limestone on coop floor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by silkydragon, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    0
    129
    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    my dad wants to cover the coop floor and put pineshaving over that ive told him it sounds like a bad idea but he thinks they use limestone in oyster shells and thinks it would save money cuz the do kinda look like crushed limestone but im pretty sure that they are just as the bag says crushed oyster shell
    anyway am i right to think this is a bad idea?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    It's fine to put lime on the floor. It will absorb moisture and neutralize ammonia
    Use "Ag" lime or pelletized lime, and NOT "hydrated" lime

    Oyster shells are mostly Calcium Carbonate, which is chemically identical to "limestone"
     
  3. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    782
    0
    129
    Oct 27, 2009
    Carlsbad, CA
    Sound like a great idea!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Wait, do you mean ag type lime (be it powdered or pelletized) like you would till into soil; or do you mean crushed limestone e.g. screenings or limestone stone dust?

    The former is ok to till into the soil for sanitary purposes but will not do a lot for other purposes.

    The latter, which I am thinking is maybe what's being discussed here?, I would suggest not using anything 'loose' (like screenings or gravel or sand) if you are going to use any bedding other than sand, because organic beddings will mix into it and give you basically a messy loose very-diggable dirt floor over time. If you can get screenings or stonedust *really seriously compacted* with a vibrating plate compactor, it would not mix in so much.

    Chickens do not require very much crushed oystershell, so there is really no cost-savings issue that I can see (besides, you don't WANT them digging down to the floor of their coop and scratching holes [​IMG])... as far as whether you could *feed* crushed limestone as a substitute for oystershell, different types of limestone have different chemical composition as far as how much magnesium etc they contain.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Wait, do you mean ag type lime (be it powdered or pelletized) like you would till into soil; or do you mean crushed limestone e.g. screenings or limestone stone dust?

    Aglime is crushed limestone or dolomite used for soil treatment, primarily to reduce soil acidity. Soils tend to become acidic from heavy use of nitrogen-containing fertilizers, unless a soil conditioner is used. Using aglime, “lime”, or agricultural lime, a finely-ground limestone or dolomite, to change the soil from acidic to nearly neutral particularly benefits crops by maximizing availability of plant nutrients, and also by reducing aluminum or manganese toxicity, promoting soil microbe activity, and improving the soil structure.

    http://www.aglime.com/

    Lime comes in many forms today: dry crushed limestone from quarries or deep mines, wet (stockpiled) limestone from quarries, settled from water supply treatment plants, collected as industrial by-products, dug as marl.

    http://www.stoltzfusmfg.com/lime_1.html

    CaCo3 or calcium carbonate is one of the major component of oyster shells

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_Components_of_oyster_shell

    Chemically speaking, they are the same thing.
    Putting a layer below the pine bedding will absorb moisture, kill odors, and raise the PH, which helps when you clean the coops and use the bedding for compost

    because organic beddings will mix into it and give you basically a messy loose very-diggable dirt floor over time

    The above would be your compost. It couldnt be any more "messy" than any other bedding/manure mixture​
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sorry, I will clarify:

    my question is, is the suggestion to just dust some powdered or pelletized lime around on a dirt floor (or till it in), which is fine although it won't do much other than temporarily sanitize/deodorize?

    or is the suggestion to make a floor out of like 6" of crushed limestone or screenings or limestone stonedust -- which, yes, are obviously chemically the same as whatcha buy in ag lime sacks but have rather different physical properties because of size/shape/depth. If this is what's being proposed -- a considerable depth of screenings or stonedust -- then IME it is going to make a mess as time goes by (with shavings mixing into it) unless it is compacted very hard.

    Yes, limestone is of course predominantly CaC03. However there is a difference between dolomitic limestone (which also contains a bunch of dolomite, a high-magnesium mineral) versus calcitic limestone (which doesn't, and thus has very little magnesium in it). My impression is that low-magnesium calcium sources are generally preferred when supplementing Ca to chickens (this is aside from the use of dolomitic limestone in commercial feeds, where its magnesium content is compensated for when the other ingredients are calculated/mixed). I am not sure how much of a difference it makes, but, it's what They say [​IMG]

    Pat
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    my question is, is the suggestion to just dust some powdered or pelletized lime around on a dirt floor (or till it in), which is fine although it won't do much other than temporarily sanitize/deodorize?

    I use 50-100 lbs in a 12 X 12 area, and add as needed if odor or moisture gets noticeable.
    I cant see any advantage to putting a very thick layer​
     
  8. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    0
    129
    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    thanks for the responses i think my dad was thinking a thick layer over a dirtfloor covered by a little pineshavings the pineshavings are my idea just cuz we can get them for free here and couldnt hurt to have the extra cushining for my 12pound roo when he jumps off the roost
     
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,373
    103
    236
    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Quote:Crushed limestone is used in our area (along with other stuff) to put on the dirt roads as "road fill". Once it's packed down it becomes pretty doggone firm and hard. You'll probably get everything from powder to some fist-sized pieces and mixed all together should make a pretty good floor. The shavings on the floor is a great idea. If you could find some old chainlink fencing to lay down and then dump the limestone on it would definitely help keep digging critters out. A harder stone would be better but the limestone ain't bad...there is "gravel-sand" and "sand-gravel" fill, the "gravel-sand" is the best being as it comes with more gravel than sand while the "sand-gravel" comes with more sand. FWIW.

    Ed
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. 46hillbilly

    46hillbilly Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Mar 30, 2012
    Be really careful Not to put chicks on the pine chips/shavings. They will try to eat them after they get a bit of age.
    Raise them separate till they are old enough that the adults will Not attack them; have them in an adjoining section where they are just a fence wire apart .
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by