Deep litter method

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 2AcreFarmer, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. 2AcreFarmer

    2AcreFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Can I use hay for the deep litter method inside the coop? Everyone says not to use hay but I need more opinions.
     
  2. lismarc

    lismarc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would have to agree with the majority of no.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Hay will most likely turn into an impenetrable mat that you might need a chain saw to break it apart! That being said, a little hay will mix in with shavings ok, but it has no where near the good absorption properties of shavings. I find that a mix of hay and leaves work well in the lower level of my coop, but I tend to go light with the hay b/c of past experience with the matting.
     
  4. 2AcreFarmer

    2AcreFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    @lazy gardener

    So you're saying that I can use leaves with a little hay mixed in as the bedding in the coop?
     
  5. chickwhispers

    chickwhispers A French Hen

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    Everything I have read says not to use hay for litter. It gets a bad mold on it. Straw, leaves and pine shavings yes. No hay or cedar shavings Cedar gives off fumes harmful to chickens. I use a mix of mostly straw then some pine shavings. I sprinkle some Sweet PDZ on the droppings 1 or 2x before putting fresh pine shavings and then a little straw too. Also turn it under and mix a little before the next addition. Hope this helps!
     
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  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I use it in the lower level of my coop which is basically a very secure run with bare ground underneath a DL mix of leaves and some grass clippings. That litter is about 8" deep, and I throw a new bag of leaves in there occasionally if it looks like it is needed. The top level, which is their sleeping loft, has their perches, and nest boxes, and can be closed up to keep them warm at night has only shavings. Sorry I didn't clarify my set up. I don't think I'd use even leaves in a standard coop with a wood floor. But, if I was lacking a full bale of shavings, I might add a few leaves, but that would be my very last option b/c of the worry about mold issues in the coop. Leaves have very low absorbancy, but I love them in a DL/compost type situation, especially mixed with grass clippings like in the lower level of my coop. 2AcreFarmer: What is your coop like? Is it solid floor or dirt floor? How big, how many chickens, what are your temps, how deep is your current litter, what is it, how much ventilation? This info might be helpful in discussing your particular situation. PM if you'd like.
     
  7. Paulyp

    Paulyp Out Of The Brooder

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    I wanted to try the deep litter method and this June I tried it out. I have an indoor coop that is 10'X10' and an out door coop that is 10'X12'. My out door coop I like to use straw. I add as I need it. In the coop I use pine shavings and add a bail once a month or so. I was able to just add to it for 8 months with no odor or issues... When it got very cold and everything froze for a month and then a warm spell thawed everything out it got ripe! So anyway my experience with the deep litter was a success as far as I was concerned. And the compost that was a result was extra benefit.... Just re-started it again. I hope I have the same result next time.. Wish me luck!!
     

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