what do you do?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pbnjellyfish, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. pbnjellyfish

    pbnjellyfish In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2008
    Cedar Hills, Utah
    I have 3 chickens in a small coop - 4'x4'. During the summer I changed the bedding/litter once a week (I use pine shavings). Not looking forward to weekly cleanings in the cold and snow this winter. How often do you change your chickens bedding? Do you poop scoop between changings?
  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I start with a thin layer of bedding and then add to it as it gets ooky. I generally add some DE along the way and then stir the whole thing up. The droppings board gets scraped off onto the floor and then stirrred in. I add more shavings as needed. The whole thing gets shoveled out and added to the compost pile about once every other month (and that generally is because I need more on the compost heap!).

    Flies and bugs haven't been a problem, nor has smell. Truthfully the worst of the smell has come from the run and that was because I put shavings out there too and they got wet and nasty. I've cleaned that out, but the area that has sand is still a little ooky. I'm working on that.

    Hope this helps!
  3. amysflock

    amysflock Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Tenino, WA
    You might look into the deep litter method. I'm using this in both of my coops and it works nicely. The premise is you add several inches of litter (I use pine shavings), and the chickens scratch around and stir their own litter, helping to keep the odor and everything under control. I also stir it with a spade or shovel at least a couple times a week to fluff it back up, and top dress with some fresh shavings once a week or so. The poop and shavings can compost a bit at the bottom, helping to generate some heat in the winter.

    If the system is working well, you should only have to do a full litter changing once a season, but I always promptly remove any damp or wet shavings and replace with fresh to keep mold and bugs down. You can also spread a layer of food grade diatomacious earth (DE) on top to control moisture and odor.
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Deep litter with DE and maybe also some Stall-Dri is the only way to go. I'm always in favor of anything that means less work.

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