pine shavings outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sunshine Chick 1, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Sunshine Chick 1

    Sunshine Chick 1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Longwood, Florida
    So I gather that it is best to put pine shavings inside the coop. But what about the run? What should be out in the run, especially if there is a roof on it? We are newbies and trying to figure everything out. With the pine shavings how often to do you clean it out and replace? I am a little confused on this deep litter method. What to use and how to do it?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    If I lived in Florida (which I use to) and I had chickens I'd put sand in their run.
    I do a kind of modified deep litter method. I start with a thick layer of pine shavings, maybe 6" deep on the floor. Twice a week I sprinkle DE on everything in the coop - the shavings, the roosts and the nest boxes. Then I turn the shavings and add a thin layer of clean shavings on top; followed by a little more DE.
    I do a total coop clean out about every 2 to 3 months, though I know lots of folks go longer between clean outs.
    My chickens free range every day, so the coop really only gets dirty under the roosts.
     
  3. debakadeb

    debakadeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Indiana
    I like putting straw in the covered run area. In the coop itself, I do a combination of leaves, pine shavings, and DE in the box under the roost. The box is about 6" deep and gets dumped weekly at a minimum. They don't poop a lot in the rest of the coop so I just clean it every week (or if I see a big spot). We covered the coop with vinyl flooring. So far this has worked quite well for us.

    I think our next "coop" will have a dirt floor. Then I'm going to definately use the deep litter method. According to one article I read, the chickens will scratch the ground beneath and this will help "compost" the droppings. The article recommends 12" of organic litter. (see http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Beginners.html).
     
  4. TurtleChick

    TurtleChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tacoma, WA
    we put down a layer of gravel when we originally built our run (ours is covered too), and then sand and dirt over that. over the winter i throw in all sorts of yard debris to keep them busy - leaves, small evergreen branches, etc - and they quickly churn that into beautiful soil. last fall (when our coop/run was about 1yr old and our stormy season was starting) we added more sand to keep it draining nicely. it works great! even though their run is covered, the sideways rain still makes things pretty wet when it wants to, but we've never had anything resembling mud or standing water in their run.

    of course, they also add pine shavings to their outdoor run themselves - how 4 chickens manage to kick so much shavings out the small pop door on a daily basis is beyond me......

    and in the summer i sprinkle de outside to help keep the poops dried up and the fly population at bay. you can't smell our chicken coop/run unless you're standing right next to it - and sometimes not even then! [​IMG]
     
  5. Sunshine Chick 1

    Sunshine Chick 1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Longwood, Florida
    Thank you for some great ideas. The DE everyone is talking about.. what is that and where would we find it?
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:From Wikipedia:
    *(pronounced /ˌdaɪətəˈmeɪʃəs ˈɝè/) — also known as DE, TSS, diatomite, diahydro, kieselguhr, kieselgur or celite — is a naturally occurring, soft, chalk-like sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. This powder has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light, due to its high porosity.
    Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae.*

    It is used with poultry as a natural defense against external parasites and a wormer. It also helps keep the smell down and repels flies. It helps dry up the droppings as well.
    You can find it at farmer's co-ops, some online stores and there is a BYC member that sells it (Spatcher).
    THE ONLY TYPE OF DE THAT IS SAFE TO USE AROUND POULTRY IS THE FOOD GRADE TYPE.
     
  7. debakadeb

    debakadeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Indiana
    Our farm store also has a grainery where they also make the feed for the chickens. They use DE at the grainery so that is where I buy it. You can find it online but it is very expensive getting it that way. I paid about $1 a pound from the grainery.
     
  8. ausamerican33

    ausamerican33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Wendell, NC
    I can't find DE locally. What are the online shops people have used successfully? Thanks in advance!
     
  9. ausamerican33

    ausamerican33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Wendell, NC
    Ah - answered my own post. I found Dawn's page, with a link to Shadow Ridge Farm - too far to drive, but it's:

    1017 Perma-Guard 50 Lb. Fossil Shell Flour $63.99 includes US shipping

    That looks like a decent price to me. Thoughts, anyone?
     

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