switching to deep litter method

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by diosa, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. diosa

    diosa Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2014
    Hi everyone,
    I've been using a duck tractor for my 4 welsh harlequins for the summer, moving it daily and hosing away the poop. But my lawn isn't coping very well and it occurs to me that it will end up a big boggy mess in the winter. I'm thinking of putting chicken wire on the bottom to prevent predators digging in and then adding deep litter of wood chips and peat moss that I dig over daily. My question is do I need a roof over the whole pen? Does it matter if it all gets wet for the composting and the ducks? Also is chicken wire necessary on the bottom? It would be easier to get the compost out without it.
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  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, roof needed to limit moisture getting into deep litter. You can get away from wire on bottom but beef up perimter. The chicken wire will be weak against a determined raccoon so consider upgrading.
     
  3. diosa

    diosa Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2014
    Awesome, thanks. They're only in there during the day so should be fine.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I don't think that is tall enough to do 'deep litter' and fit ducks in there....that tractor looks to be about a foot or 2 tall?
     
  5. diosa

    diosa Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2014
    Its just under 3 foot tall. How deep does deep litter need to be?
     
  6. goodb

    goodb Chillin' With My Peeps

    For deep litter to work as intended you'll need 7 inches minimum to start and build up from there. If you're going to keep moving it around the yard, deep litter will be more hassle than value for you.
     
  7. diosa

    diosa Out Of The Brooder

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    No the idea is to park it permanently and switch to deep litter. I could get up to 6 inches of litter in there. I was thinking a mix of oak leaves, wood chips and Pete moss.
     
  8. goodb

    goodb Chillin' With My Peeps

    My only experience has been with wood shavings. They are fine and dry enough to absorb the moisture and break down rather quickly for garden compost. Not that those things you mentioned won't work, I just haven't use them. Think about what you will do with the litter in the future.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    If I were dealing with that set up for the winter, I'd build a base to raise it off the ground an other 2 feet, and put a sloped roof over it. You'll need to cut down the draft, as well as be sure to have plenty of ventilation. Tough order to pull off with a small structure. How cold are your winters?
     
  10. diosa

    diosa Out Of The Brooder

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    Our winters are fairly mild, Max -15 and maybe a few snowfalls.
     

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