Stupid newbie question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickens? WOW, May 21, 2010.

  1. Chickens? WOW

    Chickens? WOW Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2010
    Western Montana
    Okay this is sorta a stupid question but can you put chickens on cat litter instead of shavings? This is my first time and I am trying to find the best way of doing things. Also does anyone do the deep litter system? Does it work?
  2. NurseELB

    NurseELB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    Food grade Diatomacious Earth (spelling) is okay for the deep litter method. I don't think cal litter is a good idea because of the amount of dust it produces- I'd think it would be hard on their respiratory system.
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Just posting to say 'HI!' [​IMG] because I must have missed you when you introduced yourself. Someone will be arriving shortly to answer your questions..please stay on the line... beep.

    seriously, there are a LOTTA threads on the deep litter method. try doing a search in the upper right of this screen.
    Cat litter...don't know.
  4. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    I use the Deep Litter Method....and love it!!! I have a flock of 20 in a 10x10 run with a coop about 4' deep in, 10' across and 6" tall....I use shavings only...and DE.....I clean it out about once a month I sift it from dry poop and sprinkle more DE....daily I turn it over....and about every 6mos....I take most of it out (shavings)...and I leave alittle in, so to not get rid of the good bacteria thats grown in there and control it better. I love it!!!!


    before litter, I stack litter about 8" deep

  5. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I wouldn't use cat litter due to the dust..I don't use it in my bunny hutch because of that reason....
  6. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Besides the dust concern, most cat litters have some sort of scent. Chickens have pretty delicate respiratory systems and strong scents (or the chemicals those scents are made from) can make them sick. Also, don't use cedar shavings, make sure it is Pine shavings, Cedar has a chemical in it that can kill chicks.
  7. my3chickens

    my3chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    I'm new to this also but I think I'm going to use construction grade sand, built in grit, kind of like a big kitty litter box! I've been reading up on it "extensively" and everyone says it's so easy to clean with a small rake and it stays dry (my run is covered) which will cut down on smell.

    If I had more chickens I think I'd use the deep litter method but I only have 3 so not sure which would work best.......

    Does anyone know if I should also use DE if I'm using sand? Forgot to research that.
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    First of all, welcome to BYC! Second of all, there are no stupid questions here...except possibly the ones we don't ask. Please ask away! That's how we all learn.

    I would not use kitty litter myself, even the nonclumping kind, for the reasons the other posters have mentioned. I would also be worried about ingestion. When I was raising chicks in a brooder last spring, I didn't like using shavings because some was always scattering outside the brooder (which I had set up in a corner of our den). Instead, I put an old, low pile towel down in the bottom, then put layers of paper towels on top that I removed by layer during the day as it got poopy. I'd remove the towel, shake it off outside, and wash it when it got poopy. This worked well, but I only had five chicks.
  9. funkychicken

    funkychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    East Texas
    I use the deep litter method and just love it. The girls keep it turned and I put a little DE in every now and then. I have a poop pan(one of those big silver cookie sheet things you put under a car to protest the floor from oil leaks)under the roost so my litter stays pretty clean. I change it in the spring.
  10. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    There is NOTHING wrong with using a deep litter method as many have mentioned before on here. I wouldn't use kitty litter, unless it was the absolute cheapest one that is just the clay. Dust *may* be an issues, but may also be an issue with any other method you choose. Personally, I use sand which will act like kitty litter to dry out the poop. Once a day, I go out with a large slotted spoon and collander to shovel poo filled sand into the collander to then sift out the poop for discard into a compost pile.

    Again, my method is a personal decision. It is by no means perfect. Many folks have different opinions on what and how they want to raise their birds. Ultimately, this will be your decision. We support you in whatever you decide. Please be sure to post what you decide and then take pictures!!!

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