Deep litter for dummies question


Aug 22, 2017
Los Angeles (Woodland Hills); gardening zone 9B
I'm trying DL for the first time.

It's been going fine but my hens aren't scratching the poo in as I've read they're supposed to. There were just piles of it under the top roost! Today I took a rake up there and did it myself. TONS of clean shavings on the bottom. And no sign for decomposed poo/litter.

Am I supposed to have to do this or is this their job?

When do I add new shavings? It's still about 3" deep and isn't that enough? And I guess this litter has been in place for 3 months give or take a bit.

It's not especially smelly up there. The poo is dried out. I guess my concerns are 1) potential for harboring disease and 2) the aesthetics.

Any advice or clarification is much appreciated.
A lot of people that do deep litter use droppings boards to make removing the poop under the roots easier. If you don't do something, it will pile up. You can rake it into the bedding yourself. A trick is to scatter some scratch under the roosts. The chickens will scratch there looking for it and spread the poop themselves.

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