Deep litter method

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by veronicasmom, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will try to word this so it makes sense, sometimes I get ahead of myself![​IMG]
    Anyway, we have a large shed with very good ventilation. The ducks share it with our rabbits. They are obviously separated by a wire fence and boards. The shed has double doors on each end that can be opened up for complete cross ventilation or the doors can be left shut and little hatches opened in inclement weather. IT has roof vents and windows that can be opened in the summer. The floor is covered by heavy rubber stall mats. Currently I am using straw in the very cold weather and hay in the less cold weather to line the floor for the ducks. I remove it daily. I was wondering about just using straw for the deep litter method. I don't want to put shavings or peat moss in because of the dust factor and I worry about how it would bother the rabbits. We've had this set up for many years and it works well, but the cost of straw and hay is expensive and when I remove it daily I realize I use a ton of it. So I am contemplating doing something different if possible.
    I kind of "get" the theory of the DLM, but have a bit of a problem getting over not cleaning out the area daily. That is hard for me to grasp. I know you pick out the worst spots, but when the weather is as bad as it's been here lately, the ducks are in so much more and the poop freezes instantly, so the shed is full of poop constantly. And the poop piles that a Muscovy leaves are BIG (relatively speaking), so there are all these hard mounds all over the floor each am. Can't make walking easy. So if I cover it all up with new straw, how much am I actually saving? If I try to pick it out, a ton of straw comes with it cause it's frozen solid. Plus the water splashing out of the dish freezes the straw into a hard spot and that takes up a lot when I remove it too. Is my set up going to work with the DLM? Or am I best to just keep to what I am doing?
    Hope this was somewhat coherent! It's kind of hard to describe the set up.
     
  2. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made this to set my waterer on. I put the heated bowl on it in the winter. The wet spot is not where the chickens can get to it. I deep litter, I chop hay and straw with my mulcher/shredder. I am able to stir it then add more. The smaller size doesn't pack and entangle, it can be tossed up. I also store leaves to add as well. Bed them deep, the more material the dryer and cleaner it will stay. I go through with my pitch fork and toss it up throw in some oats and the chickens tear it up even more! Clean as a whistle! I know ducks don't scratch, but you can. I add material usually weekly, and I do use pine shavings as well, usually over the manure under the roost rails. Keeps a fresh smell going on.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I like that set up, good job.
     
  4. newfoundland

    newfoundland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would try the DLM at least while this very cold weather continues. The deeper the better as far as the comfort of the ducks is concerned.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I've used deep litter since I started with ducks close to 10yrs now and wouldn't do it any different other than I started out using straw and switched to shavings so much nicer, I do go in daily and remove the poop off the top and then use my pitch fork to fluff it all up. Chicken coop has about 12" ducks/geese about 6-10 depending on where I am in adding.
     

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