Using leaves for deep litter bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PunkinPeep, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I know i have read that some people here use dried fall leaves for bedding in their coops.

    I would like to hear more.

    Does this increase the presence of mites?

    Does it keep the coop dry as well as pine shavings?

    Is a mixture better?

    Please educate me.

    We have SO many leaves all over our yard. I hate to not put them to good use, and it seems they would compost better with the chicken poop than pine shavings would.
  2. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    Most definately use them! They will scratch and crunch them down, pick out the "bugs" and have a big ole fun time. The coop should stay dry as long as its water tight. I tried pine shavings and prefer wheat straw. Straw breaks down alot faster and can be tilled in my garden earlier.

    I used lawn clippings after the last mow of the season last summer. It sure cut down on the straw that I needed. The chickens thought they had a new playground with all the scratching they did.

    I dont know about mites. I have never had them. Almost always use wheat straw or grass clippings.
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I'm using them right now! I've got a couple of small coops so I can't go real deep. Every other month shovel it out and add new. Toss the old in the composter.
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas

    Rooster, how long do you go between completely emptying of the litter and starting over?

    Coyote, how broken down are the leaves when you clean it out every other month?
  5. bexukaren

    bexukaren Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    I used them in the "sunroom" of my coop about 8 inches deep and they went into overdrive and heated up so hot the chickens would not cross them. I had to shovel them out 8 days after I put them in.
    Good luck, maybe not so deep all at once like I did. Karen
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Wow! [​IMG]
  7. Kung Foo Chicken

    Kung Foo Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    We use them. We also throw them into the chipper too. They seem to be much more absorbent when broken up some.
    Water oak leaves.
  8. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    I bagged up all the leaves from the yard last fall and along with one bale of wheat straw I had about 6-8" of litter in my coop. I did not clean it all winter, maybe a little spot clean around the waterer once a week but that was all. The bedding was still pretty dry and not to stinky. I have 13 chickens in this coop and they did not go out ALL winter. I will definitly be using leaves again next fall!
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Chickens wipe them out in a few weeks where they were all gound up like going through a chipper. I throw in about a half bag of them. We don't really have an trees but I got bags upon bags of them from someone on Freecycle.
  10. JacksFlock

    JacksFlock Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    Is it ok to use pine shavings from my local lumber yard? They have some hemlock shavings mixed in.

    Does anyone use shavings and straw mixed?

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