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Deep Litter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chasiekitten12, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chirping

    Aug 19, 2014
    We are doing a deep litter for our flock of 6 but how tall should the coop be and how high will the deep litter get after 1 year? And how much after 6 months? If we have to we can clean it every 4 months. But the less we do it the warmer they stay in winterv(even though it does not get below 20 degrees EVER and THAT barley ever happens to)

  2. annabelle12

    annabelle12 In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2013
    It depends on how bulky the litter material you are using is. When I use leaves, it can get up to 2', but usually it is below 1' with finer cover material. Just keep adding enough organic material to cover the poops. I clean out once a year, in spring, and have not found it to ever give off an odor that is anything but pleasant.
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I have to start over in the spring, but that's totally my own fault. I fell prey to the "if a little is good a lot must be better" trap and my litter is way too deep for this time of year - well over 14". <sigh> I still have no odor problems or any other problems with it, but I know now that because mine is so deep with pine shavings it won't decompose like it should on the bottom layer. It stays dry and dusty despite light spray of water on occasion. Live and learn.

    I'll still never go back to any other way, but I will curb my enthusiasm in the future and make it a complete working system, not just a way to cover the floor. And I will continue add things like kitchen scraps, leaves, garden refuse, and grass clippings, but I won't use nearly as many bags of pine shavings as I did. Seemed I was adding them all the time, and for no good reason other than fussing over a system that, if done properly, should have taken care of itself.

    My good friend Bee and others on this forum with much more experience that I have tried to guide me, but I just went on my merry way trying to put new meaning in the term "DEEP litter." It doesn't have to be feet deep to be effective. <sigh>
  4. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chirping

    Aug 19, 2014
    Nice! If I use sand how deep would you expect it to get after 6 months?
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    How deep it gets depends on a few things like how many chickens in how much space and how much litter you add. I start out with around six inches of litter (wood shavings) and usually never add between cleanings. It doesn't get much deeper over the year, but it does get finer and denser. Sand is not a good litter to use with the deep litter system. It doesn't mix easily, it doesn't insulate and it doesn't decompose. Organic litters are what to use with the system.

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