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Will the Deep Litter Method work on sand?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by racuda, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. racuda

    racuda Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have a chemistry/biology question for you amateur (or real) scientists. I am building yet another coop. I use the deep litter method in some of my coops. I like the low maintenance and the results I get.

    As I understand it, by putting some organic material such as straw, hay, or shavings directly on a dirt floor the bacteria in the soil breaks down the litter and droppings turning it into an odorless and self-sustaining micro environment.

    Since I have this mountain of sand:[​IMG]
    I wanted to use it in the run of the new coop and also in the coop. I plan to use pine shavings on top of the sand.

    Here is a pic of the coop and run foundation filled to a depth of 6 inches in the front and 24 inches in the back:[​IMG]

    My question is will the deep litter method work with shavings on top of sand, or do I need to add good old fashioned dirt?

  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    The issue is the chips absorb moisture as does straw or other organic material then it starts to mildew and breakdown like your compost pile does. Stick with the sand, clean it with a rake and a kitty litter scoop, and rinse the rest down into the sand and dirt below with a hose once in a while. If, by chance the area floods, the sand will help keep the birds out of it and besides, sand provides grit and dust bath area for the birds.

    PS I'm not a scientist but I played one in a grade school play once [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  3. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    I put a couple of inches of sand in our dirt run then lightly covered it with pine shavings. The pine shavings are easy to rake out and since the run is totally covered they don't really get wet. Very little smell using this method.

    You might want to try it with and without bedding and see which works best for you.

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