Question re deep litter and stall dry

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ohiogallina, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Ohiogallina

    Ohiogallina New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2009
    I have six pullets (11 weeks and 12 weeks) in a 34 square foot coop built into a corner of an outdoor carriage house/garage, opening onto an outdoor run. I'm trying out deep litter to avoid mucking out all winter, and it seems to work ok so far. I'm mixing in some small amounts of stall dry as needed with about 6 inches of straw and stirring around the whole thing about 2X a month. I haven't had to add straw yet, it smells ok to me. I'm wondering if stall dry is ok for the chickens to be exposed to both mixed in the straw and just sprinkled around the ledges where a lot of poo collects. Second part of the question - is stall dry considered safe to use in the garden after all this is composted?
     
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    Cross Lanes, WV
    I use stall dry in my deep litter with shavings. Stall dry is volcanic ash and DE so it should be fine in the compost. I hope so because that's how I plan to use mine. I also go along and sprinkle it where ever there is a gooey poo on a ledge or roost. It makes it much easier to scrape off.
     
  3. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    I would think the pine shavings would work better than the straw. Straw doesn't always absorb moisture very well, it can get slimy and also the straw will harbor mites being that the stems are hollow. I use the pine shavings in my coop and there is no odor at all and I just mix in DE on occasion, I do however, stir it up on a daily basis to make sure the poo dries out. JMHO.
     
  4. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    Cross Lanes, WV
    remember to wear a mask if you are using stall dry. When you stir it the dust has silica in it which is bad for your lungs. You should also make sure all the chickens are out of the coop when you do it.
     
  5. B'villechicken

    B'villechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Syracuse NY Area
    I use Stall Dry and pine shavings and so far no problems. This is my 1st year, however.
     
  6. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2008
    Nebraska
    B'villechicken :

    I use Stall Dry and pine shavings and so far no problems. This is my 1st year, however.

    Me Too!! Soo far soo good!​
     
  7. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    I am using deep litter method too. I use grass clippings and they are working just great so far. I add to them all year as I mow and it makes the coop smell so nice. By Oct I had enough to last the winter. I have gone to wide poop planks under roosts that I scrape daily in AM. I leave windows wide open until at least noon or so, but the overnight smell, which is not bad, is gone in minutes each morning. I just leave the windows open to insure a complete changeout of air. I started in late Aug and am sure that by using the poop planks I will only have to change the litter once a year which is fine by me. I have 24 pullets of 6 months age, real fatsos that are producing 12-17 eggs daily currently. The poop planks are working better than turning over the litter did. And I can put it in the garden without worrying about grass or hay growing up alongside my crops. In warmer weather it goes to compost with dirt, leaves, twigs, lime, etc.
     
  8. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Niland, CA
    I have seen my chickens pecking the stall dry. If they actually eat it, is it ok for them? Would it work like grit? I have stopped using it until I hear from you smart chicken-people.
     
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    My dropping board is covered in Stall Dry--you can see a pic of it on this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=273800

    The Stall Dry I use says it is composed of Clay and DE, and it is not dusty (lots of animals on the bag). I NEVER see the chickens peck at it. If you make sure they have access to food and grit at all times, I don't think it would be a problem. The bag recommends it for chicken coops, I can't imagine they would do so if it was bad for them.
     
  10. Ohiogallina

    Ohiogallina New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2009
    Thanks for the responses, all very helpful, they bring up a couple more questions from me though: we use straw b/c we have access to it from a nearby farm, and pine shavings are more expensive. I did get a bag of red cedar shavings for the nest boxes to help with mites, but I thought red cedar might not be great for all over the coop because I read somewhere that the chicks shouldn't breathe it, maybe it's ok for hens? Second: if I'm using stall dry, won't the DE in it help control mites also?
    thanks again.
     

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