New here-have a question. Deep Litter in the coop-what about the yard?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gale65, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    It's been at least 18 yrs since I raised any chickens and it was on a different farm. We're thinking of getting a tiny flock (about 8 hens). We'll build a coop about 6 x 6 and add a fenced yard around it-size not determined yet. I definitely want to use the deep litter method in the coop but what about the yard? Does the poop just disappear into the dirt? Get washed in? Scratched in? We are planning to use DE in the litter or the feed (we already have food grade DE we use in our rabbits' litter boxes) so would that make a difference?

    When I had chickens before (pre-marriage) they had a huge open yard or were allowed to roam around the whole yard-the cats left them alone and the dog wasn't around them. But now we have a cat that is very predatory and a dog that thinks everything that moves is a toy. [​IMG]

    thanks! I hope I'm not repeating a question-I did some searching but my head started spinning with all the info here.
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    My run is covered, but I have been using dried leaves from a huge sweet gum tree. I add a wheelbarrow full about once a week. The chickens then smash the leaves to bits with the poop creating compost for me. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll run out before the leaves drop again [​IMG] so I'll probably be getting some sand. Those that have sand rake it out about once a week...
    Welcome back to chickens [​IMG]
  3. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    Can't you use peat moss after you run out of leaves? would make great compost and I don't think it would affect the chickens.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    My chickens run in a large garden, and it is too large to add sand (which is what I would do if it were smaller). I go around with the hose every day or every other day in the summer to wash away the poo some. In the winter we will be getting plenty of rain.
  5. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Welcome to BYC!!
  6. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    Thanks everyone. [​IMG] Well we may have decided on a new plan-we'll have to check things out tomorrow. We have several hog runs out back, each of which has a shelter. DH thinks we can add a few windows and a chicken door to the grassy side (and some fencing to make a yard), and then they would also have the concrete side to which we can add dirt or litter or leave as is (I hate the thought of chicken feet on hot concrete though). We can add nest boxes and a roost and use the DLM inside the makeshift coop. We just need to see how tall it is and if it'll be practical. Is there a minimum height it should be? I'm pretty sure he said they're about 14' wide but I don't know how deep or tall. We have hogs too but they're in the furthest run from where the chickens would be.
  7. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I throw straw down, just enoigh to cover the sand. I only do it to give them something to scratch around in when they're in lockup. They break it dowm over time and it makes for easy raking, gathering up and absorbing any waste in the pen. Great for the compost heap.

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