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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past couple of years, I have used different types of bedding on the floor to create a deep litter system. I started with ground corncob and it worked just OK. Some of the birds ate it which caused them to vomit and may have been the cause of sour crop in a couple of birds. It also wasnt as absorbant as I thought it would be. It wasnt as easy to clean as some of the other materials.

Next I tried hardwood pellets made for a wood burning stove. This was a mess in my opinion. The pellets are too big and spilled food seems to get lost because the birds cant "scratch" through it easily because of the size of the pieces. If it gets wet, it instantly turns to soggy nasty sawdust. I had two instantces where I got water in the loft (bad storm ripped up a roof panel, and I spilled a waterer) while the pellets were on the floor, and it was not fun at all to clean up!!

I have also tried to let the birds create their own deep litter with their droppings. This works great durring the summer when its hot out side. With the up and down winter temps in Missouri, it didnt work so well because all the fresh accumulated droppings would freeze during a cold snap, and when it would warm up, all the frozen droppings would thaw and create a damp, moist environment.

I was talking to a friend who suggested using oil dry. Oil dry is all natural made of clay, and is super absorbant. If the birds eat it, no problems. I use a kitty litter scoop and go through once a day removing the big clumps. For me, it takes less than 10 minutes to clean the loft. Once every couple of weeks, I add some fresh oil dry to replace what I have removed in the cleaning process. Oil dry is so absorbant, that even in freezing temps, it seems to suck the water out of the droppings before they freeze. It keeps the loft very dry, the birds feet stay clean, and they seem to enjoy picking through it. Oil dry doesnt seem to get very dusty unless you are in their really stirring it up. I have not had any respiratory issues. Unless somthing changes, I will be using oil dry while breeding in the winter time from now on.
 

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Iam a fan of the deep litter method as well and of the oil dry or sweet pdz or stall dry (which by the way has a low dust in the granular form because horses are senstive respitory wise). But from what I have found and read, the true deep litter method uses about 9 inches of pine curls or large shavings (low dust ones) on an earthen floor. The earth is where the microbes live and they break down fecal matter and turn it to soil. The birds never touch the earth because of the large amount of shavings and you turn it every so often and reapply some fresh litter to the top as needed. now this works in a coverd space with an earth floor.. I would not do it in an aviary without a roof as it would be too wet and the mircrobes do not work in wet. I think your version sounds great in a loft with a wood floor. I use stall dry but just a sprinkle to dry things up and make it easier for scraping, have not thought of doing it deep, although when I went on vacation and had someone feed and water but not deal with the cleaning..I sprinkled a big amount on the floor and made a deep litter with shavings and it kept things fine for 5 days of not scraping. The only draw back to using these things is not beable to see any bad droppings as it drys everything up quickley.. but nothing is perfect and one can still see droppings in a nest box where they sit..esp in the AM. I think you may have a good idea there and sounds allot better than sand as I have heard of some using. not a big fan of sand in humid areas, but dry climates it works like your oil dry does.
 

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I am not a proponent of deep litter primarily because in America we do not incorporate floor heating like they do in Belgium and Holland which in my humble opinion is the key component in a deep litter system. Floor heating improves the effectiveness of a deep litter floor 10 fold.

I to have used corn cob, wood pellets as well as cat litter and sawdust and none of these products improved the quality of life for my birds or me.

Good luck to you, I hope it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not a proponent of deep litter primarily because in America we do not incorporate floor heating like they do in Belgium and Holland which in my humble opinion is the key component in a deep litter system. Floor heating improves the effectiveness of a deep litter floor 10 fold.

I to have used corn cob, wood pellets as well as cat litter and sawdust and none of these products improved the quality of life for my birds or me.

Good luck to you, I hope it works.
If I had heated floors, I wouldnt put down a bedding at all. If Im not mistaken, European flyers with heated floors dont need an absorbing aid like oil dry, they let the birds make their own litter. Because most of us dont have heated floors and a lot of us dont have heated lofts, I was offering a possible solution to a messy loft in the winter when the droppings are freezing/thawing on a day to day basis.
 

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I have used OIL DRY many times over the years...I like it better in winter months...It absorbs the moisture fast,and that helps keep the birds healthy...It`s hard to scrape the droppings when they are frozen...So with oil dry,I just rake it into 1/4 inch wire,and shake the oil dry out...That leaves only the big clumps of you know what left...Alamo
 

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I tried the pellets also. Good if it doesnt get wet. Turns into sawdust.
 

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I'm too lazy to clean everyday and if I did I'd have not time for anything else since I've got 4 big coops and a few smaller ones. But I use what would be called a deep liter system where I rake out the bigger stuff and remove some stuff every so often to keep it at a certine level. Last year I couldn't do it in my whole YB coop since I had a leak in one section so that section had to be cleaned everytime in rained. I'm in the process of putting a new roof on that part of the coop and redoing other stuff. I'll post some pics in the Loft section when I get around to it.
 

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I don't know too much about the deep litter system, but one of my daughter-in-laws uses the deep litter system in her house and the kids seem to always be sick. The other kids keep everything clean and the kids seem to be healthier. I clean my loft every day.
 

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I don't know too much about the deep litter system, but one of my daughter-in-laws uses the deep litter system in her house and the kids seem to always be sick. The other kids keep everything clean and the kids seem to be healthier. I clean my loft every day.
Bahahaa I like the way you think
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know too much about the deep litter system, but one of my daughter-in-laws uses the deep litter system in her house and the kids seem to always be sick. The other kids keep everything clean and the kids seem to be healthier. I clean my loft every day.
YES!! This is one of the reasons I started this thread. I was wanting to see what different people thought about the managment of the pigeons health when it comes to cleaning, and a litter system vs scraping the floor.
 
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