Dirt floor coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by vortec, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2009
    Martin County, NC
    Well not really dirt, more like deteriorated horse shavings but it is the consistency of dirt. Without mats is this setup safe to serve as the ground of their live in coop? My mom wanted to know as she wants to switch the horses into different stalls and such moving my chicken project out of a stall with mats, to one with dirt floor. Any help is always appreciated and thanks in advance.

    vortec
     
  2. my coop has a dirt floor but I keep it really well covered in hay and DE. easier to clean and use on my garden to. just rake out the hay and put in garden & replace with new hay, Mine free range most of the time so they are ever where until almost dark then its bed time but still its LOTS OF POOP. and hay is easier to manage. marrie
     
  3. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2009
    Martin County, NC
    Quote:That makes sense about the hay, and with horses we certainly have access to that;) What is DE?

    Thanks

    vortec
     
  4. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    diatomaceous earth.... little tiny, (like a grain of salt) skeletons of ancient sea creatures that are super spiky and puncture tiny waxy-bodied bugs... ants, earwigs, slugs, worms... etc...... safe for use around animals, not a poison... more of a lawnmower effect...
     
  5. countrygirl_247

    countrygirl_247 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    So the DE won't hurt you putting it on a veggie garden
     
  6. buy FOOD GRADE DE, the kind from the swimming pool places will kill your chickens.
     
  7. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    I've even read that some ppl add DE (food grade) to chickens feed. Supposed to help insides clear of worms from what i understand. If you raise worms keep it away from them i think.
     
  8. mountain gma

    mountain gma Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2008
    Canton in Western NC
    About dirt floors,

    I covered the dirt with wood pallets I got free. I put layers of heavy duty cardboard on top of that and then pine wood shavings and straw. You could forget about the pallets and use cardboard and straw. The cardboard is easy to pull out and put in the burn pile. [​IMG]
     
  9. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dirt floors are fine. no need for anything else, you just rake the bedding like you would any animal waste. I totally don't understand why you'd put any pallets or anything else down unless there's standing water or something.

    I've had coops with dirt floors and wood floors and either way is fine. With a dirt floor, and if you're sure your hens will be in that stall for a good long while, you can change the bedding to a deep litter method, put in a good 6-8 inches of wood shavings and let it be. The hens will scratch around in it, and keep things mixed up. you really don't need to do much else,other than rake the worst of the poo out from under the roost and make sure the waterer doesn't leak and make any wet spots. Stir up any crusty areas, but your hens will probably take care of all that for you.

    It really needs to be DEEP though, few people start out with enough, and then they fuss too much about it... but it sounds like you have a chance to do it. Here's a good link to some good info about it. http://www.plamondon.com/faq_deep_litter.html

    I find it much healthier for mine... but it's all up to you.

    [edit] With a wooden floor, you can't let it be a total deep litter method, but you can still do it to some extent, I used to still pile it up high, but had to shovel it off to one side (this is about 3 or -mayyybe 4 times a year, and only if it's too damp when you check in a few places), clear any underneath wett-er parts off the floor to prevent that from rotting, and then re-spread the piled up litter out, adding more shavings on top, then do the same on the other half. (hope that makes sense) Any time you add more shavings, the hens all get very busy stomping and scratching again till it gets flattened properly! They're quite particular about that! it almost NEVER smells at all, and if it starts, add lime when you stir dig it up... or DE, but that's another discussion I think. It is much tougher with a wood floor though, so I went back to the dirt floor and used the wood floor shed for storage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  10. lavacaw

    lavacaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2008
    South Central Texas
    I have a dirt floor in my coop...I nailed a strip of 1 x 8 across the inside of the door to hold in the wood shavings and hay I used on the floor. About twice a year I rake and shovel up everything and take it to the compost bins. A little DE in the mix (after I learned about it) and we have no bugs, no smell, no problem. When we have heavy rains, I sometimes add an extra bale of wood shavings to make sure the birds stay high and dry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009

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