Does the deep-litter method make shavings last for a year?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lyndatu, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. lyndatu

    lyndatu Songster

    Nov 13, 2007
    If I perform the deep-litter method, does that mean the shavings in the coop does not need to be replaced for a year?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Leon

    Leon In the Brooder

    May 13, 2007
    Thats the advantage of the deep litter method. You may need to change out some here and there . If they make a mess around the water or something.
  3. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    It's hard to answer your question with a Yes or No. It really depends on how deep your bedding is, how many chickens you have, how much space, and even what type of chickens.

    Perhaps others can clarify a bit, but my rule of thumb is just to add more bedding when it gets stinky, or when the bedding isn't getting scratched through on top (crusty). Actually, if it's crusty, I'd say the bedding should have had more added awhile ago.

    Other than that, you really don't need to change the bedding unless/until it gets too deep to be manageable. If the bottom is composting down into your soil, you're really just creating more dirt. Theoretically, it could be possible to never change the bedding in a floorless coop, if everything is composting down nicely at the bottom, but I think that would be quite a trick.
  4. newdock

    newdock Songster

    Jul 14, 2007
    British Columbia
    I don't have a dirt floor. I change mine in the spring and fall. In the spring, when things thaw out, it stinks something I clean it out and put fresh stuff in. In the fall, I clean it out again before it gets cold.
  5. I've been using DLM for a couple of months now. The floor of my coop is vinyl like you'd put in a kitchen, cut and rolled up the walls to form a tray. Except for a mess they made by dumping over the waterer, I have just been raking it even, and then adding another layer of chips on top. We've had a couple of nights that got down into the teens, and the coop was comfy in the morning when I went to let them out. I'm sure the extra stuff on the floor helps keep it warm, since the walls and roof are insulated with R-13. The poo just seems to be "disappearing".
  6. nmantime

    nmantime Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    S.F. Bay Area
    I have been using the deep litter method for almost 3 years now on a wood floor. My coop is 8 x 10 and i clean it out every 6 to 8 months(10-11 actually [​IMG])... After cleaning i put in about 5 inches of wood shaving and add periodically. I use DE in the bed and add that periodically also. I also use wood shaving in the nest box's and sprinkle(a lot) DE there also. I let the girls do the work of stirring up the shaving by throwing scratch all over the coop. If you really want them to turn over the litter bed put some crickets and/or worms in the bed, they will turnover every inch looking for a treat. They do a wonderful job of turning over the litter bed.... After 8-10 months we change the bed as the dust will build up. I have 14 girls in my coop and as long as the bedding is dry i don't have any odor problems and no flies. The litter is great for my compost piles and that has led to compost gold for my garden. Every time i change out the litter and vac out the dust I say yeah i should put down some vinyl or something and don't. I feed in the coop and they go outside for thier water. Just thought i'd share my experiences.

    Norm in N. CA [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007

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