What do I do with all the feed collecting under the litter in the brooder and now in the coop!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chuckun, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. chuckun

    chuckun Out Of The Brooder

    22
    2
    24
    Sep 26, 2014
    Hello Community,

    We have four 6-week old pullets and a small, elevated coop with a wood floor, about 4X4. We am trying the deep litter method in the coop, and have started using kiln dried pine shavings (the pet store kind, which we also used in the brooder) with rye straw on top, which we will turn and add to as needed. I've been reading the DLM threads but haven't found an answer to the question of excess feed in the litter.

    My trouble is, wherever we keep the chicks, they spill their starter feed everywhere! We don't see them do it; we just see them pecking away happily at the food in the feeder. And we haven't found poop in the feeder, so our set-up doesn't seem prone to mess-making. But when we cleaned out the brooder (and then the bathtub where they were housed for a bit), we found a massive collection of wasted feed under the shavings and/or straw. What should we do with it, just let it compost in the coop? Will it interfere with the deep litter method? Or should we remove it and put it in the garden composter?

    I'm afraid the feed will attract rodents - we have voles in California. They can't get into the coop or run, because we put hardware cloth in the trenches all around, so it would be most convenient if I can just leave it in the litter and let it decompose in the coop. Is that a bad idea?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. SD Bird Lady

    SD Bird Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Let their feeders "run dry" and the birds will clean it up for you. Another advantage is they will turn the shavings.

    eta: I dont mean starve them, just feed them only as much as they consume in a certain amount of time and then let them "forage" for the rest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  3. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,336
    260
    168
    Oct 5, 2014
    Georgia
    My chicks dumped almost a pound of feed into their litter this week. They will be cleaning up after themselves as i will let their feed bucket get significantly low for the next day or so. They have enough feed in the litter to last them days.
     
  4. chuckun

    chuckun Out Of The Brooder

    22
    2
    24
    Sep 26, 2014
    It's good to know they can find it even if it filters down to the bottom. Should we feed them in the run instead of the coop? Should we consider pellets instead of fine grain feed? They are still on starter.

    Many thanks!
     
  5. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,336
    260
    168
    Oct 5, 2014
    Georgia
    Stay with crumbles until they are a year or so.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by