1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Modified deep litter method or just a bad idea question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Momaha, May 8, 2011.

  1. Momaha

    Momaha Chirping

    Mar 20, 2011
    Sooner Nation WWHQ
    I am using straw on the floor of my brooder. The last two days, I have just added another 2-3 inches of straw rather than rake everything out and add new. Is this ok from a sanitation perspective with chicks? My chicks are six days old and thriving with no problems yet- knock on wood. No smells either. Thank you in advance for your response.

  2. truebluexf

    truebluexf Songster

    Apr 26, 2011
    I'm new, but I'm pretty sure that's a really bad idea for chicks and they run the risk of getting ill.
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Let me preface by saying i have not tried what you are doing, but . . .

    I think that over time you are going to find that the straw doesn't help with the decomposing of the poop like shavings do. That said, i know lots of successful chicken keepers who use straw instead of pine shavings, but i don't think they can get away with cleaning their coop only once or twice a year like other deep litter method users. [​IMG]
  4. Anianna

    Anianna Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    Straw is not absorbent and is used as a mulch. I haven't tried it myself, but I think it will likely hold moisture in the floor of your coop. The more you pile it up, the less moisture will be able to escape from your floor. Dampness is not a good condition for your critters or the structure of your coop over time.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    We have had hay bales around before, although I haven't used them for my chickens. They really get moldy and nasty when wet. I wouldn't do it.

    I love pine shavings, but I only use them for the nest boxes. I just scrape poo every day off the wooden floor and sprinkle sweet PDZ or DE around lightly to make the poo dry out when I rake it. Saves money and I figure the plywood floor to my coop is toast anyway.

    I used to use the pine shavings for deep litter but the edges of the coop (shed) got wet from rain and it smelled bad.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Fallen leaves, dried grass clippings, and pine shavings are the best materials to use for any kind of deep litter method. More absorbent than hay or straw, dries chicken poop pretty quickly.

    Hay or straw is hollow, and mold can grow inside it. Not good.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think it's okay. I mean, this is a brooder, so you're talking five-six weeks max, right? I've dont this with a batch of layers and a batch of cornish cross aka poo machines. I was using steel troughs for brooders and just kept pitching fresh hay (yes I was using hay for bedding. No the babies didn't choke or get impacted) on top of the old, compacted, poopy stuff. I actually kept the meaties in there until six weeks--too long-- and no one got sick, etc. Then, when I was done, I just used the pitchfork, tossed the stuff in the hand card and wheeled it down to the garden bed, dumped it and let honey till it right in. I will say, it was hard to break up to get out at first, and you'll want to have a well ventillated area, maybe wear a mask if you're prone to resp disease. But the birds did fine.

  8. Momaha

    Momaha Chirping

    Mar 20, 2011
    Sooner Nation WWHQ
    Quote:I appreciate, and respect, everyone's honest opinion and they all give me a something to consider. You have hit the nail on the head with my intent with your description above. 5 weeks max, with our local temperatures, and I figured it was better than letting them walk directly on the waste- granted they are going to scratch down to it. Gives me something to consider and maybe I will clean out the straw directly around their water since I have noticed that is where it is wetter relative to the rest of the brooder- not that it's dripping wet by no means.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by