DLM Chicken Run: Do you start over in Fall/Spring?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hillbillygreen, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. hillbillygreen

    hillbillygreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Central Illinois
    We've just done a year of deep litter method in my chicken run (over concrete with wisteria over top and privacy fence for shade) and it's been pretty decent. Better in drier weather, not great in this wetter summer. It's not that deep of a deep litter at this point, so now, I'm not sure weather I just need to keep piling on the pine shavings (rain or shine) or to start fresh. I'm not opposed to compost, I just want what's best.

    On another note I think I am going to start over in their little coop since it's dry but the ammonia is really kicking up! This has been a mild summer but we're finally getting a heat wave so I'm not sure if that's a ventilation problem or what.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I do not do a "deep litter method", but I do keep tossing in fresh litter, so it ends up being a deep litter, but it is NOT actively composting.

    In my coop I have poop trays that catch most of the poop and helps keep my coop very clean and lovely.

    True deep litter is actually composting right there in the coop, producing heat (lovely in the winter), but I do not do that.

    I do recommend cleaning everything out, and trying again with deep litter, maybe after reading through the long and I am sure highly informative deep litter threads here on BYC. You could also read up on composting, since that is really what you are trying to achieve.

    In short, Put in some straw, them preferably a layer of dirt from an active compost pile (so you can get the correct microbes) then add another layer of straw and let the chickens poop all over it, while adding some green garden wastes.

    The reason to clean everything out now, is that smell = something isn't going the way it should, and cleaning out now then starting over while the weather is still good is MUCH better than trying to do anything exciting in freezing cold and nasty weather.
     
  3. hillbillygreen

    hillbillygreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Central Illinois
    Thanks, I think I'm going to do just a general clean and re-use some of my composting shavings inside their coop for sure. I discovered that part of the problem was they weren't really digging under their gravity waterer very much and it was all clumped and nasty. But I want a nice fresh sweep of the surrounding area and that will mean getting everything out and maybe scrubbing everything really well.

    In my run, which is partially protected by the wisteria, will need a partial clean out too, but lots more fresh shavings, I think. It gets decent drainage from rains, but I don't want to take chances that anything gets icy when the freezing weather comes. It should be an added bonus when the leaves fall from the wisteria to add to the litter below.
     

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