Anyone doing deep-litter method?

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Chicken Ninja
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by Chicken Ninja » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:32 am

We've just begun to try to use the deep litter method in our coop, and for the most part, it's working pretty good. But, I can't seem to get it to stay as dry as I'd like.. We're using bags of compressed pine shavings, like they use for horses. It gets turned every day, all the way down to the floor and in the corners. But I've no sooner put some more fresh bedding in than it seems to be wet again! I know its wet because on the colder days I can feel the frost when I turn it. The coop has ducks and chickens in it, and they only use it for sleeping. No waterers in the coop ever, and feeder only in there at night. Anyone else using this method experienced something like this? Did you ever figure out how to solve it? Do I just need to create more ventilation?
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by SandyM » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:48 am

I did it until I got cocci in the summer. So now I'm a poop tarp coop person. I use flax bedding and it worked amazing when I was doing deep litter. Amazing!!!

If moisture is a problem how is your ventalation?

Ross does deep litter if I remember correctly. He should be able to give some advice.
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by Chicken Ninja » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:04 am

I'm thinking it might be a ventilation problem...
The ventilation in this coop is much better than it was last year, but I guess I still need to work on it. I'm thinking a 5" gap at the very top of the east and south walls almost all the way along each wall might do it...
So you cleaned out your coop when you got cocci, and that's why you stopped using it?
The bedding *seems* to be doing its job of keeping the coop warmer than the other beddings and methods we tried, so I'd like to keep using it. Just need to solve the moisture issue.
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Robbie
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by Robbie » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:17 am

I do not use deep litter, I have a known ventilation problem in my old barn so the last thing I need is any extra moisture at all. The thick stone walls retain heat. Have you tried the wood pellets, they might absorb moisture better than the shavings.
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by SandyM » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:18 am

I'm new to chickens. I cleaned the coop then cleaned the cleaned coop and just in case I missed anything I cleaned the two-timed cleaned coop.

Cocci freaked me out a little and so I stopped with the deep litter. I like to look at their poop (well not actually enjoy it but you know) to see their health. I wasn't able to do that with the deep litter as well as the poop tarp. I also caught round worm late fall from cleaning (and eyeballing) the poop tarp and in the deep litter I likely wouldn't of noticed.

I have a lot happen in my first 8 months of owning chickens. By Novemeber I was second questing my future with a flock. I was flipping exhausted from chicken drama. 'Flock days of my life' is what I referred to it as. But now I'm a bit more knowledgable and not so fearful of health issues.

My intention when I got chickens was the deep litter method and when reading up on it ventalation is key to success.

Admittedly I worry too much. A member on this forum told me a few times chickens will be he death of me hahaha! So to manage my stress over what I might be thinking I'm missing, I use a poop tarp for my big girls in the big coop. My silkies have deep litter. Sort off. I have a rake/shovel concauction that I rigged up, compliments of Robbie, that allows me to clean the litter of big clumpy poops.

I hope that when I have more trust in my knowledge etc. That deep litter will return to my coops!! It's my goal.

A big recommendation from experienced members will be: Just make sure the ventalation also is secured from predators.
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SandyM
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by SandyM » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:20 am

Looks like I'm saying sh*t a lot, but really it was all po*p
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ross
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by ross » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:29 am

Here's a few requirements to make it work . I find if done properly the litter gets very acidic & salmonella , cocci & other stuff can't survive in it . Only removal I do is IF manure buildup gets "peaky" builds up frozen under roosts I scoop out when necessary . As u say lack of ventalation proper is the biggest issue in most situations . Folks seem to think moving out bad , moist air is taking out heat but the little heat from most chicken situations is minuscule .Yes more ventalation around Eve's works & fresh air inlets round bottom also . Luck
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by Chicken Ninja » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:54 am

Robbie wrote:QR_BBPOST I do not use deep litter, I have a known ventilation problem in my old barn so the last thing I need is any extra moisture at all. The thick stone walls retain heat. Have you tried the wood pellets, they might absorb moisture better than the shavings.
We checked our local feed store, and they didn't carry the wood pellets, so we went with shavings...
ross wrote:QR_BBPOST Here's a few requirements to make it work . I find if done properly the litter gets very acidic & salmonella , cocci & other stuff can't survive in it . Only removal I do is IF manure buildup gets "peaky" builds up frozen under roosts I scoop out when necessary . As u say lack of ventalation proper is the biggest issue in most situations . Folks seem to think moving out bad , moist air is taking out heat but the little heat from most chicken situations is minuscule .Yes more ventalation around Eve's works & fresh air inlets round bottom also . Luck
Great advice ross!! I'll get to work on that this weekend, let you all know if the situation improves!
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by Ontario Chick » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:23 am

I use deep litter and love it, BUT for chickens only.
I wouldn't keep ducks over winter for that one reason, the bedding can't be kept dry and it will be better or worse with different types of bedding, but it will not be dry with ducks.
The main problem, that kind of environment is too hard on the chickens respiratory system.
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Anyone doing deep-litter method?

Post by Robbie » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:25 am

We checked our local feed store, and they didn't carry the wood pellets, so we went with shavings...

See if your feed store carries the McFeeter's quick pick ultrafine shavings. They are more absorbent than the regular wood shavings. They cost more but IMO it was worth the money.
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