issues with wet litter in my coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by crysmom, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    I have 10 chantecler standars (12 weeks old) and 2 bantam cochins (14 weeks old) in my coop. Its an 8x8 foot wood shed with an 8 foot ceiling. There in a 6x8 inch vent on one wall and a large chicken access door on the same side, as well as a window.

    I'm using the deep litter method, but the litter is damp all the time, I turn it at least twice a week (although this week i'm doing it once a day) i'm using pine shavings its at least 8 inches deep now, and they've only been in the coop since end of november. They really don't go outside, its quite cold all day and night as well we have two feet of snow

    Why can't I get the litter to stay dry? I haven't spilled any water on it. What can I do to get it to stay dry? HELP!
     
  2. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    Ive had the same problem to. I keep putting down shavings, but it doesnt really help. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jayare's Chicks

    Jayare's Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2007
    Florence, Alabama
    Is this a dirt floor or is there a wood floor?

    Jayare
     
  4. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    more details... its a wood floor, raised up about 12 inches on cement blocks
     
  5. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    Quote:Exactly whats happening here The coop itself isn't leaking I think this is all moisture generated by the chickens
     
  6. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I have the same problem in my coop until I add Diatomatious Earth-DE (MUST be food grade to be safe around chickens). I buy a large bag at my local feed store and and sprinkle a good bit on top of the shavings. It spreads easily if you use a collander. Then I kinda mix it around in the shavings and it dries things up. I have put fresh shaving in my 8x8 coop with 18 standard birds and within a weeks it's smelly and damp but by adding the DE, it's fine for a month or more. Then if it's starts getting damp and smelly again I add another layer of shavings and more DE. I think some people use a product called Stall Dry instead of the DE but I have no experience with it.
     
  7. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    Quote:I looked for the sweet pdz but its not for sale in BC Canada
    but I do think with a bit of digging I can find DE its just my husband is going to cringe at the thought of spendign more on the chickens, he has pointed out that we have spent more on setting up these chicken than we would on eggs throughout our entire family life :eek:
     
  8. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I have the SAME problem. Dampness! ARG! I guess since my waterer isn't leaking, and their is no ammonia smell (although I detect a very faint smell like dirty socks) I'll just stick with it. I add new litter constantly.. although for whatever reason the girls keep scratching it all against a wall, so I respread almost every day. It stays stirred up, I guess. Anything that looks actually WET is removed.

    I sort of thought I had a ventil. problem, although I do have vent holes I didn't think they were big enough [​IMG] . I haven't seen any actual condensation anywhere, though.

    I posted a thread about DE and litter being TOO dry.. no one answered me though, so not sure I'll go that route. Really need the extra compost for my garden in the spring.

    I'm just going to tough it out until spring unless I see some sort of huge issue developing. Then dh is building me a house that is TWICE AS BIG!! WOOHOO!

    Let me know if you figure out what the cause/solution is. I hate feeling like my chickens are living in dampness, and worry about extra viruses and bacteria.

    Meghan
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Check again for leaks -- roof leaks can trickle down walls, and walls themselves can leak, esp. if you have no gutters and downspouts on the building.

    But otherwise, deep litter with a significant poo load just DOES get damp (I can tell you from other livestock), and just DOES require extra ventilation when that happens. Even if it seems like you 'ought' to have enough already. Go make some more holes [​IMG] or a screen door for warmish days or sumpin'.

    Another thing to consider is weather -- when we have these warm thaws in winter you get extra condensation in buildings that will add to any preexisting dampness. Again, the solution is extra ventilation, for other livestock and I am sure for chickens as well.

    Otherwise you might rethink using the DLM (which will not work ideally on a wooden floor anyhow... the litter will not compost too much without soil contact...)

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  10. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    Thanks Pat! That was very common sense and straightforward!

    I've been confused over this partly because my coop was *ahem* too clean all spring/summer/fall. There was no moisture AT ALL, and no composting going on (I had actually read in some places they sprinkle their DL with water, to help the process). I'm trying to strike a happy balance.

    Meghan
     

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