect.

    If I were you I'd have some gravel in there or some large flat stones (ie 1 foot square) under the litter to keep the moisture out. Mold/mildew is unhealthy and can stink as well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by