Keeping your chicken coop fresh and clean is as important as making the money from the sales of the birds. Now that you are set to lay hens for your new flock. But what do you use on the chicken coop floor for litter? Shavings of pine, hay, straw … or what? How much would you wipe it out? How do you stop it becoming stinky?
The Deep Litter Method
The Deep Litter Method is one sustainable method used by many small farmers to manage chicken litter in the chicken coop. In the method of deep litter, you basically form a compost pile of your chicken poop right on the chicken coop floor. In the browns category, you start with a layer of pine shavings or other organic matter like a compost pile. The chicken poop is rich in nitrogen and green
Only add enough shavings to keep the floor composting well, and with their scratching behavior, the chickens do the aeration for you. They are encouraged by the dispersing corn on the coop floor. The litter has beneficial bacteria, to your hens, therefore, think of it as probiotics.
You clean the chicken coop out, once or twice a year or less. For the most part, the resulting material can be used directly as compost, but if you find a few spots that are fresher than others, you can throw them into the compost bin for a while.
The deep litter form has the advantages of not taking much time to do this. Its compost is what you end up with. Also, through the microbes and beneficial culture of living compost litter material, the birds get to scratch which is good for them. It doesn’t smell too much. And, it is safe, and the birds remain sound.
How Do You Put On Chicken Coop’s Floor?
Pine shavings seem to work well for the deep litter method and are bought cheaply at your local bales feed store. You can purchase smaller bags at pet shops if you’ve got a really small coop and minimal storage. Be sure not to get shavings of cedar, which can be toxic to chickens.
Some smallholder farmers prefer to use hay or straw for litter in the coop. Hay or straw can work in the nest boxes, but it tends to attract and retain too much moisture on the surface. The hay or straw may be too damp in the coop, depending on your particular circumstances.
Is this the best approach for you in your poultry farm?
The Deep Litter method is a sustainable, easy-to-maintain system that works well for earthen-floored flocks. You can also create a version of the deep litter method if you have a wood or other floor, but you’ll have to compost the litter when you clean it out before using it, since the earth provides the moisture and culture to start the composting process.
If you live in an urban or suburban area or have a very small area for your chickens and a small flock, you may want to simply clean the litter down to the floor and do it frequently; depending on your personal situation, anywhere from weekly to monthly. This way you do not have to deal with a huge quantity of litter to dispose of at once. You should add the litter to your compost bin and poop it.
Raising chickens is fun but it can be a challenge to clean the Chicken coop. It is however a necessary part of the job of the chicken keeper, preventing health problems and decreasing the flock production.