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What am I not getting about deep litter method?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by stone_family3, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put the shavings in. I turn them and clean out the big nasties if need be, but it always look dirty.

    Should I just scoop it all into the compost and start over with new shavings?
     
  2. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Deep litter method: Pile new bedding over soiled bedding and only clean out big nasties. If coop really doesn't look good, I would advise cleaning it out completely.
     
  3. spotsplus

    spotsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You dont' want to turn in the new shavings into the bedding, just lay the new bedding on top. That will keep it clean looking.
     
  4. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm maybe I'll clean it out and start over again.
     
  5. maryhysong

    maryhysong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    don't clean it out, just add more on top. sprinkle some scratch feed in there and the chickens will turn it and keep it fluffed up. Add more litter whenever needed. If it's getting dirty fast you may have too many birds in too small a space.
     
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with adding more bedding, but it should be turned regularly and not just by the chickens. Take a big fork or a shovel and once weekly stir the whole pile up. This redistributes the moisture around the coop, and aereates the bedding - important for proper breakdown. The bedding should be slighlty moist and a little crumbly, but not wet or dusty.
     
  7. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only have 3 birds in an 8'x7' coop right now, maybe I'm just being overly picky LOL.

    IMO it's very dusty, since it's been so cold I haven't had the time to clean it out, maybe I'll just try hitting the problem areas and leaving the rest and adding new.
     
  8. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    If it is really dusty, there is not enough moisture - probably because you have only a few hens in a very generous sized coop. Start off with a thinner layer of shavings and only add more if the bedding seems too wet. It does look kind of dirty, but that is normal for any mulch pile, as as it starts breaking down you will see it turn a browner color and have a softer texture. There should be little or no smell, and no ammonia odor.

    The only way I know to keep a coop from being dusty is to use sand, but that is a whole different bedding system, and I am not interested in the constant cleaning it requires. Chickens produce lots of dust!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Chickens are dusty, comes from their feather sheaths and some beddings, deep litter is not going to look clean.
    Basically it's compost, it generates some heat for the coop and makes the manure into great fertilizer for gardens.

    If you want really 'clean', you'll have to go about it another way.
    Deep litter is great for livestock managers, but not for pristine pet chicken owners

    Lots of folks scoop poops everyday and replace any wet bedding so coop is pristine.
     
  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    The deep litter method works a little different in every coop if you are not experiencing ammonia gas or excess water vapour I would leave things as is and just add extra bedding to make things look pristine.

    In my coop in Canada my litter is frozen harder than a brick with some light fluff I keep adding to from time to time. The litter when pooped on freezes practically instantly and collects into a pancake about 10 inches around or long. Then I just pick it up when it gets substantial and pop it into the compost bin.


    Like I said before you main concern is ammonia gas and water vapour during winter conditions a little poop on way or the other is of no dramatic consequence. There have been days this week when the outside temperature has been actually warmer than inside my coop due to the frozen litter floor.


    My point of view being established I must take into consideration I am a Pick Up Truck sort of personality and you may be a BMW person. So if you can not stand the poop and the discoloured bedding do what pleases you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

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