Using the deep litter method in the chicken coop is natural, economical, and healthy. It is a common practice used today by many chicken keepers, usually during the cold Winter months. However, it actually got its start during World War II as a means of saving labor and litter. And, it generally occurred over six months or longer.
Here’s how it works:
The poo droppings are full of nitrogen. Combined with a carbon (such as straw or dried leaves) natural decomposing will occur. It is important to use a litter that will fluff up (not be compacted). Turning the top layer to the bottom frequently, adding new straw to the top, and the natural scratching from chickens make it all work.
Having a well ventilated coop helps to break everything down. It’s the same concept as composting kitchen scraps in a bin that you turn frequently. Come Spring, there should be no foul smell, and you will have a fine, decomposed matter to use in your garden.