How often to clean & what substrate for deep litter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Zillaah, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Zillaah

    Zillaah In the Brooder

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    How often should the coop be cleaned, and what substrate should be used for deep litter? Currently they have peat moss in the ground level and I use shavings in the enclosed “second level” portion. The peat moss was great until we had a bunch of sideways rain and now the outer portions have turned to mud. The nipple feeder also leaks quite a bit causing a mud pile under it. I put a pan under it but one of my younger girls tipped it onto herself and was stuck underneath so I removed that. D4E6054D-CB41-4959-B73A-0CBF841AA003.jpeg
     
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  2. tacothechicken

    tacothechicken Songster

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    I put straw down for winter it reduces contact whith mud, creation of more mud, and it doesn't rot, or compost overly fast like hay and shavings can you could also try wood chips ive met quite a few who use em
     
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  3. tacothechicken

    tacothechicken Songster

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    Lol one of my pigeons gets stuck under the pie tin I feed them in almost every day:gigwhoops shouldnt laugh, poor mellow was very upset....
     
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  4. Zillaah

    Zillaah In the Brooder

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    I’ll try straw. Anything is better than mud at this point. We built our coop close to house on a concrete slab that was an old hot tub pad because it was level. We left the bottom as just chicken wire so they kick a lot of the dirt out. Eventually we added 4” “walls” along the two sides that are accessible but they still kick everything out the other sides still.

    At least a pie pan is easier to escape. My girl got stuck under a 4” deep feeder pan she was okay so it was still pretty funny haha
     
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  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Peat moss unfortunately isn't a great idea, it gets waterlogged and then clumps up and doesn't dry out well. Straw, wood chips, shavings, sand... I think almost anything is a better option.
     
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  6. Relleoms

    Relleoms Songster

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    Try pine bark mulch of varying sizes!
     
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  7. Zillaah

    Zillaah In the Brooder

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    I thought of sand but heard it makes cold even colder. we’ve not had many freezing days yet this year in CA but they will surely come before spring even if just a few weeks of them. My older girls stay in the upper enclosed part of the coop at night so no problem there but my 4 younger girls are lowest in the pecking order and exiled from the main flock. They sleep/stay apart in the ground level portion where they only have warmth in the dirt and each other
     
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  8. Zillaah

    Zillaah In the Brooder

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    They do have a dry area at least; I am just concerned it may not be enough. When I am home during the day they are free range in the yard, but I don’t want them to be cold and uncomfortable when they are stuck in the coop.
     
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  9. Zillaah

    Zillaah In the Brooder

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    The older girls are mean to the younger ones so they mostly avoid eachother and cohabitate just fine besides the little ones not being allowed in the enclosed area of the coop. Not sure how that will work out when the younger girls start laying but I will have to deal with that when it comes about.
     
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  10. EggWalrus

    EggWalrus Crowing

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    Don't worry. They will figure it out for you. Once your young girls start laying, they will be members of the "club" and the older girls will accept them.
    Sand at the bottom, then straw, tree bark/mulch, leaves, and then start layering it again. You'll only need to put sand down once in the first layer. I usually bust up a bale of hay or straw every other month in there. I usually do a complete clean out about twice per year, spring and fall. With the birds kicking around everything, the poo berries will fall down into the deep litter, keeping theirs and your feet clean and especially the eggs.
     

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