Chicken Coop Deep Litter Method Explained

Chicken Coop Deep Litter Method Explained

May 30, 2024angelique van zuylen

What is the Deep Litter Method?

The deep litter method is a chicken coop system based on repeated layering of organic materials on the floor. The first layer of litter is spread on the floor of the coop. When the first layer is soiled, a new layer of fresh litter is added on top. This continues as needed to keep the chickens on clean bedding.



Steps to the deep litter method

  1. First, clean out the coop completely
  2. Lay down at least 4-6 inches of clean litter 
  3. Let the chickens poop all over it
  4. Turn the litter over once a week with a pitchfork to bury the poop and bring fresh bedding to the surface
  5. Continue to lay down fresh bedding so the depth always remains at least 6 inches
  6. Repeat, repeat, and repeat
  7. The litter slowly breaks down over time to make compost
  8. Twice a year (spring and Autumn) clean out the coop, removing the newly made compost but leaving a one-inch layer of litter so the microbes can integrate into the new fresh bedding.
  9. Start all over again!

Best Types of litter to use for Deep Litter Method

Pros of using the deep litter method

  • It can be inexpensive
  • Creating quality compost is fast and easy
  • You don’t have to clean the coop every week
  • The litter absorbs most of the smell from chicken waste
  • Scratching through the litter alleviates boredom for the chickens
  • The litter provides insulation of the floor during cold weather

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