1. EasterEggDrew

    EasterEggDrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just finishing my coop and run for four chicks:

    [​IMG]

    The dirt and mulch (it's an old flower garden) is a little lower than foundation inside run, so it's time to fill with something... but what? Dirt? Mulch? Wood chips? Sod?


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  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Lots of folks use sand as it drains well...and it looks like drainage could be as issue for you with the raised foundation. Good luck to you! :)
     
  3. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I've heard mixed reviews on the sand as at first it seems like it works really well but after awhile all the poop gets mixed in with it (even if you sift it) and in a year it starts to smell horrid, plus you can't compost it so when it gets to that point you basically have to scoop it all out and take it to the dump or get rid of it.
    I have been encouraged to do deep litter in my run (still being built) and its a raised run as well. I think what I am going to do is fill the raised run with dirt half way and wait to see how things go and maybe go deep litter after awhile if I feel like its needed. measurements of the run?

    sod will be gone in weeks and so not worth it, mulch I have seen but I would be cautious of the type of mulch and any dyes that may be inside. honestly I have seen three forms, deep litter, dirt and sand... all of which have their pros and cons.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  4. EasterEggDrew

    EasterEggDrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen "deep litter" mentioned many times here, and it seems there's always an assumption everyone knows what it is, but I really have no idea. Can you explain?
     
  5. MollySunshine

    MollySunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This I can help you with! I am a beginner and always taking...it is a nice feeling to return what others have helped me with here.

    It looks as though you have woods in the back of your coop. Get in there and rake up what's on the earth floor. Yup, twigs, small branches, leaves. I placed hay, pine shavings and what was laying on the natural woods of my property. It becomes quite thick and springy (8 - 10 or so inches). This was recommended to me from someone here who's guidance I appreciate, because my run was becoming "unhealthy". I was becoming concerned but didn't know how to fix it. I did this a couple of months ago and you should see how nicely it's breaking down. There must be nice bugs under there too because my pullets are always digging and eating. It's a beautiful thing! Every now and again as I see it composting I add a little stuff to it. Right now the leaves are falling. I just added some to both coops and runs.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Basically it is exactly what Molly said. It is compostable healthy material added in bulk, leaves, pine shavings, straw, grass clippings etc... it is added as a base layer at 3-6 inches and you keep it stirring (your chickens should do the bulk of the work) but this allows moist areas to dry and dry areas to moisten to the correct humidity and the right kind of bacteria starts to break down the material. as the material composts you should add new material a layer at a time. I have heard reports of some cleaning it out once a month, twice a year, once a year and once every two years... I honestly have no experience in doing it, but it does seem intriguing with so little maintenance required.
    from what I have heard though if you start it right and at the right time of year you can do a big clean up early spring and you have fresh compost for your garden and planting...
    but give it time, I'm sure one of the experts can break it down or show you a link for more explanation.

    Summarized though... deep base, slight maintenance (stirring) adding new material over time and it doesn't stink and is very healthy for you, your chickens and garden...
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
  8. EasterEggDrew

    EasterEggDrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like this concept, as I have no shortage of "healthy bed material" in my yard! I wonder if they prefer Walnut, Ash, or Maple leaves and twigs. [​IMG]

    It will be interesting to see how this works in a covered run. We do get blowing rain, and while I put the run in a fairly well-sheltered spot, I'm sure the base will get wet in storms.

    Thanks, folks!


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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  9. noble

    noble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]it's hard to see in the picture but I alternate between what's in the woods leaves and when I cut grass and chipped up pine. I just emptied the coop 6 weeks ago so it looks bear in that picture. The result is I use it as composting material for my raised beds and the results have been awesome in my opinion. This is a picture when I filled the bed .[​IMG] give me a min. This was with dirt on top . I'll find a better picture
     
  10. noble

    noble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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