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experiment with bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coolcanoechic, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    By the way, I forgot to add that cleaning it consists of taking my small rake and swooshing the straw around a bit to mix it up. How easy is that?!?
     
  2. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That looks great--very similar to when I mow my lawn, spread the grass to dry, then bag it and use it as needed. I do this with both lawn clippings and leaves in the fall. Of course it's important to air dry everything thoroughly before bagging or you will get mold.

    I like using products from my own lawn because they're free for a minimal amount of work. I would be mowing/raking leaves anyway so spreading them on a tarp for a day or two to dry is not much extra work.

    I'm curious if you've considered using your own lawn products or if there is a reason you find the purchased chopped grass is better. Maybe you don't have a large enough lawn area to provide enough for bedding throughout the year?
     
  3. deek

    deek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it was $!3.99. I bought two bales. I am putting DE below it. It sure is soft and it does smell nice. I hope it works and the DE keep the bugs at bay. Thank you so much for your experiment. I will let you know how it works in the South Georgia heat and humidity.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Eastern Md.
    I'd like to try your idea, with the grass clippings. But raking up the grass around here would be another job to do. It's so much easier to just cut open and dump another bag of shavings in there and be done with it. Maybe I can get these dang kids to rake up the grass. Fat chance on that though, ask them to do ANYTHING around here and it's like asking them to build me a replica of the great wall of china.
    Jack
     
  5. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    My lawn is sparce since I have mostly woods and if I were to put a tarp out on the lawn for a few days, it would kill what little I have for grass. I like that this feed is heat treated and that mold spores are killed. It makes for less air quality worries as well as security in knowing there is less chance for mold to develop. But, honestly, this stuff stays so dry, I don't think I'll ever have to worry.
     
  6. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    It will stay nice and dry. If your girls scratch around a lot, the DE will make a cloud of dust until they have lost interest in scratching. Then it should settle down some. I think it will work great in your heat since it is heat treated. Less chance for mold to develop. I hope it works for you! Did you put it in a few inches deep?
    I like that someone else is trying this. That way, everyone else will know how well it works in different coops and climates. Please pipe in with your comments and observations! I'm sure everyone is really curious about it!
     
  7. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the bag on my mower so I don't have to rake the mown grass. When the mower bag is full I take it off, walk over to a tarp I have spread on the driveway, and dump it. I turn the grass with a rake once a day for two or three days till it's dry and then bag it in those tough, giant trash bags meant for use on construction sites. The bags have lasted for over a year so far without tearing.

    I love free bedding and it means amazing compost to add all that "brown" to the "green" of chicken manure plus the food scraps I add to encourage them to scratch and therefore turn under the fresh manure. I have no smell in a 5x6 coop with 8 birds in 100 degree heat. (of course they're free ranging most of the day). After one year of using this method I had such rich compost that I found live earthworms living in the bottom when I cleaned it out last spring!
     
  8. chedva

    chedva Out Of The Brooder

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    How often would you replace the whole batch and start over? (Newbie here)
     
  9. deek

    deek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The dust isn't as big a concern as the mold and moisture. We have 80% humidity at times. (68% by 7 am this morning[​IMG] ) Keeping everything dry is important in my climate. I'm hoping that fluffing it up will allow the droppings to fall onto the DE and it will help dry it out and a bonus if it keeps the bug population down. Glad to hear that it stays dry. I had come in to ask. I'd guess I only have an inch or so. Might add more. I have linoleum on the floor. It isn't secured to the walls though. It's about 4" high above the floor around the edges. When I need to completely empty the bedding I'll just fold the linoleum and pull it out.

    Tonight is their first night in the coop[​IMG]. There will be 12 in there so it will be a good test. I do hope it stays dry. I will let you know how it handles our humidity. I've had pine shavings in a box out there and within an hour it has gotten limp from the humidity. If I forget to bring the mail inside you could feel the moisture in the paper. Keeping my fingers crossed for dry.
     
  10. deek

    deek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would depend on how deep you lay it and how much space per bird you are allowing.

    Coolcanoechic has 5 in a 4x5. I have 12 babies (only keeping 7) in a 4x8. It will be a good test. I will stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

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