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07 August 2011

Litter Systems in my chook pens

There is much discussion amongst 'poultry keepers' about the best type of flooring for chicken coops and that has been the case recently on the Backyard Poultry forum I chat on. I use two slightly different methods of flooring for my chicken pens and I thought I would post about them here in case anyone actually reads this blog and is interested. http://www.emocutez.com

Here are photos of the two different systems I've got going in my chook pen. The first one is of the deep litter I use in the roosting area.



This is leaves and sticks that I have raked up from around the yard when the weather was dry, and scattered into the roost over sand on top of a cement slab. It is dry and crisp and gives my heavier fowl a soft landing when dismounting the perches.


This one is the actual run and is done slightly differently. It has a dirt floor, again over a concrete base, and I scatter mulching straw over that, and add in weeds, vege scraps and some garden cuttings. I scatter left over laying mash from the feed hopper over this to encourage the chooks to scratch and peck at it. Every few days, I rake it over to get poo to settle into the lower layers as well, because the chooks can't turn it all over by themselves. This system keeps the chooks' feathers and feet beautifully clean and I am really pleased with it.

All of the food and water is either hanging from the ceiling, or otherwise elevated to keep them from kicking litter into it. It works really well and is low maintenance. The chooks are only in there from about 4PM-10AM each day and spend most of the time free ranging when the weather is fine. If it is wet weather or I am going out, there is an adjoining run the same size with a dirt floor that I open up so they can dust bathe and have some space to move around.

I've got one chook in moult at present, so there are also a lot of feathers in the mix.

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