Results from First Year with Deep Litter Method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Daisy8s, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Ms Jellybean

    Ms Jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right. I was just referring to the area in general. I know people that actually block off the nesting boxes at night to keep the chickens out. I was considering that as well. The perch just flips up at night as a block and is a perch by day.
     
  2. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, just checking!

    P.S. I would hesitate to build something that requires an extra chore. It's all fun at first but after a few years anything extra becomes tedious. Plus, there are times midday when a bird wants to take a nap on a perch. I think it'd be distressing to them if their perch wasn't available when they wanted it.
     
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  3. Ms Jellybean

    Ms Jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they have their roosting perches all the time. The perch that flips up is the one in front of the nesting boxes. Different wall of the coop. Maybe perch is the wrong word there.... They have access to the nesting boxes all day long. A simple flip and they are blocked off at night.
     
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  4. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, some of my birds lay really early in the morning...way before I want to be out there opening access to a nesting box, especially on the weekends. If they don't have access to their nesting boxes they'll lay on the floor in the bedding and once they like a location for a nest it's pretty hard to break them of it.

    I've only had birds sleeping in nesting boxes when a) they're young birds hiding from older ones, b) there isn't enough room on the roost, c) they're molting during the dead of winter and cold (stupid birds!!). All of those situations are temporary and as soon as they got older to claim their own place on the roost, or got past molting, they returned to the roost because they really do prefer to be up higher.
     
  5. adeleroy8

    adeleroy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info...I"m brand new to the concept of raising chickens....still looking at coop options & bird selections. I read the very nicely detailed description of the Deep Liter method...basically it sounds like you build a coop over a compost pile....am I understanding this correctly?
     
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I built my coop over a gravel pile because it was there and I knew there'd be good drainage. Then, I added the materials for a compost pile (beginning with healthy dirt from a well-composted pile to bring in the organisms in the soil that decompose things).

    After that you're maintaining it to keep the right balance of wet/dry, brown/green. There are many factors that will affect this...but you'll know quickly if you're going astray because it'll be stinky or wet or full of flies. If any of those things happen just educate yourself about composting solutions to correct it.

    The purpose of making your litter into a compost pile is to reduce smell, reduce maintenance effort/time/money, make a healthy bedding for the birds, make a warm/soft floor for the birds in winter and when jumping down from roosts, and to turn chicken poo into great compost for the garden.
     
  7. Ms Jellybean

    Ms Jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking a variation of this coop now, except with a dirt floor. No cedar shingles either. Can't afford that! I'd have bigger windows and more ventilation. I need to build for the heat, not the cold.
     
  8. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new at this too, I'm doing DL as well... Good so far .. When you clean the poop boards, do you put the poo in the run to compost with the leaves ? Or in a pile in the run? Or do you have seperate compost piles in yard that you use?
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Nope...you just create a compost pile inside your existing coop. [​IMG] The hoop coops are great for this concept and are also great for warmer climates if one has it.
     
  10. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No poop boards needed...that's what makes DL so easy to maintain! I know some people want to climb into their coops every day and scoop poop, but I'm not one of them! Plus, manure being held up in the air on a poop board is about the smelliest thing ever.

    Without poop boards the chicken manure falls right from the roosts onto the floor into the bedding which, when turned by you and the chickens, acts like a compost pile. You want to use light bedding materials (dried grass, dried leaves, pine shavings, chopped hay) so it's easy for the birds to turn under the fresh manure while they're doing their natural scratch-and-peck behaviors. The quicker the fresh manure is buried the less smell you'll have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
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