questions about pine shavings in coop for winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Over Easy PA, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Over Easy PA

    Over Easy PA Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    1) How deep do you plan to have pine shavings if you;re using the deep litter method through the winter?

    2) What do you do to keep the chickens from kicking tons of pine shavings out of their coop? Do you just have to keep replacing pine shavings all the time? We have a pop door that is left open all the time, with the door going into a fully enclosed and secure run. Problem is -- chickens are kicking lots of the pine shavings out into the run.
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I clear out the coop in the spring. I don't plan to have them at any particular depth by winter, it's just whatever is in there.

    When I designed my last coop, I planned on using deep litter. It has an elevated pop hole door, with a ramp on the outside, leading down into the run. So, the shavings never fall out. On the inside, it's either had a ramp on hinges that adjusts to the height of the litter or a platform in front of the door. We've remodeled it a couple of times over the years.

    You could add a board at the base of the door, to keep shavings from falling out. You'd need to cut the opening higher at the top, for the chickens to have room to get through, though. Unless your shavings aren't very deep and you only use a very small board.
  3. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    I find that as long as my shavings are loose and fluffy they are enough. When they become compacted and more solid they loose their insulative qualities and I have frozen eggs and toes.

    Do you have room to put a board across the bottom for a threshold to contain the shavings inside the coop?
  4. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I agree.

    I don't have a particular height for my deep litter. It's usually about 6-8 inches deep.

    I keep my little chicken door open 24/7 since it opens out into the secured run and have no issues at all with shavings being kicked outside.

    As the previous poster mentioned, you may want to just place another piece of wood at the bottom of the door to keep shavings inside.

  5. Over Easy PA

    Over Easy PA Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    Thanks for replies! I had thought about putting a board across the bottom of the door opening to hold in deeper pine shavings as they accumulate, but it seemed like that board would make a "hurdle" that the chickens would have to leap over to get in and out. I like the idea of adding a board and using a short ramp on the inside of the coop. That might be helpful to eliminate the hurdle effect. I guess we've got some redesigning to work on! But that's part of the fun.

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