Other methods rather then deep litter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Anny, May 20, 2008.

  1. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I was wondering if anyone out there uses another method other then deep litter in their coop, if so what do you use?

    I think most people here probly use deep litter and that is what I am planning on doing, I'm just curios.
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
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    Anny, I just clean the coop fairly regularly. A pine needle litter is my prefered choice. The pine needles have a better carbon to nitrogen ratio than most choices and would decompose into compost fairly well even if manure wasn't added.

    I'm a gardener and have use for this material [​IMG]. Often, it is buried in a growing bed beneath 8+ inches of soil. As succession veggies are planted thru the year, there's a continuing need to condition the soil and add fertility somewhere in the garden.

    The hens are allowed to free range during good weather [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  3. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    thanks steve.

    I was wondering do the pine needles made for a to acid compost or does it all even out?

    Do you move the pine needles straight from the coop to the garden or do you allow them to sit in a compost pile for some time?
     
  4. GranHabano

    GranHabano Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2008
    Morristown, TN
    I was wondering about the pros and cons of sand in the coop.... Plus, how deep.... what is the maintenance?
     
  5. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The pine straw will add acid too your soil. So i would test the soil before you start. Too make sure you aren't going to mess something up.

    http://www.thegardenhelper.com/acidsoil.html

    this is a great site on soil ph and how to adjust it.

    As for bedding. Pine straw should work fine if you change it often. I would say it isn't as absorbant as pine shavings etc. so it won't take long for it to get matted and such. So changing/fluffing it a bit will be needed. Also you can sprinkle lime on it to keep the smell down and to help with the acid in it.

    I work with the landscape trade and know that pine straw makes great mulch for keeping weeds down and such. Using it around tomatoes is great bc they like a little acid in the soil.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sand as bedding:

    The only thing with sand is keeping the smell down. Since it will hold the moisture. I know in my coop I had to pour a concrete floor to keep the mice out. It is nice bc I can easily shovel the pine straw out without worring about digging into my floor.

    What would you have under the sand? Dirt?

    I wouldn't use play sand. I would go get stone dust or i think some places call it crusher run. It is more course ( looks like kitty litter) and won't absorb the moisture and get matted/packed as easy. But then you would have fertilizer all over the top and I don't know the easiest way to remove it, without taking all the stone dust up.
     
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I have a dirt/sand coop - no floor.... I do use pine shavings on top - but the girls just love digging around - and when its snowing or wet out - they can still dig and dust bath etc.... I like it!
     
  8. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I use hay and straw. [​IMG]
     
  9. GranHabano

    GranHabano Out Of The Brooder

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    Morristown, TN
    The floor will be wood. I read somewhere else in the forum that a sand floor in the coop would be maintenance free. I didn't understand how it could be, though.

    So, I'm still debating between pine shavings and sand. I will add DE to whichever it boils down to.

    Is a concrete floor the only safe way to guard against rodents?
     
  10. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2008
    I use sand with tiny pebbles, earth and grit in it and I hardly ever do anything to it. The manure seems to dry and turn to dust very quickly in an outdoor run with fresh air circulating.

    You could use a kitty litter scooper or a larger version known as a muck rake to remove any large manure clumps. But I have never had to top off my gritty blend personally. Had I been using pine shavings, I would have invested a small fortune and totally exhausted myself by now. I just offer a bit of hay or straw in a corner on top of the grit. If you can find bulk oyster grindings and/ or decomposed granite, I think that would be ideal for the floor in general. You may want to put a layer of coarse gravel underneath to absorb water and keep it dry.

    Us horse people add hydrated lime powder to the bedding to eliminate any odor or moisture problems. You can get a 50 pound bag for under $10.00.

    Works like a charm for me at least.
    Hope that helps.


    PS So what I have is not like straight commercial sand. That probably would get wet and clumpy. It is a gritty native blend that is similar to the oyster grindings and decomposed granite with a coarse sand.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008

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