deep litter & throwing scratch in it to get the chickens to mix it..

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gale65, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    I read that people throw some cracked corn or whatever on the pine litter in the coop every so often to get the chickens to stir up the litter. Last night I read (not here) that you shouldn't do that because the chickens eating in the proximity of the poop can increase the chance of them getting worms. Has anyone had this problem? This is aimed at people who use pine type shavings and deep litter-not sand people.

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Quote:I have not heard of the worm thing before, I use deep pine shavings in my coop and all last winter I would throw out scartch grains for them in the evening when I put them to bed. They loved going through the litter. I also worm my chickens 2 times a year because diggin in the dirt ouside they will pick up worms. And the bonus as you said is they stir up the bedding. you might enjoy reading this
  3. acy0029

    acy0029 Songster

    Apr 9, 2011
    Wouldn't eating in the proximity of the poop giving them worms mean that they already had worms?
  4. Hinotori

    Hinotori Silver Feathers Premium Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Graham, WA
    That was what went through my head. If it's their own litter, how could they get something they didn't already have?
  5. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    I don't know. I wish I could remember where I read it. I'm pretty sure it was online and at a site that seemed pretty reputable.

  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Chickens are going to scratch around whether you throw food down or not.

    It's not worth worrying about either way
  7. frostbite

    frostbite Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Very useful link, Miss Lydia. Curious though about a couple things; I've heard using food grade diatomaceous earth works well to absorb moisture, it was mentioned instead of lime in one article I read. Anyone know whether that's true or not? I would think it would be less caustic than lime.

    Also, anyone have any experience with this method at persistent sub-zero temperatures (frequently 20-30 below here, for fairly long stretches) Will it still work?

    Of course, I'm guessing it will work for me a LOT better than going out and cleaning the coop every week when it's that cold. Yuck. But is it going to work for the birds?
  8. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I've been using a sort of modified "deep litter" method since getting my chickens in April. Put them in the outside coop around the end of May. Using straw for about 4" deep litter. Haven't changed it so far. I do turn the litter underneath the roost every couple/three days using a three-pronged garden soil hand tool. I sprinkle DE if the coop starts to get a smell. I have removed a small portion of the litter about 3 times, and threw in a flake of hay, about 4". I use two of those "tree" vanilla hanging car deodorizers. (really!) which helps keep the fly population to a minimum. The floor of the coop is oil-based painted wood, which creates a slick, non-stick, non-porous surface. I find that the litter does not actually compost with this method; it dries out. The poop gets to be little hard balls, which stay that way till it goes into my compost pile with the hay I have removed. Yesterday I found I could use the three-pronged tool in one hand, and a dust pan in the other, and sucessfully scoop up soiled straw, rake the straw off and have the poop balls remain in the dust pan, to be placed in a bucket headed for the compost pile. This saved more straw. I only did this under the roost. I kind of stir the straw around in the rest of the coop, to keep it fresh. The chickens assist in this. Honestly, I don't spend more than 15 minutes a week cleaning inside the coop. I rake around the yard just about daily, trying to get most of the poop out of my path. That takes very little time, as well. My coop doesn't stink. The yard only stinks if it has just rained. A liberal sprinkle of DE in the yard takes care of that.
  9. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    Keep your chickens wormed and you should have no issues. I use mine to stir up the deep litter under their roosts, works great.

  10. frostbite

    frostbite Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    I'm not so much concerned about the parasites as I am keeping a clean safe coop with the diatomaceous earth. I'll probably go with the more standard treatments for parasites. But will the DE work as well as the lime?

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