stable boy/stall dri and droppings boards system too dusty

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HeatherFeather, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON
    I just made a lovely droppings board shelf all around the perimeter of my 8x10 coop (save for the side where the nests are). The shelf is 30" wide, plywood, and has an edge all the way around made of metal, which is 2" wide (salvaged from old steel framing studs). I caulked the bigger gaps between the plywood and metal so that nothing could fall out easily and make a mess.

    I put the 2 U shaped roosts, spaced 7" from the wall and 7" from the front of the shelf. There is 9" between and the rear roost and the front, and the rear roost is raised up another 2" from the front one. I guess in total there is around 525" of roost space. I have roughly 50 hens-well, mostly pullets right now anyways.

    I put a lot of work into this system, and based it on stuff I read on here last winter. I'm really interested in systems which reduce the amount of consumed goods. Since our soil is solid pure hard clay from 4" down, I could literally use my own soil if this works. My aim was to make it like a giant litter box, which I would fill with this stall dri stuff and scoop out each day.

    We don't have stall dri at our farm store, but we got this 'red lake earth' stuff which is listed as "montmorillionite clay and diatomaceous earth"

    So its basically powdered clay and DE. I thought that's what Stall dri is??

    I put it in and the chooks went up....and POOF!!

    Dust everywhere. Everytime they flap or move up and down from the roosts.

    My OH suggested to mist it with water....I'm not sure. I don't see how this can work if it makes the air so poor with dust. I thought about using cat litter...but I think the chooks will eat it. I'm now thinking about sand......but its not really absorbent.

    How do others manage this system?

    This coop is winter housing only BTW. The hens will be living in a portable house surrounded by electronet come the warm weather again.

    any suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    I used the sand for a short time in the coop.I did not like the smell in the coop,but it was easy to use a cat scoop to get the poo_Other than sand I would say a small layer of pine shavings.I use that on the straw bales,and just rake everything off in the am and add more shavings.
     
  3. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON
    shavings on top of bales- so simple yet, so logical [​IMG] Perhaps I'm trying too hard.

    It was kinda gross in there when I let them out this am. It rained all night, the air was damp, and it was dusty. So, out comes the shop vac.....

    I'm gonna try sand mixed with this stuff. I want to do 'scooping'. Straight boards won't work once it freezes (tried that last year).....

    back to the drawing board! (er droppings board)
     
  4. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2010
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    I use Stall-Dri which is granular, can you ask for your farm store to order it? It's SOOOO easy and no dust.
     
  5. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON
    Its granular? really?

    Man. I thought I had the right stuff. No wonder.

    Don't the chickens eat it though?

    And if its granular....then would it be ok to use plain kitty litter?

    I can ask *a* farm store to order it.....but we don't necessarily have a farm store near us. We have to drive nearly an hour to get to one, and its not a very good one. There is a hardware store that carries some poultry stuff, and fence wire. I find it better to make do with what we have around us. sigh.

    On the bright side---the sand/clay mixed together is working really well, and dust doesn't fly up when they flap around!!! I may have solved it all myself. And the sand comes from a sand pit just 1 km away [​IMG]
     
  6. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    I was logging on, before I finished reading your reply, to suggest using play sand instead. And I saw you already used it, problem solved!
     
  7. Cluckn Crazy

    Cluckn Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Heatherfeather -
    Would love to see pics of your set up. I'm always looking for Canadian inspiration... especiallly for 50 birds!
     

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