Kennel into coop: can I use deep litter for this project?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by zzGypsy, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,981
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    Aug 8, 2011
    so here's the situation I've got, interested in thoughts on if this could work as a deep litter setup.

    The place I've just moved to has a large kennel building with indoor/outdoor runs. on the side I'm keeping the birds on, the runs are 4' wide and 16' long with 5' high 2x4" gird wire on the sides and an open run top with 2" square steel at the top of the run sides. the whole set of runs is covered by a metal shed roof with plenty of overhang. at the back of the run, there's a 12" high entry to the interior with a spring loaded door, which I keep blocked open. the interior of the run is 4x4' with the entryway in the back wall (building wall), 2 metal sides and on the aisle-side is the door of the run which is also 2x4" grid wire. the interior section of the run is also open on the top, and capped with 2x2" square steel.

    the run floor is concrete, inside and out, and set up with drains in the aisleways inside and outside (that don't always work.)

    right now, I've added some roosts in the outer runs to allow the chickens and turkeys to roost-hop up to the top of the run sides, which is where they prefer roosting. the top of the runs are 2" square steel and are going to be too cold for roosts soon, so I'm going to have to cover them with wood 2x2s or put a top wire screen on so they have to roost on the wood roost ladder instead. the ducks and geese don't seem to have this roosting issue, they camp on the ground [​IMG] . the guineas don't seem to have roosting figured out, they stay on the ground.

    I'm considering putting an 8" high floor border on the inside section of the run and treating it like a deep litter setup. I'd have to screen the tops of the runs to keep the birds from getting out the top and into the aisle of the kennel.

    the kennel has both heat and air although I haven't tested them to see if they work, as well as lighting and fans. the side I'm not using has licker-type water for dogs in each run, but I'll have to add plumbing for water to the bird-side of the kennel.

    so here are my questions:

    1) has anyone used this kind of a setup for deep litter?

    2) issues with using it over concrete?

    3) how deep is deep? do I need more than an 8" retainer on the floor?

    4) on the outside, the concrete is nice for easy cleanup with a hose, but in the winter it's going to freeze their little feet. what would you recommend putting down there? the building roof provides some weather coverage, the exterior runs are fully covered, but if the rain comes in at more than a 20 degree angle, some parts of the exterior runs will get wet. or snowed on (occasionally). what sort of thing would you use for covering the concrete? or just leave it bare? whatever it is, I'm going to have to block off the drains in the exterior aisleway to keep it from cloging the drain to the septic system.

    On the other side of the kennel, we've got wider/deeper runs with taller doors that look perfect to me for lambing jugs... so we're going to have bedding inside the kennel on the other side as well. they should work for my mid-sized sheep, although it remains to be seen if my tall sheep and goats will fit through the doors. still, if they are only able to use the interior part of the kennel for jugs, that'll still work.
     
  2. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2011
    also, the bird free-range during the day, and are in the pens only at night. if it matters, we've got 5 chickens, 5 guineas, 4 geese, 5 turkeys, and 11 ducks.
     
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I havent used it, but I am interested in seeing pictures!
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Im doin it. just need to put up sides to keep the Rice hulls in.... (I use rice hulls for litter). If they are only on concrete with what ever kind of bedding you should provide a place like a swimming pool filled with sand where they can dust and get grit.

    And for the record you could do sand as well. same setup. Might be better even since its on concrete.

    I like rice hulls because they are available here in the feed stores. They don't compact like shavings will. they are naturally water repellant and even if they get soaked the top will dry out quickly giving them a dry place to walk around on. I use them for the horse too shes a big baby and wont lay down if she doesnt have someplace soft to lay.....all 2000 lbs of her.
     

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