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Topic of the Week - Coop Bedding and Waste Management; Deep Litter Method etc.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sumi, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    One thing any chicken keeper will tell you is that chickens can get messy and keeping the coop clean(ish) and not too smelly can be a challenge, especially over winter, when many of our birds prefer to spend their time indoors. This week I'd like to hear you all's thoughts on coop bedding, waste management etc. Specifically:

    - Bedding in the coop: What do you use?
    - How deep do you let it get?
    - How often do you clean it out?
    - What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)

    - Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?
    - Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your experience?
    - What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)




    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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  3. Farmer Nick

    Farmer Nick New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Originally Posted by sumi View Post

    One thing any chicken keeper will tell you is that chickens can get messy and keeping the coop clean(ish) and not too smelly can be a challenge, especially over winter, when many of our birds prefer to spend their time indoors. This week I'd like to hear you all's thoughts on coop bedding, waste management etc. Specifically:

    - Bedding in the coop: What do you use?

    I lay down a piece of cardboard and then on top of that I put about two to three inches of straw. I repurposed a storage bin as a coop. Its 5ft wide by 5 feet tall by 3 feet deep.

    - How deep do you let it get?

    About 2-3"

    - How often do you clean it out?

    I've only had them for 5 months (winter months only.) Its a small coop so the poo gets deep with the quickness. I completely clean the coop once a week. Its gets obliterated. I have 4 chickens: 2 brown orpingtons and 2 ameraucanas. I use a wheel barrel and bring the pooped up straw over to the garden area and dump it in. I plan to rototill it in this Spring.

    - What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)

    Bare dirt.

    - Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?

    Nope

    - Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your

    Nope


    - What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)

    Nothing. I clean weekly so there is no smell at all. Summer may be different.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  4. junkman56

    junkman56 Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  5. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  6. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Irish Colleen Premium Member

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    - Bedding in the coop: What do you use?
    I use pine shavings, they aren't the best option but they are pretty cheap and work well enough.

    - How deep do you let it get?
    Around 4-6 inches

    - How often do you clean it out?
    At least once a month. I like to through scratch or feed in the coop so they will keep it turned and mixed not just caked in droppings.

    - What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)
    Wood (painted with weather proof paint)

    - Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?
    No

    - Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your experience?
    No, but I've been meaning to try it one of these winters!

    - What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)
    I like to put herbs as a natural way to keep the coop smelling fresh and as a bug repellant.
     
  7. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    -Bedding in the coop: what do you use?
    Dried leaves, straw, dried grass clippings, pine straw, straw, wood chips, and wood shavings. I also clean out the cows hay feeders and use the stemy hay they don't eat as bedding. I pretty much use anything I can get my hands on, except leafy hay which can cause crop binding if the chickens eat it.

    - How deep do you let it get?
    12-18 inches thick.


    - How often do you clean it out?
    I usually start deep bedding in the fall, and then clean it out the following spring.

    - What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)
    My large fowl chickens, ducks, and turkeys are kept on pasture year around. I keep my bantams in a hoop house for the winter. It has a dirt floor.


    - Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?
    No poop board. The dropping fall on the bedding.


    - Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your experience?
    I use deep bedding, and have had a good experience with it. It beats cleaning the coop out constantly. I put a thin layer of fresh bedding down every day or two. I know some people that put a thick layer down only every week or two, but their coops always stink. I think it's better to put less down more often, then a lot down less often, unless you are using a high carbon bedding like wood chips, in which case you can get away with not adding new bedding as often.

    - What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)
    I sprinkle both fresh and dried herbs in the coop. I also keep herbs in the nesting boxes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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  9. MartinsPoultry

    MartinsPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    - Bedding in the coop: What do you use?

    Hay, I buy either mulch hay or square bails for my coop

    - How deep do you let it get?

    About 6-7 inches

    - How often do you clean it out?
    I clean it once a month but take out the really bad stuff once a week to every two weeks

    - What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)
    Wood, my coop is an old shed turned coop

    - Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?
    no

    - Anyone use the deep litter method? Tell us about your
    Lots and lots of hay and sawdust/wood shavings under the hay


    - What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)
    Baking powder under the bedding, lots of fresh air on nice days, and a drip box for their waterer.

    The coop I own used to be my mother in-laws storage barn/shed before she passed away. We have since converted it into a coop to house a total of 21 birds. Its a 10x12 barn with 2 opening windows and a screen door for extra ventilation. My fiance and I are installing a roof vent to help on those really cold days when the barn is closed up cause my birds are prissy and cannot be bothered to be out in the cold.
     
  10. Sue Gremlin

    Sue Gremlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    - Bedding in the coop: What do you use?
    Rye straw or wood shavings in winter, no bedding in the warmer months


    - How deep do you let it get?
    About 2" to 4"

    - How often do you clean it out?
    Inside: Summer: Once a week, winter, if it's not frozen, once a week to once a month.
    Outside: A couple times a year I'll rake it out. I give them straw to kick around when it's cold out.


    - What is your coop floor? (Earth, wood, protected wood.)
    Wood inside, dirt outside.


    - Do you use a poop board or something similar? If "yes", tell us more?
    Yes. I use a plywood board under the roosts. It has a small hole in it that I can grab and slide out through the specially made door for that purpose, and then scrape it with a plastic putty knife into the tractor bucket.


    - What products, beside bedding materials, do you use to keep smells/moisture under control? (For example lime, sweet PDZ)
    Nothing necessary. If it gets damp, I add clean bedding and that takes care of it.
     
    2 people like this.

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