What do you do about DUST?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by joebryant, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    The following setting for my 14 bbs Orpington chickens and two silkies is constantly being covered with a thin layer of gray dust. What do people do to get rid of it. I'm starting to feel like a cleaning lady who's sweeping up aisles and ledges. That much dust floating around can't be healthy for the chickens or humans. I have hardware cloth over the four windows and much-more-than-adequate overhead ventilataion. The chickens are constantly scratching in the wood shavings and diatomaceous earth; that stirs up the dust.

    If I were to buy and put in a window fan in one of the four windows and opened the other three windows 24/7 when it wasn't freezing weather outside, would the fan blow the dust out?

    Here's their situation and what they're living in this winter:
    I have eight hens and six roosters from varying lines plus two silkie hens (total of 16 chickens) in a 12- X 24-foot section of the barn with wooden floors for this winter. That 288 square foot section is divided into four 4- x 10-foot coops, one 4- x 24-foot floor-area coop that also has two hanging, wall-shelf coops in it that are each 2 feet X 2 feet x 16 feet. Everyone has lots of room. There is also a 4- x 8-foot center aisle. I am using the eight hens with three roosters for breeding purposes, but three of the six young hens aren't laying yet, and only one of the two older hens is laying now, i.e., I won't be able to incubate eggs until probably February. Meanwhile, I don't want sick chickens with respiratory problems.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  2. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    Have the same problem here with dust in the coops. Especially since I took out the window fans for the winter season. I turned the fan so the air is vented out while pulling fresh air in thru other windows.. Whoa the fine dust would cake up on the fan in no time!
    All summer the air in barns stayed nice even with loose bedding but now with deep litter method and no fans it is very noticable..
    Only thing is when it gets colder and damp out the barns will settle down.
    I feel it is much more dangerous to have excessive moisture in their coops than dust.
  3. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know me, well now you do, in that I have almost no walls on my coops so the fresh air flows right on through carrying with it any dust, etc.

    I think the fan could easily get full of dust fairly quickly and cause problems with the motor. Can you "spray it down" with the hose from time to time.. a light misting to put all the dust down?
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Sure wish that I lived where I could have coops like that, essentially mostly open runs with a cover. I don't know about misting; it'd probably have to be done so often that the wood shavings would be too damp, during winter especially; might try it next summer though. I don't care about the fan's motor being ruined. I'd just buy/replace cheap fans occasionally if they got rid of the dust; that'd be better than my playing housekeeper.
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Thanks, it sounds like the fan worked for you in your barn. Since you're also in Indiana, why do you not continue opening the windows and using the fan on winter days/nights are above freezing?
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    No, the fan is not going to blow out a meaningful amount of dust, sorry.

    Basically chickens are dusty. Fact of life. Chickens themselves produce a buncha dust, esp. during molts (chick molts, juvenile molts, yearly adult molts).

    The best you can do is to use as dust-free bedding as possible (your DE and year-old deep litter are probably major contributors -- at the very least consider omitting the DE, or using it only on the hard floor *underneath* the bedding, and in very limited quantities), have as few fixtures to catch dust as possible (i.e. no curtains, piles o stuff stored in the open, etc), and sweep/dust the coop periodically when it gets too bad.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
  8. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    I've got a big canister vacuum.........
  9. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    I use hay for bedding and I find there is much less dust than with the wood chips. That being said, I still knock on the coop door every morning and yell "Housekeeping!". Every day the girls check my work and have non-stop comments too.... Nagging hens! [​IMG]
  10. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    pips&peeps :

    I've got a big canister vacuum.........

    Yeah, me too, and it's a real job getting all the dust off of the EXPENSIVE filter.​

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