Dusty Deep Litter

DellaMyDarling

Songster
Dec 13, 2017
626
872
186
Mass Hilltowns
Hmm. Doing something a bit wrong.

Primarily pine shavings deep litter in coop.

Coop smells "dusty" all the time.
I wouldn't otherwise say the smell is offensive. It doesn't bother us to be in there at all.

Poop accumulation is really starting to bug me out too.
I scrape poo off flat surfaces and freshen nest boxes if icky about every 10 days.

Meh. Still, everything looks like poop and air seems dusty.

Was under impression that I didn't need to do much, but sounds like it needs a bit of help.
Started using coop in spring, maybe May. Ideally I'd like to get my litter to spring tilling time.

Suggestions?
 

jreardon1918

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 13, 2016
854
1,526
286
Southeast, MA
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds like your coop is deep bedding. That is a decent method of poop maintenance. The pine shavings dry out the poops and yes they are dusty. Your description sounds kind of like our coop. But there is not a lot of poop in the pine shavings. That is because we have poop boards. So most of the poop is removed weekly. The shavings were last changed in the spring. Very dry and dusty. Here is a picture. You can see the floor is very dry. Will do a removal of the shavings this fall.
 

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MomJones

Songster
Feb 22, 2019
363
622
202
South Carolina
I admire the deep bedding method. The whole permaculture practice has been highly advanced by Joel Salatin. Here's something I lifted from a site of his.
For the floor of their coop (if their housing stays in one spot).

Include at least 8” of organic carbon material like leaves, wood chips, straw, hay, etc.


But this presumes you're starting with a dirt floor. My floor is wood so I use pine shavings which I clean out every two weeks. 18 birds currently sleep in there at night so there's plenty of poop. I sweep it out onto a tarp, drag it to a mulch pile, and enjoy rich, free fertilizer each Spring (unless I lose track of where I dumped the stuff).

My situation is this: I need to keep the coop super clean so I can keep the girls super healthy. So it it smells dusty, or moldy or too ammonia-ny, I clean it out. Oh--and I do put down a layer of baking soda first. For some reason it helps with the dust as well as ammonia build up.

Reference site from Joel Salatin : https://abundantpermaculture.com/getting-started-with-chickens-the-ultimate-guide/
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
23,563
124,467
1,632
My Coop
My Coop
If your floor is dirt under the shavings you can wet the litter down and rake it to mix it all up.

I rake mine 2 or 3 times a week and when it's dry all the way to the dirt floor I wet it down and stir. Not soggy, but enough that when I stir it everything is damp. More frequently in summer but less often at other times of the year. It helps with dust.

Vacuuming your coop with a shop vac helps too. Good luck!
 

DellaMyDarling

Songster
Dec 13, 2017
626
872
186
Mass Hilltowns
We do not have a dirt floor, coop is in a walk in building.


Since it's a big walk in coop, I see no plausible way to use poop boards in our current set up.
Even if set up is altered to allow for boards, they spend a tremendous amount of time pooping EVERYWHERE, not just off the roosts.

I did ask once about using pine mulch instead of dry shavings. That still seems like a better idea to me...
 

CatWhisperer

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 16, 2013
1,503
5,062
401
northwest Arkansas
I would find some way to add poop boards. I scoop poop off the poop boards every morning. Since the birds only sleep in the coop the deep litter stays pretty clean. I add grass clippings thru the summer while removing some of the shavings. I clean out everything spring and fall and do a good scrub down of the coop and run. My birds get to free range and coop always smells good.
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,999
6,517
676
Contra Costa county, Ca.
Since it's a big walk in coop, I see no plausible way to use poop boards in our current set up.
Even if set up is altered to allow for boards, they spend a tremendous amount of time pooping EVERYWHERE, not just off the roosts.
How much time do they spend in the coop? Do they have a run, or free range? My hens are only in the coop to lay, or sleep, the rest of the time they are in the run or the chicken yard. Pictures might help to get some suggestions.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,176
138,594
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Meh. Still, everything looks like poop and air seems dusty.
Is your new coop just losing it's 'shine'?
Is the Reality throwing shade on the Romance?
Ummm...it's a chicken coop... so, yeah. :D

Since it's a big walk in coop, I see no plausible way to use poop boards in our current set up.
Hmmm...how big?
Works here.
full



What kind of bedding you use may depend on how you manage the manure.
This is about cleaning, but covers my big picture

-I use poop boards under roosts with thin(<1/2") layer of sand/PDZ mix, sifted daily(takes 5-10mins) into bucket going to friends compost.

-Scrape big or wet poops off roost and ramps as needed.

-Pine shavings on coop floor, add some occasionally, totally changed out once or twice a year, old shavings added to run.

- My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.

Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.

-Nests are bedded with straw, add some occasionally, change out if needed(broken egg).

There is no odor, unless a fresh cecal has been dropped and when I open the bucket to add more poop.

That's how I keep it 'clean', have not found any reason to clean 'deeper' in 5 years.



The terms 'deep litter' and 'deep bedding' are often misunderstood and misapplied.
I've always liked this explanation:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-method-with-this-coop.1075545/#post-16440037
 

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