Deep Litter Method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by whoacowboy, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I be instructed in basic terms how to start and maintain the deep littler method? I have read a lot on the forum but I am a "learn by doing, not by reading" type of person, I would just like the plain jist of doing it [​IMG] If there is such a thing. I know everyone adds their own tweaks to things. Help a newbie out [​IMG]
     
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hello. We (my husband, myself, and our two boys, ages 12 and 9) are new to this forum, new to raising chickens. Our 26 chickens (13 RIR and 13 BPR) were born June 8th. We have been doing chicken research since the spring. We are having a lot of fun, but we still have so much more to learn.

    I noticed that darkmatter said he/she uses the sub-ground level dirt floor compost pit deep litter method. I am familiar with the deep litter method, but I am not clear on the significance of the sub-ground level dirt floor. Can anyone tell me more about this, please?

    Thanks for your help.

    The natural dirt floor provides micro-organisms for the composting process; it also supports a more correct moisture level (not too wet or too dry) for composting. The sub-ground level "Pit" helps with maintaining proper temperature for composting and retains the heat better which you'll want in the winter. An example:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/36435_snowstorm.jpg

    NOTE: The deep litter compost pit should not have structure wood in contact, use stone, brick, or concrete to prevent your Coop from composting.
     
  3. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So if my coop floor is wood, I should line the bottom with bricks? Then start the deep littler method? What do I start with? What is listed above? Grass, leaves, etc. What about pine shavings? How deep do I make the beginning layer? Do I turn it over every week? I wasn't kidding when I said I was clueless.[​IMG]
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Use pine shavings. Open the bag & throw them in. Just like a hamster cage.
     
  5. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are the flies like on this method? Do I still clean the nest boxes as normal? And anywhere else they sleep and poop? And I begin by laying bricks down?
     
  6. Young Heritage

    Young Heritage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the way I do it is a little different than a true Deep Litter Method. I turn mine over and mix it up every 2 weeks. I then add some DE and a new layer of shavings. I also do not fully compost in my coops as I have a wood floors. The DE keeps the moisture, smell, and flies down and every 6 months I clean it out and add it to my already working compost pile. When clean out time comes there is about 8 to 10 inches deep of partly composted goodness. I am sure if I did not use the DE it would be moist enough to fully compost. " Along with my floor". My future coops and breeding pens will have no floor and will be on the ground so I can do a true DLM.
     
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Without seeing a picture of your setup, I can't suggest how to resolve your questions. Take a look at my BYC page for my setup. I built my Coop in B.C. (before computers) with the intention of a compost pit deep litter management method. (which, by the way is a old European method of livestock management that has been used for centuries ) My Coop is built on a brick foundation with the wooden part above ground level and the Coop dirt floor about a foot & 1/2 below ground level. The litter starts out at about 6 inches or so. (When I get tired of raking up pine straw and/or lawnmower bagging dumping) And then I add more over the summer as it "cooks" down and usually a lot in the fall when I have abundant leaves to give it a full load for over the winter. In the spring I clean out the wonderful "brown gold" for my garden.
     
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree natural dirt floors are the ticket .
     
  9. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is a converted playhouse. about 3x5. Wood floor of course. The next boxes are about 12 inches from the floor. Then there are roosts throughout. I have a kick board by the door already. So if I lined the floor with bricks, started dumping pine shavings, leaves, etc, and some de...I have started a method? What if I line the bottom with sand?
     
  10. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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