Help with Dusty Coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cyanne, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    Please share any tips you have on how to reduce the dust in the coop.

    We have a 12ft by 21 ft wood coop with a wood floor that is covered with pine shavings in the deep litter method. The air in there is positively FILLED with dust all the time. I hate even going in the coop because I worry about the crud I am breathing in and I don't like the idea of my chickens breathing it either.

    I have tried spraying a mist of oxine mixed with water into the air to cut some of the dust, but all I have to do this with is a spray bottle.

    I considered using a water hose sprayer set on 'mist' and dampening the shavings a bit, but I was worried that this might make bacteria grow too much and be even worse.

    What do you guys do to cut the dust?
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I had the same issue with DLM. I thought I was doing it wrong or something...I switched back to just a regular thickness of litter. I hope someone can help you!
  3. CARS

    CARS Songster

  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Chances are pretty good that a) you need more ventilation and b) you need a less-dusty source of shavings (it can vary a good bit, and even 'good' brands can have lousy bags).

    Also, I don't know how much bedding you've got in there, but usually you would *start* with just like 4" or something like that, and simply add a bit more on top whenever the poo element starts getting too dominant. If you've started with a large amount of fresh shavings, that'll be pretty dusty too.

    Good luck,

  5. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    Nope, there's only like 4 to 6 inches of shavings in there.

    I'm using good quality, kiln dried shavings.

    As for the ventilation, I'm not sure, but that could be an issue. The barn has vents up near the roof at each end that are about 10in by 16 inches. Then there is also the pop door. There is a window, but it's not open much due to cold right now.

    Maybe as it warms up I can swap out one of the big front doors with a screen door and leave the window open to get a good cross breeze to blow some of that crud out of there.
  6. estpr13

    estpr13 Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    Quote:Here is a good link.

    I'm afraid dust is a part of the Deep litter Method. I have seen my hens dust bathe in the 6 to 8 inches of dry litter I have. That seems to be the only time I have problems with airborne dust. That I am aware.

    It sounds like you don't have enough chicken poop in the mix. (moisture) And being from the Austin area of Texas, this time of year the air may be really dry which is sucking out all the moisture from the mix.

    I would sprinkle it down with a little bit of water on an infrequent basis just enough to knock down the flying dust. If you use too much water you will release too much ammonia and have a toxic problem. Also damp litter on wood flooring would cause the flooring to start to rot.

    I don't think bacteria would be a problem, however mold and mildew may. Old deep litter provides B vitamins, and beneficial bacteria for the chickens. Helping to keep bad bacteria away.

    Hope the link is a good one for you.

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