When doing the deep litter method don't use diatomaceous earth (DE) or any other chemical insecticide in the coop bedding! This will kill off the beneficial microbes and nematodes.
Take s look at this article http://naturalchickenkeeping.blogspot.com/p/deep-litter-method.html?m=1
Thank you for your post and the link. It's nice to have my instincts confirmed. I actually stopped using the DE a few weeks after I started this thread in November. The articles I read when I started the Deep Bed Method said to use DE to help with moisture. There were also articles that said not to use it but didn't really explain why. Since the bedding always seemed way to dry to ever start decomposing I thought I should stop using DE. My hubby agreed so I stopped. The information out there can be very confusing when starting something new. One article tells you the opposite of another. It seems that you have to do a ton of research and just use the most common advice between the multitudes of information. I will say though that the DE helped immensely with the flies in the fall.
I started fermenting my scratch a few months ago and it was the same confusion as with the deep bed method. Some say to make sure your jars are airtight and others say to only use a cheese cloth cover. Some say start with apple cider vinegar added to your water, some say only use water etc..... You get the gist.
Edited by Raggedyroad - 2/8/16 at 12:32pm