Deep litter coop plans

Sorry everyone, I think I just sent an email to the whole group, whereas what I intended was to start a discussion here.  I'm wondering where anyone knows where to get plans for a deep litter coop.  We've looked at a great one that was built by a guy called Cameron from Heritage Poultry in Puhoi.  But they seem to be no longer in business.  We're hatching chicks...aiming to have about 6 chooks, in a regular backyard setting.



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  • Hi

    I am doing something diferent:: I took at least 2 old winscreens and I put it in a V shape (upside down)

    So, the windscreens make a sort of tunnel, where you can see the chickens. Its awesome in winter as seedlings that can go at the very top can receive the heat of the chickens at night and then the sun during the day.

    Then can be changed very easily week by week as chickens weed out area by area.

    • As an update: I ended up getting in touch with Cameron (thanks for the contact details) and he built us a hen house.  I'm very happy with it.  And our chicks hatched in Jan and are all coming along nicely :)

  • The Deep Litter system
    The coop is designed for a deep litter system. Essentially the litter collects the chicken
    droppings, microbe activity starts and composting occurs. When this is working well there
    will be no smell. The birds will enjoy scratching through it to help the stirring. Throw a
    handful of scratch in the litter to encourage them. The birds will also use it as a dust bath to
    help rid themselves of any mites / lice. To help keep parasites in the litter under control I add
    1 cup of Diatomaceous Earth when first started and shake ¼ cup over the litter each month.
    Top up with more shavings as the bed settles and mix the bed occasionally. Always wear a
    dust mask when disturbing the bed. The bed should remain smell free. After 3-6 months it
    will be due for a replacement and the old litter goes to the compost heap for 12 months to
    turn into the best organic compost.
    · Stir the deep litter in the coop and add only enough extra shavings to top up to
    original level. Only use untreated shavings with low dust content. Always wear a dust
    mask when working the litter to prevent inhaling any fine particles.
    · Scrub the feeder and waterer out.
    · Top up Oyster shell.
    · Add 20ml per litre of water of AE to one full waterer. This keeps the birds healthy
    and helps their feathers shine and also prevents internal worms. The next day mix
    Acidophilus yoghurt with their feed to maintain a healthy gut.
    · Catch and Inspect each Bird. This is easiest done in the evening when birds have
    just gone to bed they a very placed then and can be picked from the roost without to
    much complaint.
    · Check the whole bird over for any parasites, lice especially like it around the vent
    · If any parasites are found dust the bird directly with DE and repeat with direct dusting
    every week for 3 weeks as lice nits have a 7 day hatching.
    · At night use a torch and check the inside of the coop around the roost ends and in
    corners for mites
    · Sprinkle DE along the roosts to catch any night time mites
    · Use DE and Poultry shield if mites are found.
    · Add 1 tsp per bird of DE directly to feed this is specifically for internal worming.
    · Dust DE along the roosts.
    · Shake 1/2 cup DE over the deep litter each month.
    3 – 6 Monthly
    · Wear a mask and clean out the deep litter and put it in the compost, the garden will
    love it once composted fully.
    · Spray the inside of the coop with Poultry shield which will prevent parasite infestation
    and refresh the coop.
    · Top up the deep litter and add 1 Cup DE and stir.

    • Great clear advice I also believe one can use a neem powder or a spray,Koanga sell the cheapest diaotomaceous  earth i have found,

       i have a small sheltered glass topped roof house for sun dust bathing with sand & d e the hens love it.

  • For what it's worth here's our chicken coop I built. I wanted a deep litter henhouse and asked around for ideas.  The main points seemed to be to allow for 100mm or so of litter box over the whole floor area, add sawdust or wood shavings which you build up over the months, and to toss a little food on top to encourage the chooks to scratch and so aerate the litter. 

    2170549547?profile=RESIZE_480x480The entrance way is 100mm+ off the floor, as are the nest boxes on the back side.
    This deep litter system seems to work quite well, as the coop doesn't have a great lot of smell, even after several months, and I have a side panel there so I can hoick out the litter and pop it into the compost.

    Note that the entrance door has a nifty remote control doo-dah, for those times when I want to keep them contained inside (rarely) or outside the henhouse. It's just a mild steel rod, bent in certain places, with copper or leather 'housings' and attachments.

    The roof hinges at the front, lifts up from the back.

    The run is too small for all day use - we let the chooks out to roam around the property from 10.30 to about 4.30 each day - and it's made of welded galv steel mesh. 

    If anyone wants the plans, ask and I'll try to remember how I built it! I could sketch something if pushed.

    2170549842?profile=RESIZE_480x480After a year or three, changes became necessary: fencing in the chooks away from the main veggie gardens, with a gate, and winter mud drove me to lay a crude walkway from demolition timber.

    • That's a great looking coop, Brian. I'd love to see a plan if it's not too much trouble. How many chooks have you got?

  • Hey Carla, you did send it to everyone, which is just fine by me as I would like some plans too, for about the same number of feathered friends. If you find any can you post them here as an attachment?

    Smiles, Laine

  • Hi Carla I just sold a deeo litter coop That Cameron built for me I havnt seen any sign of him for several months eather hear is Cameron's contact info if that might help

    Heritage Poultry
    481 Ahuroa Rd, Puhoi
    PO Box 404095, Puhoi 0951
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Telephone: + 64 9 4220758
    Mobile: + 64 0279 172774

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