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How do you all afford the Deep Litter Method? Questions about Winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Willow's Meadow, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Songster

    Apr 16, 2010
    I want to do the Deep Litter Meathod for the winter but my coop is 6 ft x 11 ft. So I would need A LOT of shavings/bedding and a bag of shavings is $6. So if I bought 10 bags that would be $60!!!!!!!!!! What do you guys do for bedding in the winter? Can I use leaves as bedding? What else can I do to keep my chicken coop warm? I will probably use a heat lamp but should I wrap it with anything? Like tarps/blankets? Are coop is made of all wire but it is inside a big barn with big barn doors. But the barn is still gets pretty cold in the winter.

  2. eggbuster

    eggbuster Songster

    Apr 1, 2010
    My horse stall coops are 12x12 and 2 bags of shavings will be several inches deep. 4 will be quite deep and last most of the winter. Unlikely you would need more then 6.
  3. X2Farm

    X2Farm Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    Our big coop is 8x16. We cut initial costs by only adding 8 bags of shavings, and each week after, added another 2 bags or so. We're still adding shavings as necessary...probably be another 10 bags in the next month or so... It does help keep the cost lower per spending... instead of one balloon cost.
  4. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    I have an 8X8 coop and I have had the same 3 bags in the coop for since these spring and all is dry and clean still. I just added another for the winter.
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    The trick to "deep" litter is that it becomes deeper over time. Start in the spring with one or two bags to make it fluffy, then add a bag every month or so, by the time it's cold you have a lot of shavings but the cost is spread out over time. That's how I manage anyway, never more than one bag at a time. That's why people do "the big clean out" in the springtime [​IMG]

    Also I use pine pellets, and the kind our TSC carries for wood stoves is exactly the same thing (no chemicals added) for almost $2 less than the kind for horse stalls --- so I actually save money on bedding in the wintertime.
  6. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Your timing is great. I just finished setting up a 6x8 building for my 7 girls today. I used 2 of the 4 cu. ft. bags of shavings in it. (at $6.50 a bag) At first I thought that wouldn't be enough, but it fluffed up really nice. I have another bag in the garage, and I may add that for floor insulation, but it's not taking nearly as much as I thought it would. I also put a couple of cups of DE in there and worked it in using my poop rake. You will be surprised how far a bag of that stuff goes.
  7. TheFeatheredTempest

    TheFeatheredTempest Chirping

    Jul 3, 2010
    NW Illinois
    Yes, you can use leaves, as long as they are dry. I read somewhere that this is what was used "back in the day", makes sense. I have been using leaves in combination with my regular shavings and the chickens absolutely love pecking around in them! I took all of our neighbor's leaves this year and am gathering up extra bags that I will keep in the basement and add as needed over the winter months. In the spring I'll have some awesome compost [​IMG]

  8. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Songster

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Our coop is 4' x12'. I cleaned it out to bare floor today getting ready for winter. I picked up two bales of pine shavings today at Orschliens Farm & Home for $5.99 a bag. Less than 1/2 a bag covered the floor at about 3" deep. By cleaning the heavier poop from under the roosts,fluffing the shavings and adding a thin layer every week the coop will stay fresh and the two bags will last till the new year. I'll buy one more bag to use and by the time it's used up it will be time to do a full cleaning again. Figure I use three bags in 3-4 months, that's a dollar a week. Less than a cup of coffee at Mickie-D's..

  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My coop is about twice that size and has a dirt floor. I started with 2 or 3 bags and added probably one every month or two for the first year. Now I add one every few months. I think you will be surprised at how compressed it is, how much it fluffs up. I agree with others, it is NOT expensive. The other day I bought 2 bags and only used about 1/3 of the first one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2010
  10. waitin on eggs

    waitin on eggs Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    As others have said, you will be suprised how compressed the bags are. It really covers ALOT of space, (Fluffs up alot)Our coop is 4X8 and one bag gives a good 4-5 inches.

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