Help. Have question on DLM and dont want to remove current litter.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rambler4681, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. rambler4681

    rambler4681 Just Hatched

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    1
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    Feb 10, 2017
    kunkletown,pa
    Ok newbie here. Hope this is the right forum. Been in learning center so i hope i got this right. Anyway to my question. I have an 8'x12' pallet style coop. My roof leaked this past rainstorm and all my litter got wet. Not soaked but wet. I have excellent ventalation and i just put a heat lamp in to aid in the drying. With me just starting the DLM can the litter i have in there that is now damp be left in while it dries (maybe a day or two) or should i just scrap all of it and start again? I dont want to put the birds at risk or start off on the wrong foot. Any help and info would be welcomed.

    Note: money is tight right now so most cost effective would also be helpful
    I have 10 BR's and 5 BO's
    Floor is plywood with a 1/4 to 1/2 of soil then pine and papper shavings.
    The entire top is open about 10inchs from roof to top of wall
    Pallet boards were adjustrd to close up gaps enough to not be drafty to allow airflow
    Flip up storm shutters are in place to close during storms to prevent blowing rain
    There is about a 6inch overhang around entire coop also

    Hope that helps. Will try to post pics also
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    For the deep litter method to work and turn the litter and poop into compost, it needs to be a bit damp. Otherwise the microbes and bugs that turn it into compost can’t live and reproduce. When it gets wet the microbes go from aerobic (air-breathing) to anaerobic, these can stink and get slimy. The exact same thing happens in a regular compost pile.

    The key is how well it dries out. With good ventilation and by turning it you should be OK. If you can, leave extra doors or windows open to help ventilation. By tossing scratch or something they want to eat in there, you can get the chickens to help you turn it.

    I would not use a heat lamp to dry it out, too big of a risk of fire. Putting a fan where it blows on it can help a lot though.

    You might want to take steps so that much rain doesn’t blow in next time it rains.

    Good luck with it. Just like a compost pile outside that gets wet when it rains, it’s not a big deal as long as it dries out in a reasonable amount of time.
     
  3. rambler4681

    rambler4681 Just Hatched

    6
    1
    10
    Feb 10, 2017
    kunkletown,pa
    Thank you so much for the quick reply and any tips/ tricks for thr DLM would be appreciated
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My main suggestion is to just try it. There is often some trial and error in a lot of this stuff so you may need to be a little flexible but you don’t always have to be that precise for deep litter to work. It is a natural process and there is a lot of forgiveness in it.

    Technically I don’t do the deep litter method, my coop stays too dry. The stuff never breaks down into black beautiful compost, it’s more like sawdust when I clean it out. The chickens scratching around in the shavings shreds it into sawdust. I use droppings boards to remove a lot of the nighttime poop, it stays dry, the chicken density is pretty low, and they spend most of the day outside anyway instead of pooping in the coop. I sometimes go four full years before I clean it out. We all have to find out own way with this.
     

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