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DLM for Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by RachG75, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. RachG75

    RachG75 Chirping

    Jun 5, 2016
    Central Illinois
    Want to get this started and am a newbie. Have been reading a ton of opinions on this; honestly I'm still confused. Most info/advice is written by people with chickens. I'm surprised there's not a link to this info in the pinned topics? I have chopped straw in there now, about 5 inches or so. Only 2 ducks in a 6x10 space of plywood with linoleum over it.
    Who out there does this:
    what kind of floor do you have?
    do you prefer straw or pine shavings - why?
    what's your climate - does it freeze? does it then cause a problem with stink, etc?
    Do you sprinkle DE? Even in winter when bugs are dead?
    How often do you turn/stir for ducks?

  2. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I use the DLM in my run. I tried it in my coop but it never took. I think it was the floor. Now I just empty the coop into the run and add fresh bedding only to the coop.

    My run is dirt floor. I prefer pine shavings because they break down faster but I add the straw from the nest boxes. I add leaves and grass too depending on the season. I live in a dry climate so I have to add water. I usually use the water from the Ducks' bowl. I don't add water in winter. It has never frozen. I don't add DE because it dries it out. When I had only ducks I turned it once a week.
  3. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chirping

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    I used DLM last year in our relatively mild winter.

    I switched over to horse stall pine pellets this year because straw is just too expensive in my area if you're not buying it in large quantities.

    I live in a cold climate. I stirred the bedding every time it wasn't frozen (about once a week, sometimes more).

    I had no trouble at all with it. ducks were happy, I was happy about everything except the straw cost (around $10 a bale) in my area.

    This year with the pellet bedding I've noticed that I have to watch for frozen duck poo cicles. They are slick! and hard to see in the deep dark of morning when I'm doing my duck chores. We've already had a couple of hard freezes and some frosts this fall.

    My girls don't seem to have a preference between the bedding types.
  4. duckitup

    duckitup Chirping

    Jun 10, 2015
    I've had ducks through one winter so far, now going into our next. We have used DLM almost the whole time, save the very beginning. Here is what my experiences have been.

    Last winter.

    House was an 8/7 plastic shed (purchased from one of those home stores) with a run attached (dog kennel on the ground). Out side that, was their temporary large fenced in area for day time.
    Plastic floor in house: Used only shavings. Stirred surface almost daily, added a little more prob weekly. Only part that would freeze is where I put their water bucket at night. (looking back I wouldn't keep water in the house if I was keeping the door open at night and they could have access to their heated waterer outside in the "dog kennel area". Most nights the door was kept open. Only on the below zero days/nights was it closed. This yr I will only put water inside the house only if the door needs to be shut because of temp and winds.

    In the spring we moved them to their "pond house" where they free range during the day. When we emptied the winter house, even at the lowest layers, it hadn't broken down into a compost like material at all. We threw it on our garden anyway which just looked like a layer of wood shaving mulch. We had the weediest garden this year ever.....with corn stalks poking up randomly all over....except where we actually planted it :) The rest of the garden, despite the weeds, did well.

    Pond house spring:
    Started new deep litter. Plastic floored house, dirt run. Used shavings and straw layers. Rarely stir it. Sometimes pick out the biggest poopy messes but not all the time. Add new material (straw or shavings on a rotation) every three weeks or so. The water is always kept outside the house in their night pen. We haven't moved them back to the winter home yet but I can tell by just walking on the bedding and how spongy it is that it is going to make for a much better compost than last time. I don't know if it was because I used mixed bedding or because I didn't stir it as often but I will continue to try it this winter.

    Straw is cheap here and shavings are expensive. I'm going to try some dried leaves this winter too (which I think was your suggestion on a thread of mine).

    DLM has never been stinky when I have tried it. But I knew by the slight change in smell and the looks of the top layer when I needed to add another layer. I don't know if any of this makes sense. These are my experiences with it and it may not work this way with everyone. Just wanted to put my experiences out there because I know how hard it was to find answers to my questions when I was researching it last yr. There are a lot of threads about deep litter and everyone has a different opinion and experiences. For me it seems like the way to go, I just need to tweak it a little here and there.

    Good luck!
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I love DL for all my birds chickens ducks and geese. I scoop out wet poop then stir up the bedding daily add when needed.
    it gets cold here and if I used water inside it would probably be an ice skating rink but I have found ways to keep the water from getting all over the floor I'll take pics one of these days.

    No smell either but I clean daily.
  6. oh daisy

    oh daisy Hatching

    Mar 30, 2016
    What is DLM? I can't recognize the acronym
  7. oh daisy

    oh daisy Hatching

    Mar 30, 2016
    Ah- deep litter method.
    1 person likes this.

  8. Maxcine99

    Maxcine99 Chirping

    Jan 26, 2013
    Clinton, MD
    This is my first year with ducks and I use this in their house/run (its just the enclosed area under our porch) so far so good. The very bottom is concrete/rocks and dirt, above that is a mix of chopped straw and pine shavings. I might add grass and chopped leaves to one side to give them some heat. Before i only used straw and it was stinking a bit, once I added the pine shavings/dust there's practically no odor. And I use a lot less straw, the pine shavings seem to keep the straw drier too. Makes me wish i had a wood chipper! Grass is a bit too hot to add during warm months unless you want it to compost faster. I'll have to see how it does in the garden next year. Has anyone added black solider fly larvae to their bedding? I was thinking about trying it next year and wanted to know if anyone else's been sucessful. And does anyone house chickens n ducks separately using this method know which turns out better for gardens?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016

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