freezing poop, deep litter method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by danamillette, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. danamillette

    danamillette Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin

    It wasnt my intention to use deep litter method. But as it is working out, the poop is freezing before I can get it cleaned out. I try to scrape the bottom out as best I can, but it seems that I am covering more poop than I am getting out. I use shavings as my bedding. Anyone else have this issue, and how do you handle it?
  2. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I keep adding MORE pine shavings...I try to keep the pine to poop ratio at least 80/20!! If it gets deep and the pine-poop ratio is like 50/ is time to clean and compost!

    Frozen poop is a good thing! NO smell! [​IMG]
  3. danamillette

    danamillette Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    I need an ice chisel!!
  4. chica-z

    chica-z In the Brooder

    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    Just wanted to say [​IMG] HI to my fellow Northern Wisconsin chicken keeper!

    Like cheeptrick, I also add more shavings, usually when I start to notice any buildup of poop. I'll also sprinkle some DE in there to help dry it out. Oh, and lots of ventilation. So far, so good, no smell or any problems yet, but this is my first year of having them. We'll see how bad it is when everything starts to THAW! [​IMG]

    I'm more worried about the outdoor run being underwater from the snowmelt... [​IMG] Yuck.

    Eta: The beauty of DE is that it dries things out so the poop doesn't stick. I've heard stall dri also works, but never tried it. If you keep it dry, the poop will just kind of shrivel up and disappear in the shavings.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are using the deep litter method I am not sure what it is you're trying to scrape/clean -- droppings boards, maybe? If so, just sprinkle a bit of loose shavings from the floor onto the droppings boards, that'll keep the poo from freezing on too badly.

    The whole point of the deep litter method is really that you *don't* clean the floor litter daily [​IMG] -- just toss more clean bedding on top when needed.

    Am I misunderstanding, here?

  6. Klorinth

    Klorinth Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    How deep is deep? I understand the basic idea, but wonder how for you take it.

    I would love to be able to keep a coop nice and clean, but I don';t have the time to be in there everyday, so I like the DLM idea. But I don't want to leave it too long. How can you tell 50/50 ratio?
  7. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    It's not like a scientific ratio. It just means that you clean much less often, let the litter get deep and warm and keep throwing a bit of feed or other things in so the chickens turn the litter for themselves, simply by scratching. Too deep? Maybe if you can't find the chickens!
  8. backintime

    backintime Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    I have 7 hens in a 4' X 8' coop, and they haven't been spending much time outdoors since the snow came. I put maybe one and a half big bags of shavings in the coop, with maybe 2 cups of DE mixed in, and the coop is always bone dry and mostly odor free. It helps if you buy a tiny garden rake and "fluff" the shavings every couple of days to keep it aerated and loose. I do catch the majority of poo on a "shelf" beneath the roosts. I lopen up an empty feed sack and lay it out on the shelf, and I just pick it up by the corners every week or so and fling it all into the garden or manure heap. When I get a new sack of feed (once a month or so) I just replace the feed sack with a new one. This keeps the coop cleaner. But honestly, with a little DE mixed into the shavings, those giant juicy poops dry up to the size of maybe a lima bean. It's amazing. Very dusty though.
  9. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    When you use DE for this purpose, does it need to be food grade DE? Or what else do you use, where do you buy it???
  10. backintime

    backintime Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    I did buy food-grade DE, because I mix a tiny amount of it in with their feed, as it supposedly prevents worms and parasites from taking up residence in their digestive tracts. Any other kind besides food-grade is harmful when ingested. I bought a 50 lb. sack online, and used some of it to get rid of ants in the lawn, and have barely dented it in 8 months. A little goes a long way!

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