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Deep Litter: The Simplest And Easiest Way To Raise Chickens

Image source: Pixabay.com [1]

Image source: Pixabay.com

The deep litter method is quickly becoming more common among homesteaders — even urban homesteaders. What is it? Essentially, the deep litter method is where you pour four to six inches of clean litter into your chicken coop and leave it there for a year or so, turning occasionally and adding more bedding as necessary.

There are many benefits to practicing the deep litter method, including healthier chickens and a lower mortality rate for chicks as young as one day old. And your chickens will enjoy scratching around in their litter to find yummy, protein-filled bugs to snack on.

All The Answers To Every Chicken Question And Quandary … [2]

First, you need to choose your carbon material; pine shavings usually works best. Start your deep litter with at least four to six inches of shavings. Allow the chickens to spread the shavings around and pick through it. You should turn the litter before it gets clumpy. The time frame is different for each coop and depends on how much time your hens spend inside the coop, how large your coop is, and how many hens you have. But don’t turn it too often. Although moisture is necessary for breaking down the materials, you don’t want your litter to be wet. If there is a particularly wet spot, simply turn it under.

You can start your deep litter in early fall or spring. When cleaning it, remove most of the litter from the coop and add in four or so inches of fresh pine shavings and stir it up. You want to leave about two inches of the old litter behind when you clean out the coop to start the new litter with the same beneficial bacteria.

Image source: pixabay.com [3]

Image source: pixabay.com

Once you know what you’re doing, the deep litter method is simple to maintain. Simply keep an eye out for clumps or moisture and turn it every so often. It is a huge time-saver because you only clean it once a year.

Here are a few other reasons why the deep litter method is beneficial: