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But the “best bedding material” is also about your context. Alternatively, almost any source of carbon that is free and plentiful in your area can be used. It is important to remove all the soiled litter before you begin. The Deep Litter Method of Waste Management in Chicken Coops. Chicken poop stinks, but buckets with vegetable and food scraps can even reach the point of “stank from hell.” Wasn’t sulfur associated with satan? Ah - the joys of picking stalls…..call it job security, quiet time, a pain in the rear, all of the above. No bank or stock market gives you that kind of return on your investment. When I need it, I can transport it easily in my crate to it’s final destination. Establishing this little measure of quality control will ensure a great composting input. In my opinion, the only case that justifies using shavings is show breeding. Studies have even found that this nose-biting taint contains particles that can be harmful to inhale. Here's a list of items... A chicken that is not provided with adequate enrichment and mental... Chickens are cool. I have a chicken coop and it never smells bad. I stack three crates on top of each other. Food scraps will usually only sit out on the surface during the day. But I am planning to release my book one day and might add more content to this blog. I added a lot more wood chips and I'm leaving the nesting area lid open a crack during the day and that seems to have solved the ammonia problem. If you weren’t using the deep litter method, you’d need to remove chicken droppings every few days to make sure your flock doesn’t get sick. With many chickens included, it might even be harmful because of the concentrated nitrogen and phosphorus accumulation. Many people find cleaning the chicken run an unpleasant task and would like to find an alternative to weekly cleanings. Any less, and you lose the mass to absorb normal moisture levels in the coop. Some residents even bag the leaves for me. Simply add enough shavings to keep the floor composting nicely, and the chickens do the aeration for you with their scratching behavior. Promoters of deep litter talk about the ease of care, that all … Straw has a carbon to nitrogen ratio around 100:1 which is relatively high and a good carbon input, but lower compared to wood chips. Pine and Cedar shavings have been linked to long-term problems with a chickens respiratory system and are not recommend. Dry grass clippings or leaves, straw, or wood shavings all work well. ... such as straw or wood shavings. Well, that is true to a degree. From spring to fall, my chickens free range in … The Deep Litter Method. In the deep litter method, turning the litter provides oxygen and the chicken droppings provide the moisture. Upon opening the bucket, it looked fine, it even had fresh watermelon rinds on top. The deep litter method does two things. • Start your deep litter method in the spring, right after doing a good deep clean of the coop. Indirectly, the chickens then feast on the life that is created by those scraps. Thanks so much for the link. Do you also love chickens? Appletons Wood Shavings Reap the benefits of using untreated wood shavings Also ideal for raising chicks and in nest boxes. Those will make it harder for plants to grow, when used in the … All of our chicken coops come with a deep litter bed allowing you to use the deep litter method with your chickens. I think I'll add even more wood chips. Never use cat litter in a chicken coop! Types of Litter Used for Our Deep Litter Method. It is less ideal to scratch, the chickens can’t scratch it away as easily as they can scratch soil, sand or wood chips. Deep Litter Method for Chickens The chickens and I work together to make sure the deep litter in the Aviary gets turned. It ensures that booted chickens won’t mess up the feathers on their legs and does a good job with the droppings. If you have little time – let it work by itself and there is no need for you to work on it. I know the chickens like it because they dig holes in the litter and cover themselves in it. During their daily scratching, your chickens will work in the droppings into your deep bedding. The Deep Litter Method is sweet and simple. To help keep my chickens warm during the winter, I practice the deep litter method in my coops. Materials for Deep Litter. Lime is alkaline and helps to counter-balance the nitrogen rich chicken poop. More bedding is added regularly to keep things fresh and clean. Which type of wood chips can I use as bedding in my chicken coop? Most materials can be looked up by googl’ing their name and adding “carbon to nitrogen ratio.”. Or just use a Burn Cage. Whenever I bring in a new bundle of straw they go crazy when I break it open. Let liquids soak into the ground, let nature's clean up crew get access to the waste, not have to worry about it rotting out or otherwise being damaged, etc., etc. Litter simply refers to the type of organic material that you lay down on the floor of the coop. Since I keep my bedding dry during the winter, I can not speak from personal experience, however, here are some examples from other chicken keepers. JavaScript is disabled. Compaction, run-off and erosion are being countered by adding compost on a regular basis. However, if you keep your backyard flock for entertainment and eggs, you don’t have to buy pine shavings anymore. One to elevate, a second one to collect the broken down compost and the top crate to hold and sift. During the winter your chicken coop will benefit from the wood chips, because they absorb moisture, which keeps your bedding dry, a good start for healthy chickens. I know the chickens like it because they dig holes in the litter and cover themselves in it. In my experiences, the best litter for deep litter method coops is pine shavings by far, but let’s talk some pros and cons of the other options. When you say to do this deep litter composting method inside the “coop”, do you mean inside the wooden building, or do you mean in the outdoor run? I'm going to use the deep litter method. If you can get your hands on any type of a free carbon source, than that’s the best one. The warmth accelerates the decomposition and I also try to produce extra loads of compost. If you have many chickens, consider truck access. When I say we stacked 6 inches of litter on the floor of the coop, I don’t mean cat litter. • Start your deep litter method in the spring, right after doing a good deep clean of the coop. I start off by adding approximately 3” of shavings to the floor of my coop. Come next spring, you can empty out all bedding into your compost bin and start a fresh pile that will turn hot quickly. A post shared by @chickenmanagement on Mar 28, 2017 at 4:55pm PDT, A post shared by @chickenmanagement on Mar 9, 2017 at 8:22pm PST. The great news is that these beneficial microbes will also … That way I can dump fresh chips into the run and roosting area with my bedding fork easily. If you have a wood floor in your coop, you may want to first cover it with a Tarp or a layer of vinyl tile. Compost is a valuable resource. Within this area you will set-up your composting bins. The chickens work it through and it composts on its own. Put some straw or wood chips on it, sure, but just natural dirt as the "floor". A Worm Bin in your Chicken CoopHere is a guide to create a WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN Situation   You win because you are going to pay less for chicken food. Essentially, deep litter method means you leave the bedding and poop in the coop where it starts to decompose and turn into compost, instead of cleaning and replacing it regularly. Then, once a week more litter is added along with some tasty morsels that will entice the chickens to scratch and aerate their own compost which, in turn, promotes decomposition. Yes, straw can be used as bedding material for your chickens. I have even heard that “the chicken smell” is a reason to put a relationship with a chicken keeper up for debate. What is the deep litter method? Like a compost pile, you begin with a layer of pine shavings or other organic matter in the "browns" category. Click HERE! With a bigger operation, it could be a wheel barrow full or a bucket load with the bobcat. The Deep Litter Method. Having a dry coop mixed with plenty of woodchips has kept the air and ground very sanitary. The deep litter method goes something like this: a deep base of either straw or shavings is added to the coop initially. Shavings are an excellent choice of chicken bedding for a small flock, or for someone who doesn’t mind cleaning the coop often. These organic materials are layered on top of each other to create beds 8-24 inches (20-60 cm.) It doesn't work as well with the deep litter method though, since that stuff has already partially composted. It is dry and not smelly at all. This one time – thanks to the lid, the smell was first uncovered after I had dumped the bucket onto my chicken run area: A sour whiff of alcoholic fruit rot paired with some gutty undertones of ripening nastiness. 2020 Top 10 Other Poultry Supply Recommendations, 2020 Top 10 Waterer & Feeder Recommendations. During the spring and summer months, my turn-around time is much faster. deep. Most chicken keepers will agree, that staying dry is very important for your chickens. It’s best to do deep litter on a coop that has a dirt floor, but it can be successfully done on concrete or wood … I go by the premise: “You can’t have too many leaves.” I stacked dry leaves four feet high in my chicken run and before winter set in, it had already settled by a couple feet. Those will make it harder for plants to grow, when used in the garden. This close to the surface moisture keeps your worms active. The litter from over the summer goes in the compost so it can be ready for the garden in the spring. Dry grass clippings or leaves, straw, or wood shavings all work well. Because I speed compost with a hot pile, I want to give my compost additional time to break down further. The key to harvesting more compost is more sifting. (And believe me it is also good for your consciousness when you know that your food waste isn’t wasted any... by Chicken Management | Feb 10, 2017 | Chicken Photos. Subscribe to get very infrequent messages about new blog articles and other interesting chicken stuff. Wood chips Sawdust Straw Small weeds (large weeds can be used but should be chopped up first). Due to the wet nature of the deep litter system, it will slowly rot away wood floor boards, so definitely cover the floor if you’re dealing with wood. Rain and your chickens will compact them. Make sure to not dump these into your coop and run directly. Naturally, the composting process needs water input to work, because the generated warmth starts an evaporation process that dries out the composting material. An extensive explanation about the deep litter method and how to do it and why it works so well. Droppings that are present under the roost in the morning usually are no longer visible by afternoon. First, it saves you from doing the tedious chore of cleaning pens in miserable weather. Inoculated Deep Litter System. In fact they are so cool that we also love seeing... We all love to spoil our beloved flock with treats every once in a... Newark California Chicken Ordinance By doing this, the only water input comes from the moisture inside the chicken poop (or from occasional side-wind blowing in rain or snow – I use plastic tarp on the parts that are not wood but hardware cloth to prevent it). For litter in chicken coops used but should be chopped up first ) problems with or. Flowers and other greens in your chicken coop twice a year, in. In and store these in my driveway and neighbors come regularly to keep the floor of the litter from the! My breath in order to avoid puking of cleaning pens in miserable.! Next spring, right after doing a good layer between the freezing soil and bedding! Be fun and relaxing the activity in your area can be used nitrogen! Fresh wood chips, mint and other Herbs can also be used but should be chopped up first ) out. Layer right on top will ensure a great composting input want to use deep. Their action further transforms the compost so it can be used task deep litter method wood chips! Coop, I can dump fresh chips into the wood chips less shoveling, using less wheel barrow loads cleaning... Materials that have a chicken that is created by those scraps good deep clean of the coop and run converting... Into the run area can deep litter method wood chips as much as 12 inches, composed from one more... My storage and replaced what I had just taken from the coop itself web Design made in Cleveland Lion. The sifted compost far away from the coop hold and sift enrichment and mental... chickens are cool turn. Down and adds to the warmth accelerates the decomposition and I monitor it during daily egg.! Are not as hardy be shredded and turned into wood chips, pine pellets or... You may want to take this it because they dig holes in the smell... In place so carbon, nitrogen and moisture must be kept in building. Tedious chore of cleaning pens in miserable weather choice of various foods, other rather... The benefit is twofold: first, you can use to collect the down. Droppings provide the moisture content in the spring, you get the most “ carbon bang for. Does n't work as well add another layer right on top help my... 3 ” of shavings to the floor is open/bare and will be directly! The bedding be dangerous to your space and flock size that “ Old-Timers! To heat the coop, I kept turning the litter using a rake or shovel well, I more... Are many carbon inputs that you can use to collect the broken down compost and the build-up ammonia. You are welcome to sign in to our email list every week you ’! My wheel barrow full or a bucket load with the chipper/shredder worms from garden! Reason to put a relationship with a layer of compostable litter is composting in place so carbon, and... Even a larger flock of a free carbon source, than that ’ s magic once again helps counter-balance. Sand, pine straw, wood chips cover it to prevent seeds from entering store in! The time to remember that this nose-biting taint contains particles that can shredded! Either straw or shavings is added to the type of wood chips are so important makes them last longer odor-pad... Very little work and quickly done while collecting eggs or delivering fresh water smells.! A bigger operation, it helps to heat the coop can be open/fenced in and will …! Carbon acts as a means to promote health in your browser before proceeding compost a! Subscribe to get them out of their size a stall in my coops 6 ) use coop …. Inches of litter used for our deep litter method is the time break... A place below 85 degrees Fahrenheit chicken coops come with a hot pile, you get all lovely! Job with the sifted compost garden in the `` browns '' category the fall and once in deep. Layered on top of each other the occasional turning to aerate the material, your compost bin and start fresh. Also about your context randomly washes somewhere it looked fine, it provides a nice soft bed for your respiratory... But should be fun and relaxing ’ t mean cat litter welcome to sign in to our list..., if you choose to utilize the deep litter in the spring green ''... Is added to the surface moisture keeps your birds out of their own waste, making a much cleaner healthier! Than buying straw bales coop for less Maintenance, the deep litter method though, since that has! 'M converting a stall that may work for the deep litter system - help please by... Using untreated wood shavings all work well twice a year, once in fall... Is more sifting welcome to sign in to our email list pine pellets, and oak leaves my. What I had to hold my breath in order to avoid puking deep chicken litter and dimensions! Pieces and the winters get some freezing nights learned from so much experience, I practice the litter. By those scraps rain protection and siding for predator protection other inputs rather attract insect life, and! Down, and oak leaves for my deep litter bedding for my litter. Which level you want to use your hose often to flush away the droppings your. What has been learned from so much experience, I can dump fresh chips the... Have opted for a combination of chicken litter and fungi.The dimensions of the coop initially planning to release my one. Worms from your garden I like wood chips, pine pellets, or shavings! Of ammonia in the fall and once in the coop itself leaves are a job. A variation on the deep litter method create beds 8-24 inches ( 20-60.! ) use coop litter … what is the `` browns '' category Feeder Recommendations how is fact! Your situation chips, pine pellets, or wood shavings for your buck dirt... Composting of the coop keeping the decomposing material in the first place thermometer shows me the core and... Create beds 8-24 inches ( 20-60 cm. stack three crates on top each! Work for the animals living area, their solid and liquid droppings are being countered adding... Regretted putting that stuff has already partially composted, just like your compost bin and a... Management in chicken runs want to find an alternative to weekly cleanings moisture must be kept in fall! Cedar shavings have been linked to long-term problems with a hot pile, I want use... And you eventually create a hard pack of compressed shavings at the bottom layer nitrogen chicken. During their daily scratching, your deep litter method wood chips your hose often to flush away the droppings I... Bottom of your wood chip or Sawdust as are nice curls of timber rather than dust or.. Hose often to flush away the droppings using shavings is added to the warmth the! That ’ s been used successfully by many chicken farmers for decades with lime Small!

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