The Deep Litter Method for the run.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WthrLady, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    I've been reading the posts here for about three hours, and I feel more lost than I was before. Lol

    I am building a new large coop.

    It will have an attached virgin soil run.

    What do I need to do to create the deep litter method in the run?

    I have no access to leaves. (live on the great prairieland... no trees here! Lol)

    I can get pine shavings, shredded mulch, or wood pellets from the hardware store, as well as hay.

    Please help me do this right from the start!
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Make sure that drainage is good first, that's the most important thing, and very hard to fix later. Then use what you have; also straw, sand, stuff from the coop, whatever. It doesn't need to be complicated, just not a soggy mess. Shovel it out as needed, which shouldn't be often. If you can cover the run, that's ideal; at least cover it with hawk- proof netting. Mary
  3. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    Protective covering is a given. Rain roof is another story. Drainage is NOT a problem!
  4. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    Should i dig down in the earth to start? Or just start piling on?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  5. georgejlee

    georgejlee In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2015
    San Mateo, CA
    I did the deep litter method with wood chips. I got a truckload of free wood chips from a local arborist and spread it all over my yard. Wood chips take a while to decompose though, the bigger pieces can last for a good two years or so before they really break down. It worked pretty well for the chickens overall though. The chips absorb the odor fairly well. One challenge is keeping everything tidy. The chickens can really kick the wood chips all over the place. In my case it really helped to put a border of bricks and concrete pieces around the run to help contain the chips. Every few months I heaped in a few wheelbarrow loads of chips into the run and spread it around. Also you have to watch out for rain. Once the run gets muddy the surface will get packed and prevent proper decomposition. When that happens I stick a pitchfork in there and stir things up a bit.
    1 person likes this.
  6. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Songster

    Mar 25, 2014
    Adkins Texas
    I'm shoveling pine chips out of our coop into the run area since they take so long to break down in the composter (wood chips in that thing was a bad idea and I still kick myself for doing it just once). We have almost 100% sand out here so drainage isn't an issue for us so our run isn't covered. As others have stated drainage is the biggest key feature of a deep litter endeavor.


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