Fresh chicken manure has a moisture content of around 75%, which may vary depending on the type of dropping. However, all that moisture doesn’t stay with the poop. In fact, about 35-55% of that moisture can evaporate into the air. It’s pretty safe to say that chicken poop can account for a lot of the moisture in the chicken coop air!
During the winter, we are trying to keep the moisture levels low in the coop, which means proper chicken poop management! There are two ways you can manage the droppings to reduce moisture evaporation: remove the droppings or absorb the moisture.
For removing droppings, a droppings board or sling below the roosts can make cleaning up nightly droppings super easy in the morning. If you have a litter that does not compost droppings, you will have to clean up any droppings in the litter as well. A kitty litter scoop works well for sifting out droppings from the litter.
To absorb moisture from droppings, you have to choose a litter that is not only absorbent, but also promotes the composting of the droppings. If the litter is just absorbent, it will eventually become too saturated and add to the moisture problem instead of preventing moisture in the coop. When the litter both absorbs moisture and composts the droppings, the composting process uses up the moisture to create a healthy compost.
To keep moisture evaporation from chicken poop to a minimum, have a good droppings management system in place such as removing the droppings every morning or stimulating the composting process by using a deep litter method in the coop.