Poop, deep litter, dirt run...etc. Indulge me?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by limabean, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know these topics have been done to death, but I'm hoping some kind souls will answer specific questions about my set-up so I don't have to browse long threads...

    Inside the coop: Plywood floor (not painted- wish I had before they moved in), wire walls - so PLENTY of ventilation (it is inside my insulated garage, the chickens go outside through an open window). When they were fluffies in a big old rabbit hutch, I just tossed shavings in on top of poop. Now that they are in the coop I am doing the same - will this continue to work out? I'm going on the idea that if it smells okay, it's going okay. I figure I'll clean it all out and throw it in a compost pile a couple of times a year. Should I add Stall Dry or something? I'm looking for food-grade DE but have not found it locally.

    Outside, in the run: Bottom is bare dirt (if mud issues arise I will amend that of course). I'm not seeing alot of poop out there yet, and did not even address the issue of poop till this morning (they've been out there a week now). What I did see I just shovelled under....is that a sustainable method, or will I need to be removing the poop from the run?
     
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did the same thing with my brooder . . . just added more shavings as needed.

    I'm also doing the same thing with my coop.

    I have a nice deep layer of litter inside my coop that I rake a little each morning when I let the chickens out.

    I keep the litter dry so there is no odor.

    I sprinkled a little stall dry when I first set it up.

    Stall dry also has DE in it.

    As long as you keep the litter dry, you will definitely minimize the odor and the flies.


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  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I do. I'll clean/empty the shavings out 2 times a year. In between those times, I'll add fresh shavings as needed when the start to break down. I'll also every now and then throw in a handfull of scratch, and let the chickens turn the bedding for me. They all seem to like that, and they really do a good job. I don't use stalldry, DE or anything else with the shavings. The coop doesn't smell, and it's not just me saying that. People come over, and they want to look at the coop. And just about all of them say how surprised they are that it doesn't stink, and how they driven past chicken farms and they always smelled terrible. As long as it's dry, I don't think you'll have a problem.
    Jack
     
  4. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.

    How about outside, shovelling the poop under the dirt - okay? Sustainable?
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Bean, I don't have a run, My chickens run all over the place. But I would think over time you would have to start getting rid of some of the dirt (In an enclosed run) and replacing it. I would think at some point, you would reach a MaxPoopPoint where the soil becomes completly crapified and you would need a backhoe to properly turn it over.
    Jack
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  6. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MaxPoopPoint, hmm? Good to know!

    Ok, so if I'm going to remove poop from the run, how? I imagining something like a cat litter scoop, but big enough to use standing up. Or I see people write of "raking" the run - what sort of rake, and does that really work?
     
  7. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Depends on your dirt, the size of your run and how many chickens you have. I'll be dealing with the same issues at some point.

    I was thinking I might eventually have to add some gravel/sand mix or even some pine mulch, or some of all three. I'm going to wait and see how it goes for now and add as needed. I did add some gravel to my low lying run areas before we built the fence, but that was because I had issues with water pooling in one low area.

    I am also doing DLM and love the pine shavings! Sounds like you've got that part under control.
     
  8. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could also add sand to your outside run. Like I said, I don't have a run, But alot of people here seem to like the sand.
    Jack
     
  9. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It should break down after a while, but if there are clumps you could use the type of rake used for cleaning horse droppings from stalls. Since I have a large shed for a coop that's what I'm going to use.
     
  10. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    We have had our chicks outside for about 3 weeks now. I have about 4 inches of sand in my outside run. I rake everynight with a metal leaf rake (the tines are pretty close together). I then shovel anything the rake catches into the compost pile. I am pretty new to this, but as of now it seems to work great, no smell and my kids sit in the sand and never have poo on them. I bet you could rake your dirt the same way.
     

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