help! i need ingenious,readily available deep litter materials ideas and tips

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hammytammy, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi-- hope im not being redundant. please feel free to point out if there is a specific thread existing for this.
    (with post #s please- i get lost in some of these huge threads[​IMG])

    i want to use a variety of suitable stuff to build a nice litter.

    has anyone used a few red sumac berry flowers as a toss in for litter?
    theres tons of them right now
    how about just a handful or 2 of acorn caps?
    i think id like to pull some lemon balm and peppermint plants to add also.
    i'd like to make sure things are suitable.
    id love to hear your ideas[​IMG]

    ps
    whats this about adding "clay?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    My thoughts are that many of those things are too coarse. The acorn caps are probably ok. When I add things to the pine shavings like small branches of things, they don't make good bedding.
     
  3. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    o'k , hmm....something softer....

    trying to be creative......milkweed pods? cattails?
     
  4. Pinkaboo

    Pinkaboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sand for a base? If you know a tone with a tree mulched you could get some but avoid mouldy trees
    Soil?
     
  5. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you mean like when they cut trees and shred them? maybe i could find out.....
     
  6. Pinkaboo

    Pinkaboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes its a big machine they feed tree into and it comes out all chopped up :D
     
  7. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah! good idea- [​IMG]
    what do you use in your coop?
     
  8. KingKongChicken

    KingKongChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    OK well this is one of my first posts here I don't know what exactly would work best for you but my coop is only 3 feet in depth by 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall so i could imagine if you had a huge coop what I used might not work as well but this is what I did.
    First I placed a corrugated plastic down to allow for a moister barrier and to protect the wood floor.

    Then on top of the plastic I added added a 2 inch layer of 50%/ 50% mixture of red clay and cat litter because I had an abundance of it around. "be sure and remove most of the dust from the clay litter and clay dirt before using it".

    After that I placed a few layers newpaper down and added another inch of the red clay

    on top of the red clay I added 3 inches of 60% pine shavings mixed with 40% hay and pressed it down

    Then more hay and pressed it down. They hay really does press down to a flat compact floor.

    So my theory behind all this is having multiple layers of different absorbent material, Im hoping most of the chicken manure and urine will be absorbed by the top few inches of material and every few month remove a few inches and add a few inches of new pine shaving mixture then hay on top of that. I don't know if that's exactly deep litter because I know deep litter means the manure is allowed to stay in the coop to help create heat and insulation, but i still remove the top few inches every 3 months.
    Here is what it looked liked from the inside: My Coop
     
  9. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] ! this is the first time i have been able to understand the "float "thing for water!! so this means i could use a garden hose to fill when the float drops, like a toilet?
    tysm
    well, mines not huge, but its about 8or9 by 12. could you tell me more about the clay? i live in NY. when i hear Clay-- i get the garlic. to me it is the bane of the soil.
    NNOO drainage and much work to amend the soil for good drainage. thats why im confused there. I LOVE pine shavings, but that would cast a lot for me. so------
    right now i have coarse sawdust and want to add for, like you said, heat and insulation. i like the way you do your ventilation too.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. KingKongChicken

    KingKongChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Kinda I don't exactly use a garden hose to supply any water to the float valve I just have the copper tubing line split off the hose bib connection.

    Its true Red clay is not good for drainage so you would never want to use it if it was going to get too horribly wet but for my situation I have a wood floor that I placed a corrugated plastic barrier down to protect the wood floor from moisture while allowing air to pass under it to stop mildew or any rotting. So to ensure no moisture would drain past the plastic I used Red clay 50% and 50% non-scented charcoal cat litter then added several layers of newspaper on top of that to make a nice flat platform for the next 3 inches of 60% pine shavings mixed with 40% hay and pressed it down, and another 4 inches or so of hay really pressed down to make a flat compact floor.

    So in my situation the clay & charcoal cat litter is the final barrier that really should never get to wet but if any moisture does gets thru the warm & dry conditions I provide my chickens will dry up the bottom layers and the charcoal will eliminate some of the odors. If the clay does get wet then after allowed to dry it makes a hard surface that which rivals concrete. So in theory you nor your chickens will ever see the bottom layers. But I check the bottom out of curiosity occasionally and its always dry and undisturbed and the wood is being protected well. And every 3 months or so I take the top few inches of hay out as needed and compost it then replace the few inches of the top layer with fresh hay. So I don't mind if my Chickens scratch or dig around I give them enough deep litter they never reach the bottom and they also help compact it down.

    Hope that helps you to better understand why I used clay. Where I live in northern California the place is full of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2014

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