question about minimizing dusk

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cluky, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Cluky

    Cluky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hello everyone, so I am wondering how can I minimize dust in my coop? it is terrible. I have sand bedding and I do use sweet pdz. that combo is dusty. on top of that feed seems to be a bit dusty too. any suggestions?
     
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read in a magazine about a guy who buys a cheap box fan at a yard sale and covers the side which sucks in air with cardboard, he then cuts a hole in the cardboard slightly smaller than a furnace filter, he then fastens a furnace filter over the hole in the cardboard in such a fashion as he can remove it once a week and clean the filter or replace it when he needs to, this supposedly filters the air quite well and if the fan breaks he just picks up another throw away one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most of the 'dust' is actually chicken feather dander - much like dog or cat dander that folks are allergic to. You know how the hens are always preening and straightening their feathers all over their body all day and night long? Well, they're removing the skin-like covering which protects new feathers as they come in. You can see it most frequently during a full molt and on pet parrots. The new white 'pin feathers' that come in - the white part is actually like a skin that the bird has to remove in order for the feathers to be feathers.

    My hens will 'shake' periodically - they puff up ALL their feathers and do a full body shake-out, much like a dog does after a bath. Once I caught a hen doing that in slanting early morning sun - and was astounded by the quantity of dander that flew off of her! Rather disgusted actually....

    I like the idea above with the 'furnace' filter fan. The avian rescue I volunteered at changed their filters every 4wks - otherwise, the dust level was dangerous for folks with lung problems and/or allergies. It's a serious lung problem, please be careful!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yep! Feather sheathing...thinks this is where the term 'dirty birds' comes from.
     
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While birds are dusty by nature, sand makes it even worse. I have sand under my roosts and sometimes the girls will dust bath in it. I also have a large box fan hanging in a window that blows out of the coop. One day I saw what I thought was smoke coming from the coop and ran in to find not a fire [Thank God!] but one of my hens taking a dust bath. The sand generated so much dust that it was picked up by the fan and was billowing out the coop like a cloud of smoke.

    I now lightly mist my sand using a combo of vinegar and water mix in a spray bottle. As sand is only under my roosts, I can get away with using a small sprayer. You might need something larger. The misting will keep down the dust but you have to do it daily.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Does the 'wetting' of the dusting area inhibit their dust bathing?? Wonders if you could mist a dusting bin type setup?
     
  7. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you tried using the deep litter method in the coop area? I use it and the dirt floor of my large coop and covered run is covered by about 10+ inches of deep litter which has built up over the last 18 months.

    The deep litter method has been discussed numerous times on here but it's basically continuing to put organic decomposable material in layers and let the chicken poop just be raked underneath out of sight by the continuous chicken scratching at the 'dirt'.

    My grand daughter who loves the chooks almost as much as I do stuck her hand down into the deep litter last week and was surprised to find it was actually very hot down in there. That's because over time the whole floor of my coop and run is a living compost pile.

    Some of the things I use are pine straw ( also use in their nest boxes and my eggs rarely need any touch up ), hay, dry leaves in the fall from our property, etc.

    They find all kind of little 'creatures' to eat when they scratch around and dust bathe in it and it's not that dusty.
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Stop using sweet PDZ. Some shavings are more dusty than others. Find the brand that is the least dusty. Feeding pellets instead of crumbles are less likely to deteriorate and become dust. I've found a mill that produces a mini-pellet is more acceptable to birds than large pelleted feed.. Clean out your coop(s) every three months to avoid dust build up. Use a shop-vac after removing old shavings. Allowing litter to build up over a long time and become compost invites diseases you don't want in your flock.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  9. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never have any food or water in the coop so my hens only go into the coop the get to the nest box and sleep. Thankfully they don't dust bathe in there.

    I use stall dry, it's less dusty than PDZ. Last year I tried to mix it with coarse sand thinking it would reduce the dust but it got wet and stinky and the coop was always full of flies so I went back to just the stall dry. It takes maybe two minutes a day to scoop out the poop into the compost with a cat litter scoop. I used 3/4 of a bag on the 5x7 coop floor and am slowly using the rest of the bag to replace what is lost with the scooping. I think it will last 6 months and unless I have to change it all out the next bag I get should last a year or more.

    I have tried deep litter, poop hammocks and poop boards, paper pellets and pine shavings but for me the stall dry has been the cleanest most odor free and easiest solution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  10. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I prefer them not to dust bath in the coop if at all possible but the wetting I do doesn't stop them. I don't soak the sand - just dampen it - so it does keep the dust down somewhat but they still manage to create dust even with the sand being damp on top.

    My floor is deep-litter and the area under the roost will go to deep-litter soon. I'd prefer they dust bath outside but need to find an area I can provide some cover for to keep rain and snow out.
     

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