Dirt floor coop, excessive dust

KristinS

Chirping
Apr 19, 2016
53
32
71
Idaho
Hello everyone! I have a very large coop with a dirt floor. The dirt is very fine/powdery (moon dust) when dry. The chickens scratch around in there and the dust is getting overwhelming. I don't care that it is on everything, what I care about is that the chickens and I are breathing it. The dust doesn't last too long once movement stops. I have pine shavings mixed in with the dirt, that helped some. They can also dust bathe in the coop which is good when it snows and they don't want to go outside.
Anyway, I have some questions:

1. Would adding sand help?
2. Does anyone else have this issue if so what have you tried?
3. Am I worrying for nothing?
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igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
23,499
124,063
1,632
My Coop
My Coop
Add some litter. I don't like sand, but it's already dusrt here. Pine chips and a little water once in a while before stirring works well for me.
 

KristinS

Chirping
Apr 19, 2016
53
32
71
Idaho
Add some litter. I don't like sand, but it's already dusrt here. Pine chips and a little water once in a while before stirring works well for me.
I thought about using a lite spray of water, but since it is still winter I was afraid to do that. I will add more pine shavings and see if that helps. Thank you!
 

el aguila

Chirping
Jan 21, 2017
25
13
62
Alexis, NC (near Charlotte)
I use deep litter - leaves in fall and winter, grass clippings in spring and summer on top of my dirt floor. Whenever I begin to smell any odors, I know that I’ve went too long before adding more litter.

I’m more than happy with my floor.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,928
296
Missouri
Your solution is deep litter. About 6 inches to start and build from there. If the floor remains mostly dry, straw from wheat, barley, rye, oats, etc. will work, as will most forms of grass hay. Legume hay from alfalfa, etc, is not as good as the fine leaves will fall off, mat and make a smelly mess down deep. As suggested, the best deep litter is a mix of multiple options.....and the finer the better. Grass clippings, leaves and wood chips would be pretty good. But make it deep.

BTW, deep litter works like a disposable diaper and serves the same purpose. Once the ratio of litter to droppings reaches a certain point, you will need to add more litter or else clean it all out for fresh. What you clean out, when placed outside, will compost into some really nice stuff over time. This assumes you are in a dry climate. If you moisten it from time to time, it all combines to start a slow rot / cold composting process inside the house, which is a good way to roll.
 

KristinS

Chirping
Apr 19, 2016
53
32
71
Idaho
Your solution is deep litter. About 6 inches to start and build from there. If the floor remains mostly dry, straw from wheat, barley, rye, oats, etc. will work, as will most forms of grass hay. Legume hay from alfalfa, etc, is not as good as the fine leaves will fall off, mat and make a smelly mess down deep. As suggested, the best deep litter is a mix of multiple options.....and the finer the better. Grass clippings, leaves and wood chips would be pretty good. But make it deep.

BTW, deep litter works like a disposable diaper and serves the same purpose. Once the ratio of litter to droppings reaches a certain point, you will need to add more litter or else clean it all out for fresh. What you clean out, when placed outside, will compost into some really nice stuff over time. This assumes you are in a dry climate. If you moisten it from time to time, it all combines to start a slow rot / cold composting process inside the house, which is a good way to roll.

Howard, thanks for the input. I wan to use the deep litter method for sure. I live in Idaho and it seems the climate is dry most of the time. I did have minor frost bite issues this winter though because of snow melt. The inside is super dry except around the edges where the snow slides off the roof and melts. I am hoping that over the summer we can accumulate a lot of grass clippings and in the fall I know we can accumulate a ton of leaves. It is going to definitely take a lot as this coop is 20 X 35. It was great for the chooks when they did not want to go out in the snow this year, but the dust is crazy!
 

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