We started using deep litter method with pine shavings last October. Have 16 chickens, down from 18. Were planning on doing a big cleanout this weekend, but I checked "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens", and Gail Damerow mentions that when you clean out the litter in warm months, you also clean out the fly predators, and your fly problem will get worse. Right now, the flies are a moderate nuisance, but I don't want them to get worse. I've been reading that many of you do very regular cleanouts, at least weekly. But I know that is not going to happen or we wouldn't have chickens. So, of those of you that use deep litter, what are your thoughts? Should we do a big cleanup now, or possibly a partial cleanup of the roost itself and underneath it? Let it all go till the fall? The smell is not lovely, but not horrible either. We have lost 2 hens in the past 4 months, but I do not believe it was due to disease, and the flock seems otherwise healthy. They are all Australorps. Thanks for any input.