January 9, 2014

The Deep Litter Method

Cute but unrelated picture
This winter, I don't have to clean my barn. Not once - all winter! I can say to my friends as they clean out their barns, "Ah, I remember the days when I had to do that every week..."

The reason the I don't have to clean my barn is that I am using the deep litter method. Instead of shoveling out the barn when it gets messy, I simply cover the old bedding with a layer of new bedding, alternating between layers of wood shavings, and layers of straw. This keeps the inside of the barn clean looking and smelling. The shavings absorb moisture, keeping the barn dry, and the straw is a good insulator. If an area is too smelly or damp, I will sprinkle baking soda on it, which eliminates the problem. Another of the nice things about this method is that this bottom layers of bedding will start to compost. The heat, but fortunately not the smell, from the composting will seep up, keeping the goats warm on cold nights. This method also saves bedding. Think about it: it takes a lot less fresh bedding to simply cover old bedding then it takes to keep some goats warm on a freezing night.

What could be better? I don't have to clean the barn in below freezing temperatures, the goats are kept warm, I save money, and when I do clean out the barn in spring I'll have fresh, rich compost to start my garden on. I only wonder why I didn't do this last winter. This winter, you should consider not cleaning your barn.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anastasia!
    I found out about your blog through KA. I really liked your art programs, and I had no idea you lived on a farm. It sounds so fun! I've lived in a city my whole life and the only time when I've gone to an actual countryside was in Cambodia and they didn't have farms, only paddy-fields. I would really love to visit a farm like yours one day to experience it. I have friends in Illinois who own an organic produce farm but I've never gone to see it. I also found out about Duolingo through your KA account and I'm learning German. (my username is huiqing22) Anyway, I need to get back to my schoolwork (ugh).
    Erica in Malaysia


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