Other op­tions

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

Saw­dust: ok, but tends to pack down quickly un­less turned fre­quently Pine peel­ings/bark, or shred­ded pa­per: ok but needs to be a deeper layer (15cm+), and turned fre­quently

Dry straw: ok if turned reg­u­larly, but won’t cope if it gets too wet

Hay: don’t use, as it doesn’t ab­sorb mois­ture well, packs flat when wet, and can har­bour moulds

Once lit­ter has ma­nure in it, and the birds are turn­ing it over reg­u­larly, it will heat up, sim­i­lar to a com­post heap, but not as hot.

The longer you leave a deep lit­ter sys­tem, the more it will de­com­pose. Heat, oxy­gen and bac­te­ria turn the ma­nure and shav­ings into a fine, al­most, pow­der-like con­sis­tency, mak­ing it easy to han­dle.

Com­post ex­pert Ben Elms uses a deep layer of bark on the floor of his run. He adds the daily kitchen scraps to it, and his birds dig it in. Once a year, he digs it out and uses it around fruit trees.

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