DLM in hot weather summers?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hcammack, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I have been reading about the deep litter method and it sound great. Fertilizer for the garden and very little work. But the articles and posts I have read talk about how good it is about maintining warmth in the winter in the coop! Our winters are not to bad here but it sounds good anyway. Our summers here however are hot and humid and can remain above 100 for weeks at a time :mad: Will the DLM make the coop to hot? it has two windows and a pop door. I may put a fan inside and replace the human door with a cheap screen door ! Will this be enough ventelation? what are your experiances with DLM in the summer?

    Thanks in advance,
    Henry
     
  2. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DLM is an insulator against ground temp. So in the winter when the ground is colder it keeps the cold from coming up through the ground into the coop.

    In the summer I doubt it would make it warmer. Putting vents in around the top of your coop near the roof line will help the best by letting the heat out. Make sure it is a hole or window that can be tightly sealed again to hold the heat in for the winter time.

    If you make a small window and have your coop near electricity you can put a fan in the window to suck the hot air out the the top. Sucking it out the top will pull in cool air from the bottom of the coop helping cool down the coop.

    I hope this helps

    Good luck

    Nick
     
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks I will look for a small fan to fit in the windows when I get the coop on Saturday ! also I will see if it already has vents and if not I will install one or two. I will also make sure to place the coop in the shade of the pine trees because it gets so darn hot here.

    thank you so much,
    Henry
     
  4. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya placing it in the shade will do wonders for keeping it cool. How big is it?
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I think the deep litter that generates more heat is on dirt floor coops, where the composting microbes and moisture in the soil come up from below. That system is closer to what goes on in a traditional compost pile. In a floored coop using the DLM, the litter doesn't usually compost, heat up or break down the way it does in a dirt floored coop. It's usually recommended to finish the litter from a floored DLM coop in a compost pile for a short time after it's removed from the coop, before sending it to the garden. Litter from a dirt floor coop using DLM, can go into the garden right away. YMMV. [​IMG]

    Also, in DLM, the coops are usually cleaned out in the spring, so there is less litter in the coop in the summer and more in the fall and winter. I have used DLM in a floored coop in the summer without a problem and we have very hot, humid summers. Our coop is very well ventilated, as otherwise it would just be a sweatbox, even with no litter.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Exactly what WoodlandWoman says.

    Don't confuse the two versions of "DLM". There is the old style traditional kind, with a variety of benefits such as winter heating, where the litter actually composts in place. This is not going to happen unless you're directly on dirt. (You can encourage it to happen a little bit on a wood or concrete floor by shovelling some garden soil in to mix into the litter, and keeping the litter on the damp side, but really, it is not worth the bother and the tradeoffs).

    What you'd be doing OTOH is just the 'lazy man's deep litter method' [​IMG] and I do not say that pejoratively, I do it myself and there is nothing at all wrong with labor saving [​IMG] However you need to recognize that all it's doing is saving you some work and bedding costs, plus in winter it gives a bit more insulation on the floor. It will NOT heat your coop up in summer at all.

    Hope that sets your mind at ease [​IMG]

    If this is for the Amish-made coop, you might want to put some extra vent slots in, up high (with closeable panels), but you quite likely will be fine most of the time with just windows. (Vent slots would be more useful in winter, so there is no real hurry). I would not replace the door with a screen door unless it is fully enclosed in a REALLY seriously predator-proof run. Possibly not even then... it would leave you with no possibility of shutting them up in a truly safe place.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks everyone
    I will be doing the lazy mans version [​IMG] I guess I can just finish it off for a while in the compost pile.

    GallowayFarms my coop is 6X4 or 8X4 I am not sure yet.

    WoodLandWoman Thanks for letting me know when to clean [​IMG]

    Pat yes it is the Amish made (or maid [​IMG] ) coop I want to see how many vents it has then I will add more. If I was going to do screen door I was going to recover the "screen" with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. I am not sure if I will do it though.

    Thanks for all your help I am not worried anymore.

    Henry
     
  8. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    does the door on the coop open in or out? the main door on my coop opens into the coop and I put a screen door on it that opens out. This way during the day the screen door (with 1/4" hardware cloth) can stay closed and the main door open for ventilation. And at night I shut the main door.

    So if your coop door opens in you can do like I did and put a screen door on the outside with the thicker wire to help vent it.

    Good Luck

    Nick
     
  9. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    thanks Galloway I am not sure yet but that is a great idea I think it open out. I will do that when I get it on saturday.

    Thanks,
    Henry
     

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