So, with our small coop the deep litter method (combined with adding a south window during the daytime) has kept the temperatures in the coop pretty steadily at 10 degrees warmer than the outside. Yeah! But the mice continue to come. I think I've got them taken care of using a variety of methods and then 2 weeks later a new wave moves in. Our property backs up to a field/open space, so this will probably always be the case.
Anyway, the problems I am having (mice, constant dustiness) appear to have caused a bit of a respiratory problem in the flock. I am treating that now, and I feel I have been both incredibly blessed by the resources here and dumb luck. I have not lost a hen in almost 2 years! Worms, mice, yowza. Constant vigilance is our motto!
Anyway, what to do? Our coop is small (5 hens, approximately 20 square feet of floor space + nesting boxes and roosts) and not insulated. I'm thinking I'm going to start keeping the floor clean (daily, ugh) and hope that the temps don't drop too low in the next few months.
Deep litter experts, do you have any tricks for a.) keeping the dust-levels down and b.) keeping mice out or at least deterring them? Our run is predator protected, but the mice still dig through...