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Is there such a thing as too much leaf litter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jennyf, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Songster

    Apr 24, 2016
    Six chickens, 160 sq ft run. Pretty much bare dirt in there before. I filled with about 6 inch deep of fallen leaves which they've now scratched down to a couple of inches. Would like to build up deep litter. Would you all fill it with another six inches? A foot? Is there any such thing as too deep? I'm sure they'd break them down if I filled it chicken-deep but it'd take them awhile. :)

  2. 0wen

    0wen Songster

    Mar 25, 2016
    Southwest Virginia
    I have wood chip based coop/run bedding and am covered in leaves. I rake a gigantic (2-3' tall that fills about 50% of an 8x8 section of run) pile in the coop every day or two and within an hour or so you can't tell it was ever there. Floor is raising, but it breaks down over time and I'll use it in my gardens sooner or later so the more the better...
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You want a mix of dry plant materials...too much of just about anything can cause problems.

    The deeper and more varied the contents of the bedding are the longer it will 'last'....
    ...but you'll still need to add stuff periodically depending on conditions.

    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
  4. I fill my runs with leaves/pine straw every Fall. As full as I can. By Spring, you can't really tell there were any leaves in there. Most have composted down already with the chickens scratching, pooing and the rain.

    I put 10 wheelbarrow loads in my coop a couple weeks ago. This was small leaves/pine straw. The chickens have scratched and broken most of it up. I put 8 more loads of large leaves in this past week. I will be putting in more within the next week or so. Leaves break down super easy so it is best if you add other stuff with it.

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