Thickness for Pine Shavings - how often to change/clean

Rick&Chris

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Aug 15, 2018
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Hi All - another question about raising my 3 week old chicks in a 6’x6’ coop outside. I am using mini flake pine shavings. How thick should they be on the floor and how often should I change them? The floor of the coop is slippery, it has an epoxy finish, easy to clean.

Is it recommended that I do the deep litter method? What should I add to keep the smell down, and how often do I add more flakes? Thanks in advance, from New Chick Mom
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Deep litter is best done in a larger coop with a dirt floor. I would bed deeper in colder weather. Bedding is best at 1-5 inches deep. Change as often as you feel it's necessary. If you are smelling stuff you should have changed it already.
 

Sg4

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Aug 7, 2017
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I use shavings in my coop and use the deep litter method. However my coop is directly on the ground so I dont know if that makes a difference? Someone else might be able to provide more info on that part. My girls have been outside for over a year now and I've never actually taken the shavings out. I incorporate dried leaves from the yard periodically. When the chickens have turned the shavings and I no longer see "fresh" shavings and leaves on top, I add a fresh light layer over top. I've never smelled ammonia or feces in my coop. I just add layers and they take care of it for me. The only removal I do is the composted material on bottom for garden purposes. Super easy and everyone is happy and healthy! They love when I add a fresh layer because they start scratching and turning immediately. The ground cover is about 6 inches or so and they enjoy digging big craters and laying in it when it's hot outside.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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A dirt floor is needed usually to get the biological action coming up from the ground to break down and incorporate the material. In a coop with a floor you could end up with rotted floors and bedding that just molds.
 

Rick&Chris

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Aug 15, 2018
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Southeast PA (Bucks County)
Thanks everyone! I didn’t realize the dirt floor was a necessity. I am not a fan of seeing poop in my coop! Not sure the best way to scoop it up without doing a full change of shavings. Can I add more on top to freshen it up? Since they are young And not roosting, they are pooping everywhere
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Thanks everyone! I didn’t realize the dirt floor was a necessity. I am not a fan of seeing poop in my coop! Not sure the best way to scoop it up without doing a full change of shavings. Can I add more on top to freshen it up? Since they are young And not roosting, they are pooping everywhere
Yes you can top it off until you feel the need to clean. Once they start roosting poop boards can keep the mess contained and easier to clean.
 

aart

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Thanks everyone! I didn’t realize the dirt floor was a necessity. I am not a fan of seeing poop in my coop! Not sure the best way to scoop it up without doing a full change of shavings. Can I add more on top to freshen it up? Since they are young And not roosting, they are pooping everywhere
OhBoy...ya oughta just get used to that or you'll flip out as they grow bigger with bigger poops...and after they start laying the poops will triple in size. :lol:

Just add some more shavings, stir it all up, and you might get some Sweet PDZ to sprinkle around too. Buy the big bag of granules (not the chicken sized bag) in the horse aisle of TSC, as it will be good to use on your poop boards. It will help to absorb the ammonia.
 

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