Deep litter method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChrisnTiff, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. RoseMarie1

    RoseMarie1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2013
    My Coop
    SOOOOOOO pretty LOVE those pretty colored leaves!!!!
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    That depends on what materials one is using for composting, if one is using deep litter and letting it age out in the coop instead of just letting it fill up with manure and scraping it out of the coop and if one is using fermented feeds or not. I know that throws a curve ball in it but it does make a difference...when feeding fermented feeds, it can make the chicken manure less "hot" as the digestion of the feces if more complete, much like the manure of ruminants and horses. When I started fermenting my feeds I found the poop just disappears in the bedding from one day to the just seems to disintegrate and it has little, if any, odor. That's a big, big difference than manure from feeding unfermented grains.

    Using deep litter takes it one step further by allowing the manure to compost in place in the coop and it can take longer for some coops for that process to happen, depending on if the coop has a soil or wooden floor.
  3. The building I'm converting to a coop and going to use deep litter in has a cement floor with bark chunks already there, and peeling paint. Once I finish scraping the paint, I don't think I'm going to be able to get every little bit up. Do I need to get rid of all the paint chips, thus also getting rid of the bark, or can I just pick up the bigger bits and stir the small chips in? I don't know if the paint is water or oil based, but I'm pretty sure it's lead-free, since the building was built in the '80s and lead paint was banned in 1978. I have no way of knowing what the pigments in the paint are, but the chips are a very light green, almost white, and a deep forest green.

    Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, since I don't know what the pigments are, I probably should toss everything instead of using the litter in a veggie garden. Darn.
  4. The vents would be for at night when the doors are closed. I cannot leave their doors open at night as stray animals might get in and clean my barn out for me. I have overhead ventilation and from what I understand, I also need floor level ventilation so my birds don't get frostbite from their breath.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I wouldn't worry too much about those little things. I'd just compost it all and let the "chips" fall where they may.... [​IMG] They will be buried under a lot of acidic compost for a long time before they ever reach your garden, so there is a good chance they will have degraded into nothing much by the time that goes on your garden.

    Well, air flows more readily if there is more than one opening in a room. On a hot day, you can open one window and not get much air flow, but open another and suddenly you have air that is moving instead of just static, stale air. Same in a coop...if one only has upper venting in a coop there may be some air escaping those vents but it won't be as active...more of a slow seep of humidity and heat, but add a lower vent and suddenly you have air that moves. If a coop had an attic fan it might move just fine by the fan sucking that air up and out, but since they don't, one has to use an intake of fresh cold air to move the stale, warm air a little more quickly out the upper vents.

  6. I do tend to be a little paranoid about pigments and whatnot--my family has had experience with heavy metal poisoning and, being an art major, I know how toxic some of the pigments can be. But maybe house paint uses less toxic ones--the really bad natural ones are also really expensive (cadmium's especially horrible, if I recall correctly... Then again, cadmium's used for warm colors) and the synthetics are likely cheaper and safer.

    Who, me? Overthink things? Whatever makes you think that? [​IMG]
  7. iwanaplae2

    iwanaplae2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    Salem OR

    DE is diatomaceous earth. The are the fossilized remains of a creature called a diatom. If you choose to use it around your animals, or home it needs to be "food grade".
  8. So... ?

    My diagrams and drawings I spent so much time on? Should my vents be under the poop boards? Maybe I can figure a way to put them on the doors that cover the openings for outside? That wouldn't be under the bird but there are 8 doors, just on my side of the barn. Just as an added side note... this barn was built out of 4x8 pallets joined together (including the roof!) and the seams are covered up but there is still a lot of air leakage. It's really hard to imagine there not being enough air flow.

    What I should do is go in the barn and close all the doors and take pictures to show all the cracks in the thing. Then go from there?
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Sounds like you would have decent airflow if you've left a lot of the cracks open, though I have found that the cracks, being evenly spaced throughout the coop and small, don't seem to actually pull the air in one direction like the venting does. At least, that was my experience in a coop of similar ventilation with the cracks between boards. It wasn't until I added another large vent under the roost that I finally achieved the level of ventilation I needed with the deep litter.

    The diagram is great but kind of hard to picture with all the small pens...are they open pens with wire walls or are they solid wall construction? I think if the pop doors to the outside are left open at night, it should draw good air but if not, the vent under the roost would be a good placement.

    I am kind of wondering about the poop boards when you are using deep litter, though...what would be their use if the desired result was binding nitrogenous feces with carbonaceous litter? I'm always hoping my birds will poop MORE in the coop instead of less.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  10. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    You can get lead testing kits. When my cildren were born, we test all old furniture that we were suspicious of. Yes, the paint was banned, but did an old can of it get used after the ban date. Testing is very easy once you have a kit.- and I would put it in the trash, IMO. YOu are right not to compost it into your food source.

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