Deep litter method

Discussion in 'Chickens and Domestic Fowl' started by Sunshine, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. Apr 12, 2019 #1

    Sunshine

    Sunshine

    Sunshine

    Just your average ninja Neighbor Contributor

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    When we first got chickens we decided on using deep litter with pine shavings. Its worked relatively well as far as keeping it smelling fresh and keeping bugs away. But it doesnt seem to break down very fast like some blogs have shown. Now I only had 5 hens who would only spend the night and be outside most of the time. So maybe thats why. I pretty much added a bail of shavings once a month for the last year. Once in awhile id take a big fork tool and stir up the bedding before i added the new. Today I'm doing the annual big cleanout. Leaving 1/3 of the old bedding as advised. To keep the good bacteria going. Im also switching to wheat straw as its cheaper.

    But do I even need to scoop out so much? Its hardley broken down...its 12 inch thick right now. Maybe i could just take half. Stir it up and add a few inches of straw....

    I now have 13 hens. 8 are not yet in the roosts at night but have full coop acess and outdoor access all day. They are about 9 weeks old.
     
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  2. Apr 12, 2019 #2

    Terri9630

    Terri9630

    Terri9630

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    I guess it depends on what your doing it for. My girls are outside so I don't use any litter except during the winter when they are locked up. Then I only use enough to keep it fresh. I take it back down to dirt come spring and leave it that way until winter.
     
  3. Apr 12, 2019 #3

    Amish Heart

    Amish Heart

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    I use straw in the boxes and hen house. I clean it out once a month.
     
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  4. Apr 13, 2019 #4

    Sunshine

    Sunshine

    Sunshine

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    I ended up scooping out roughly half and then spreading half a bail of straw. The other half went immediately outside the coop and in the boxes and in front of the boxes. The boxes I chamge out as needed.

    I think the straw will be a better option. But it doesnt have the same fresh scent as the pine shavings.

    I likely dont have enough chickens to expect the deep litter to break down in one year.
     
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