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 Post subject: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:54 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:26 pm
Posts: 21
Hi all, just a couple of questions. (Well, three, for now :-) )
I have been putting straw down in my coop, which is a tin shed with a concrete floor, just adding a bit more most days. I noticed when we had heavy rain last week, the shed was a bit damp around the edges. Will I need to fix that or will it be ok with a deep litter system?
Also I have been reading the forums and there seems to be a lot of differing opinions about what to use on the floor. Will the straw be ok on it’s own or should I add or use something else?
I have two plastic cat carriers which have worked really well as nest boxes. The girls have been laying in them every day. I have dried grass cuttings and shredded paper in the boxes, they seem clean and dry, how often should I clean them out? Or should I be using something else in the boxes?
I should probably add, the five girls also have an outdoor run, which is grassy/weedy and bare soil, so the coop is just for sleeping/ laying.
TIA :clnava

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
You could add some garden lime/agricultural lime from Bunnings or similar (not not builders lime) to the pen floor. And powder some Pestene from pet shop or produce store into the nest boxes, then just clean them out and replace when they look like it's about time, or if eggs dirty, or hens show signs of lice/mites.

People will suggest diatomaceous earth (Diatom). I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole because of the danger of breathing its nastiness in - but aside from that it probably does the jobs it is used for well and efficiently.

"Some say" never use straw because it provides a home for lice/mites. I use it and haven't seen this as a problem in 6 years but have an open mind on it. And for some pens I use deep sawdust - don't notice that it makes a difference - for sure anything is better than bare beaten earth without even sand on it. You can't go wrong starting off a deep litter system as you have.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:26 pm
Posts: 21
PossumCorner wrote:
You could add some garden lime/agricultural lime from Bunnings or similar (not not builders lime) to the pen floor. And powder some Pestene from pet shop or produce store into the nest boxes, then just clean them out and replace when they look like it's about time, or if eggs dirty, or hens show signs of lice/mites.

People will suggest diatomaceous earth (Diatom). I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole because of the danger of breathing its nastiness in - but aside from that it probably does the jobs it is used for well and efficiently.

"Some say" never use straw because it provides a home for lice/mites. I use it and haven't seen this as a problem in 6 years but have an open mind on it. And for some pens I use deep sawdust - don't notice that it makes a difference - for sure anything is better than bare beaten earth without even sand on it. You can't go wrong starting off a deep litter system as you have.

Thank you for the advice, I’ll get some Pestene tomorrow. So the lime helps to break down the straw?
:th

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:12 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
I don’t think a bit of moisture will be a problem for the litter. In my pens I use deep litter and it’s mostly open to the rain (wire roof). It just breaks down faster if wet. It’s fine as long as the chooks turn it over. Use your nose to work out when to clean things out - any unpleasant aromas or an ammonia smell and it’s time to clean out (or add more dry matter).

Like PossumCorner I think straw is fine. People say mites can hide in it but the reality is that mites can and will hide in any kind of litter. I don’t think straw is different to other litter in that respect. The only negative I can see for straw is that it’s harder for the chooks to turn over, being made up of long strands.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 133
Location: Brisbane
Lime is for ammonia smells as far as I'm aware.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:26 pm
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70%cocoa wrote:
I don’t think a bit of moisture will be a problem for the litter. In my pens I use deep litter and it’s mostly open to the rain (wire roof). It just breaks down faster if wet. It’s fine as long as the chooks turn it over. Use your nose to work out when to clean things out - any unpleasant aromas or an ammonia smell and it’s time to clean out (or add more dry matter).

Like PossumCorner I think straw is fine. People say mites can hide in it but the reality is that mites can and will hide in any kind of litter. I don’t think straw is different to other litter in that respect. The only negative I can see for straw is that it’s harder for the chooks to turn over, being made up of long strands.


Thank you for that. Sounds obvious I guess but I am a worried new Chookie Mum atm.
Will the girls turn it over by themselves or do they need some incentive? :laughing

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:20 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Agree with all the others said. The lime helps with smells and also helps the deep litter to compost. You can use any type of litter (or mix ) on the floor. When we accumulate a pile of newspapers I tear these into strips and add them as well. If the girls need some encouragement to turn the litter over, just throw down some grain. I use what ever is available and cheap although I prefer pea straw to straw as it seems to compact less. Watch the German supermarket which starts with A. I stock up on their sugar can mulch when they have it - good in the nest boxes and then toss it on the floor.


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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:55 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:26 pm
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sue55 wrote:
Agree with all the others said. The lime helps with smells and also helps the deep litter to compost. You can use any type of litter (or mix ) on the floor. When we accumulate a pile of newspapers I tear these into strips and add them as well. If the girls need some encouragement to turn the litter over, just throw down some grain. I use what ever is available and cheap although I prefer pea straw to straw as it seems to compact less. Watch the German supermarket which starts with A. I stock up on their sugar can mulch when they have it - good in the nest boxes and then toss it on the floor.

:th

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:00 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 133
Location: Brisbane
sue55 wrote:
Agree with all the others said. The lime helps with smells and also helps the deep litter to compost. You can use any type of litter (or mix ) on the floor. When we accumulate a pile of newspapers I tear these into strips and add them as well. If the girls need some encouragement to turn the litter over, just throw down some grain. I use what ever is available and cheap although I prefer pea straw to straw as it seems to compact less. Watch the German supermarket which starts with A. I stock up on their sugar can mulch when they have it - good in the nest boxes and then toss it on the floor.


That sales is on very soon. Catalogue arrived this week. $10 bundle.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:21 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Thanks healzam - it's always been my cheapest source.
Will go shopping.


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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:30 am 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:26 pm
Posts: 21
healzam wrote:
sue55 wrote:
Agree with all the others said. The lime helps with smells and also helps the deep litter to compost. You can use any type of litter (or mix ) on the floor. When we accumulate a pile of newspapers I tear these into strips and add them as well. If the girls need some encouragement to turn the litter over, just throw down some grain. I use what ever is available and cheap although I prefer pea straw to straw as it seems to compact less. Watch the German supermarket which starts with A. I stock up on their sugar can mulch when they have it - good in the nest boxes and then toss it on the floor.


That sales is on very soon. Catalogue arrived this week. $10 bundle.

I just signed up for their newsletter, didn’t see that special, we have a new store not far away, I hope it covers all stores.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 133
Location: Brisbane
Aldi catalogues always come early, I'll look for the dates.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:49 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 133
Location: Brisbane
Annn15 wrote:
healzam wrote:
sue55 wrote:
Agree with all the others said. The lime helps with smells and also helps the deep litter to compost. You can use any type of litter (or mix ) on the floor. When we accumulate a pile of newspapers I tear these into strips and add them as well. If the girls need some encouragement to turn the litter over, just throw down some grain. I use what ever is available and cheap although I prefer pea straw to straw as it seems to compact less. Watch the German supermarket which starts with A. I stock up on their sugar can mulch when they have it - good in the nest boxes and then toss it on the floor.


That sales is on very soon. Catalogue arrived this week. $10 bundle.


I just signed up for their newsletter, didn’t see that special, we have a new store not far away, I hope it covers all stores.


3rd of January sales start.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:46 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: West of Bendigo
Don't overlook horse manure if you have a source. Usually $2 a bag outside horsey properties or free at most showgrounds and on some farms. Good for composting, actually a clean product (it's only grass and water digested a bit). Chooks love working through it, does them no harm, and they make it more "garden ready" than using it fresh on gardens. Very under-used and under-rated - goes well with straw, sugarcane mulch, eucy-mulch etc as well as alone.

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 Post subject: Re: Coop questions.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6660
Location: ACT area
Fresh horse manure is also a good source of probiotics as horses don't fully digest all that they eat.


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