chicken yard...spade or not to spade?? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello again.. gottanother question for those wiser than I...I read somewhere that a confined chicken yard that becomes hardened with use and chicken droppings should be spaded or hoed. For what purpose and is this true?? One of my hens has what symptoms say is coccidia. Is this from the yard not being properly hoed? I feed a layer crumble with coccidiostats added. Could she still have gotten coccidia? She sits ruffled, head drawn back ,listless, but stills has her appetite. Anyway, should I do something with her yard? Thanks to all you chicken people.

-- Michele Rae Padgett (, March 29, 2001


I do try to break the yard at least once a year. Don't know if it helps with anything or not but it gives the hens a place to scratch and take dust baths. Seems to cut down on boredom thus less broken eggs. May just be in my head.

-- jd-tx. (, March 29, 2001.

Spading the chicken yard creats a more sanitary enviroment for your chickens. Better yet rotate the chickens between two sections of the yard gardening on the old patch. The chickens went to the trouble to level, fertilize, and deweed the yard for you, why not use it?

-- mitch hearn (, March 29, 2001.

What about adding litter once the chickens have eaten all the grass and weeds? I use the deep litter system in my portable pens, to build up garden beds, so I let the litter build up and then eventually move the pen to another spot. But, why not use the same principle in the yard? I dump used horse bedding (shavings and manure) which the chickens scratch through, getting out any grain the horses missed, or any that passes through undigested. Gives the chickens something to do; they get a little feed from it, plus bugs, which they love, and it adds organic material to the soil. You might not care about that if you don't plan to garden on the spot, but what about erosion? The litter would help to keep your soil from blowing away. Also, the chicken manure would bind to the organic material, which would just generally help keep things cleaner. Eventually, you'd probably want to remove some of the litter once it had built up, then you could compost it or use it as mulch, etc.

-- Elizabeth (, March 29, 2001.

I dig mine up twice a year..spring and fall..the reason being, I use alot of straw and hay in the wet season and it gets makes excellent manure for the gardens and flower beds..keeps the soil cleaner also.. I also put wood ashes inside their house to dust themsleves with..I have a dirt floor in there.. I have never had any disease so far..knock on can't help you there..

-- Lynn(MO) (, March 29, 2001.

You didn't mention diarrhea in your list of symptoms in your hen. I have a hen doing all of the above also, without diarrhea, she is broody and pissed that I keep getting her off the nest and putting her in jail! Even after a week in jail she is back to setting this morning :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 29, 2001.

Okay, I remember why I took the litter out of my chicken coop-- snakes. You can't see them under the litter, and I do hate a snake. First time I saw one slither under the stuff, out it went. Back to bare dirt so I can see where I'm putting my feet.

-- mary, texas (, March 30, 2001.

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