I have a small suburban backyard that is shared by two people, four chickens, two dogs, a cat and 100,000 honeybees. It also has four apple trees. The chicken coop and enclosed run are in the back of it. The house and deck is in the front. There are a couple of chairs under the trees for the people (and chickens) to sit on. Over time, the chickens have scratched up most of the yard. We planted and caged some lavender and mint but the rest was getting down to dirt. With winter (and six months of rain) coming on, I was picturing mud everywhere. So I started throwing all vegetable garden refuse just on the ground in the yard. When I trim suckers from the apple trees, I just left the clippings laying where they fell. When I cleaned up my herbs at the end of the summer, I threw whole stems into the yard. Pretty soon it started building up into quite a pile of stuff. And the girls spent the whole day picking and scratching for the bugs and worms that got attracted to the rotting vegetables. Then I asked my neighbor, who is a gardener, to throw his lawn and leaf clippings under my apple trees. The yard leveled out and got a cushioned feel when I walk on it. I love what this is doing in my yard and the chickens and dogs seem to like it. But I never hear of anyone doing deep litter in their yard, so I wonder if there's a downside I just haven't seen yet? Here's a picture.