Deep litter..What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Katt47, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Katt47

    Katt47 In the Brooder

    Nov 1, 2017
    So I decided I would try the deep litter method this year since I got a new coop and flock.
    Well, It's not going that well. I have TSC pine shavings and they don't want to break down AT ALL! I've had them in there since April and I add Sweet PDZ to it for ammonia control. Well, that's not working either. I also turn it over a few times a week. What am I doing wrong?
  2. ShouldabeenaVET

    ShouldabeenaVET Songster

    Dec 30, 2017
    wyoming/montanee line
    I dont think your doing anything wrong. It won't really breakdown and disappear. If it doesn't smell I wouldn't worry. I don't even add the PDZ and mine works fine. I probably change it maybe every 10 months or so. I do push a muck rake around and stir it occasionally. I am in a very dry climate but it works better than anything I've tried.
    DobieLover likes this.
  3. Katt47

    Katt47 In the Brooder

    Nov 1, 2017
    That's the thing, it is starting to smell. Thats why I used the PDZ.
    I'm in Maryland and it's been a really humid few months.
    DobieLover likes this.
  4. ShouldabeenaVET

    ShouldabeenaVET Songster

    Dec 30, 2017
    wyoming/montanee line
    Oh okay. I bet its the humidity. Sorry I probably can't be of much help. Good Luck
    DobieLover likes this.
  5. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Songster

    Jun 20, 2016
    I would replace it and start over as the humidity will help with mold and bad bacteria
    imneva likes this.
  6. imneva

    imneva Songster

    Apr 9, 2018
    north central Wv
    I use a mix of tsc pine shavings peet miss and pdz. So far so good. I am in northern wv humid here too. I have an 8x12 coop and 10 chickens with a 20x40 ft run
    DobieLover likes this.
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    What else is in your deep litter other than pine shavings? Pine shavings alone is not deep litter and I personally try to use as little of it as possible as it does not break down well. In order for deep litter to work properly you need a mix of different matter: wood chunks, dried leaves, grass clippings, weed or garden trimmings, pine needles, etc.

    Here's mine from earlier this year - mostly wood chips, dried leaves were all broken down, and I had just added grass clippings. We get a lot of rain (it had just rained heavily before I snapped the photo) but no smell and no drainage issues.

    aart, imneva and DobieLover like this.
  8. FeatherstoneFrm

    FeatherstoneFrm Songster

    Aug 1, 2014
    Appling, GA
    I add to mine periodically. The chickens turn it everyday. I might rake over any poop when I'm in there but don't have any problems with odor. I'm probably going to clean it out soon for compost. It's been 4 months.
  9. LittleMissCountry

    LittleMissCountry Songster

    Mar 30, 2018
    I throw the pine shavings from the coop in the compost heap, not the run. They take forever to break down.

    Mine is dirt, pine needles, twigs, dried leaves, dead tree branches/sticks, etc. Basically everything from the woods behind our house. The chickens turn it into dirt within a week, and I add new stuff every other week or so.
  10. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    First, get rid of the pine shavings or most of them anyway. They wont break down very well, but you know that already.
    Go get some untreated mulch, tree trimming mulch or pine bark nuggets. Add dried leaves, pine straw, yard and garden waste, untreated grass clippings, small and bigger tree branch pieces, some regular straw. You want a good mixture of different textures and sizes to make deep litter. Add more stuff as needed or when you have it to add.

    I just added yard and garden waste in this picture.

    deep litter run.jpg

    Chicks in run.jpg
    aart and paintedChix like this.

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