Friday, January 15, 2016

Using The Deep Litter Method In The Chicken Coop

winter and chickens
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.
straw inside coop
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.
According to a study done by the Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station in 1959, using the deep litter method offers many health benefits, if done properly:
  • It helps to naturally ‘insulate’ the coop, maintaining a healthy temperature for your flock.
  • It can serve as an immunization against coccidiosis.
  • It helps to destroy salmonella bacteria.
  • It can provide needed vitamins for your chickens.
  • It can lessen the need for added protein to your flock.

Click HERE to read how I use the deep litter method in our chicken coop and dangerous signs to look out for.

You can read this entire post at  


  1. This is a great way to keep chickens. I used it too when I had chickens. Some great manure in our garden and it grew so well. I'll be messing that for I don't think leaves will not be as good. Have a great night.

  2. Sounds like a win-win situation. I can imagine what a boost that litter would give the garden. ;0D


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