Deep Litter Method of Bedding in Coops & Hen Houses
How to use the deep litter method for your chickens plus watch our featured video: Deep Litter Method for Chickens...Not just deep bedding. The deep litter method of bedding is to allow bedding materials and other materials to compost with chicken feces inside your chicken coop. Things you can use in deep litter are hay, pine bedding, leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, sawdust, straw. small weeds, large weeds can be used but should be chopped up first, cardboard, herbs like comfrey, lavender, mint and other herbs can also be used. You can use Food grade DE to eliminate insects and help dry your compost. You should stir the composting bedding every few days. How long you leave your litter depends on you and how well the materials are composting. Most people leave the deep litter bedding all year and remove it in the spring to use in their gardens. Read deep litter method negatives below.
Featured Video: Deep Litter Method for Chickens...not just deep bedding
Deep litter method for bedding in coops and hen houses-Negative Aspects
The deep litter method is recommended by some but not all chicken keepers.While some say it is an easy way to compost feces others say it is a breeding ground for bacteria, insect infestations, mites, and parasite infections. In our experience, the deep litter method is not a sanitary method of bedding poultry because even when using coop and compost compounds insect infestations and predators tend to be a severe problem. Insects such as mites, fleas, flies, and horse flies use it as a breeding ground. Mites are known to burrow into wood and can easily take over a hen house. Another disadvantage of this method is hens tend to hide their eggs in it and the scent will attract predators such as possums, skunks, and foxes. On top of the insect and predator issue, there is the added possibility that lost eggs will rot and explode. If you have ever smelled a rotten egg-it is not a smell you will soon forget and the worst part is these draw possums, weasels and other vicious predators to your coop. Hen houses and coops should be completely emptied, scrubbed, and allowed to dry before new bedding is placed in it. If you are thinking of using the deep litter method you should consult several others who have used it for more than two years. (Scroll down to see more about bedding or to buy bedding for your chickens)
Types of Bedding for Chicken-Pro's & Con's
MotherHen says: "We use hay during the winter months because it keeps the chickens warm in their coops and we scoop then layer it with pine bedding as it gets dirty, When Spring comes we compost and till all the old bedding into our garden. It's a lot of work but well worth it. During Spring, Summer, and early Fall we use about an inch of pine litter on top of sprinkled DE which can be scooped daily and prevents insect infestations. The birds adjust to it readily."
Using PDZ (Horse Bedding) in Your Chicken Coop
PDZ Horse bedding can be used in your coop and will keep it smelling much fresher. Find out more about PDZ bedding here:
My mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof Psalms 71:15
Best Bedding for Poultry (Chickens)
Check out the good side and the bad side of various types of bedding used for chickens, as well as, what bedding works best in different weather.
How to properly dispose of soiled poultry bedding
It is important to figure out what you are going to do with the soiled bedding after it is used because chicken feces are high in nitrogen and can contaminate local water supplies if not handled properly. The best and most environmentally safe way to dispose of used bedding is to compost it.