When do you change your coop bedding? How often?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicken_angler, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Well it has been a week since i last changed my coop. It is a 7 by 8 and i have 15 chickens. I know i should only have 14 but a few are a smaller breed. My question is this--- How often would i need to change the coop? I am using straw. I put new straw in one week ago. I made it really thick, about 4 inches. My dad said this morning-- " You should change the bedding in the coop after you come home from school today" I checked when I came home today and it isnt really dirty. Can I just flip the straw over and put the clean side that is facing the floor up? Or should i put my last bag of straw in?


    What are your opinions? I think i can just turn the straw over. I only have one bag left for all winter but I can get more. You all might ask y I have straw in a bag? It was from bales that broke open and I got them for free.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2008
  2. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I always check my bedding in the coops every Friday night but you can decide which day of the week works for you, once a week to add a bit more bedding straw. When I clean out the dirty bedding I only take half out once a month and add that much more clean straw and the birds are so happy they lay maximum eggs that day. But remember I also add a bit once a week if it looks like its needed.

    Please plan on getting more straw because only one bale for an entire winter is entirely too little. Birds like people and all animals do not enjoy living in filth- one of my best friends whom I gave 2 Rhode Island Red hens never cleans her coop and never provides straw or other bedding and their water is filthy...

    I truly regret giving her my 2 hens:( I cannot get her to go out and do the right thing by her Araucana's and RIR's, she makes many excuses and refuses. I'll never give her another bird and will off and on ask if she's ready to give up her small flock...
     
  3. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    I am getting more straw. I just meant I only have 1 bag right now. I know where to get some but I just havent gotten there yet to get it. I keep my coop clean. That is a good idea of adding a little each week when needed and the clean it out half way once a month. Thanks for the idea.
     
  4. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] I have faith in you, as you asked to begin with! Good job!
     
  5. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Thanks!!! I would never let my coop have lots of filth. Iy was dirty last time I changed it because of all the rain we have been getting
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I would use shavings or put shavings under the straw (what I did for winter). Straw is not absorbent. It actually insulates moisture making things wetter than if you used no bedding. It's really a horrible animal bedding when your goal it to keep things clean and dry. The only point it serves is to keep things warm.

    It really depends on your setup as to how often you have to clean. So far it looks like I'll be stripping my coop every 2months in spring-fall and I stripped it beginning of nov, laid down a thick layer of shavings, then a thick layer of straw for warmth, and I may add more straw through the winter but it won't be cleaned out completely again until march.
     
  7. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    In the summer i use pine shavings and completely change them once a week for 9 bantams who free range during the day. In winter months i use a mixture of straw and pine shavings at least 6 inches deep sprinkling Food grade DE in with the bedding. I change bedding in the winter once a month and it stays clean, dry and doesn't stink at all. The chickens love it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    I am going to try this for a month-- Add more once a week to top things off and stir it up. Then change it all every 3 to 4 weeks. My dad said I could try this for a while to see if it will work. The reason I use straw is that I get it for free. Shavings around here are 7 dollars a bag and I need three to fill my coop. The straw I get is from my neighboor. They have a farm-market and had straw for sale but just gave us opened bales. Now they have closed for winter and we can get it from the man that works there. He has a farm and in his barn are hundreds of opened bales! We will probably take him some eggs of give him something for them.

    Cody!!
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Try a mill or wood shop. You can often load up the back of a pickup or a grain wagon for dirt cheap with fine sawdust. It's not the greatest stuff but it's an effective cheap absorbent lower layer if your topping it with something else.
     
  10. c1tph

    c1tph Out Of The Brooder

    Hi I'm new to all this, but I've started off with the deep litter method and am VERY happy so far. After reading numerous threads on this site about the success people have had with deep litter I thought it was worth a try.

    I'll admit, I only have seven chickens in the coop, and they're only young, about 10 weeks old, so maybe when they are older they will poop a lot more. For now though, one deep lot of mixed litter (pine shavings, dry lawn clippings and organic sugar cane mulch) does not smell one bit.

    I add a thin layer of fresh clean litter about once a week, and turn the whole lot every couple of weeks before adding fresh stuff, and have also added a little DE (it's so expensive here!). You just need to keep it quite deep and very dry. I've read that the litter starts to break down BEFORE it gets a chance to stink.

    Good on you for getting your hands on some free litter!
     

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