Why use litter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by enrgizerbunny, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. enrgizerbunny

    enrgizerbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2016
    I searched the forum and browsed the learning center before posting this. If I can scrape my coop floor to clean it, what reason would I have to use litter on the floor?

    I've had my birds since march and I haven't used litter in the coop or run. Straw in the nesting boxes, that's it.
    1 person likes this.
  2. ChickenAndMore

    ChickenAndMore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2012
    My chickens love to scratch around in the litter. It makes them feel more like a chicken and gives them something to do during the day if they are not allowed to free range.
  3. SueT

    SueT Chicken Obsessed

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Now and then there'll be some runny poop, or a broken soft shell egg, then litter is appreciated.
  4. Kasilofchrisn

    Kasilofchrisn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2016
    Kenai peninsula Alaska
    Litter certainly makes cleaning easier no scraping just shovel it into the compost pile and add fresh.
    It also makes nice compost.
    It soaks up any spilled water.
    It's just nice to have on the floor for me.
    I only have a 4X8 coop and buy wood shavings from the box store.
    It only cost me $4.50 a month for litter.
    It take me maybe 10 minutes tops to change out the litter.

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    One of the most important reasons for having litter, or bedding, on the floor of the coop is to cushion the landing when your chickens dismount their perches. It should be several inches deep.

    The consequences of having a bare floor under the roosting perches could involve serious injuries such as bumblefoot and sprained ligaments.

    I use sand currently, and it's so much easier to keep clean than any other bedding I've tried. It is a good cushion as well as a heat sink, keeping the coop warmer than most bedding or litter.

    If you've had a bare floor for any length of time, you need to examine the pads of the feet on your chickens for signs of injury. They will look like black bumps. Those are often filled with pus and need to be surgically cleaned out or risk the chicken going lame. Or worse.
  6. enrgizerbunny

    enrgizerbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2016

    The black spots are signs of bumble foot? Good to know- they haven't had any problems like that so far, thanks. Any such padding like cardboard would work, right?

    I use a hoe to scrape the floor so it's not work or anything.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Chickens are meant to scratch in the forest floor litter, and it's a behavior that should be part of their daily lives, like dust bathing and being social. They want a softer landing coming off their perches, and like to dig in the bedding for food and bugs. Shoveling out the deep litter a couple of time each year makes way more sense for me, too! And sliding on poo on a hard floor? No thanks! Mary
  8. enrgizerbunny

    enrgizerbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2016

    Sounds like I need padding. They Aren't in the coop during the day.
  9. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop
    Padding that absorbs moisture and helps deal with overnight poop....sounds like you need litter to me. :) Is there some reason that you are opposed to it?
  10. enrgizerbunny

    enrgizerbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2016

    I'm not opposed to it, but I wanted to know the reason why it was used. There's plenty of "why" explanation for most things on here, like spacing, ventilation, etc. Just didn't find this when it came to litter. My birds have a ~750 sqft run so the coop is for sleeping and egg laying only- that's how they treat it.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016

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