Starting over - no more ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jolenesdad, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Hay and straw can get moldy....can really depend on the source and how it is/was stored.
    You probably know that with having horses.
    Mucking out once a week probably isn't going to be an issue.
     
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  2. Morrigan

    Morrigan Free Ranging

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    My coop is on a concrete pad. I've used straw -- either rice or wheat straw -- mixed in with wood chips or pine shavings. Now, I live in a dry, low-humidity, climate, but I only do a complete muck-out twice year. I clean the poop boards under the roosts every few days, "spot" clean where things get kicked of the poop board, and stir up the straw a bit. Every couple of weeks I fork off a bit, if it's looking a bit dirty, and add some new straw or wood chips. I haven't had mold or smells. My chickens are outside the coop, and off the concrete, all day, however.

    Whatever you use, I agree with building a dust-bathing station. Also, make sure to remember to put out grit for them.
     
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  3. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

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    Got the roof secured with HC inside and the frame made for the front. We will take that off and hardware cloth it up on the ground and we will Be predator secure.

    I’m thinking of putting a 12 inch base board across the bottom for litter. I’ll build levels and roosts on the side and put rubber mats over the middle where they would mostly be landing from the sides.

    I make some amazing compost with 14 horses, so I was thinking of doing a 1-2 inch base of composted soil and then 4-6 inches of straw/hay/pine shavings to try deep litter. @aart... any reason why I shouldn’t try DLM here?

    A007122E-A826-4491-9CB8-1841F5818077.jpeg
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Not a fan of DLM in coops, I kinda use it in run, semi-deep litter with dry plant materials but more of a cold compost....so no experience, but don't think it works really well on concrete.
     
  5. A 6" layer of dried horse poop and 6" layer of shavings makes an awesome base for a chicken run. Feed your birds in the litter, spreading the feed widely and evenly. Your chickens will spend all day scratching and turning over their litter looking for every morsel. Hay makes a poor litter, Pine neeedles are a little better. Shavings come next, followed by straw, and shredded corn shucks are the best. You know that you have a sufficent amount of straw litter if a rooster and hen can disappear under the litter while foraging for food and still be happily scratching.

    ALL LITTER SHOULD ALWAYS BE DRY.
     
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  6. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    I would go to Home Depot and buy 20 bag of the cheap soil to start with and turn it into deep litter method if I were you. Leaves, a bale or two of hay, grass clippings etc.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    That stuff is near sterile......need soil with micro and macro organisms already present(like from an active, healthy compost pile) to make a true composting deep litter on concrete, and even then it may not survive long term on concrete.
     
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  8. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    So I posted this ^ before I read through.

    No need for you to buy dirt when you have horses. :D
    I have horses too and I throw on flake of hay in with my chickens and it breaks down pretty quick.

    I recently tried hay (only) for bedding in a quail cage...it was disgusting.
     
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  9. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    I'm reading through now, he has free horse poop for the win!
     
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Material from an old horse poop pile may have the organisms needed.
     
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