deep litter method... question

Smithyard Farm

Songster
8 Years
Apr 15, 2012
447
13
152
Pembroke NH


Hello all! I am new chicken owner and thought I would try the deep litter method. Our chicks are about 12 weeks old now and have been inthe coop for about a month. We started with about 5-6 inches of pine shavings, I have ben cleaning the coop every week, and "fluffing" the litter... Am I supposed to stir it up? I am a tad confused. I have been reading a bit more about it and think I may be doing this wrong... please share your thoughts..... thanks!
 
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1muttsfan

Up Northerner
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,319
8,024
697
Upper Peninsula Michigan
For the deep litter method you don't have to clean the coop, other than under the roosts if you choose to do so. The litter should be periodically fluffed or turned, to help keep it aeriated. Add more dry litter as needed to maintain a slightly moist bed.
 

Smithyard Farm

Songster
8 Years
Apr 15, 2012
447
13
152
Pembroke NH
Thanks - By cleaning- I mean turning tthe litterover and mixing it all up - it will fluff back up to the original 5-6 inches, Should I be adding more prior to mixing it up? and how often should it be turned?
 

JackE

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 26, 2010
2,327
741
281
North Eastern Md.
As the litter breaks down, you will add more. You actually don't have to do anything to fluff up the litter. That's the neat thing about it. Let the chickens do the work. Throw a handful of scratch in there and the chickens will totally turn the litter for you. Sure beats digging around in crappy sand with a cat litter scoop/rake.
Jack
 

ScottM

Songster
8 Years
Dec 29, 2011
284
87
111
Prince George, BC, Canada
My Coop
From the looks of your photo, you really should add some sort of lip/wood to stop litter from falling out. Unless you don't use that door often.

Also you didn't mention adding food grade D.E. Which I find helpful in keeping it dry.

As to how often to add new material, depends on so many factors, but judging by the shade of your litter, it looks Brand new compared to mine. You really want it to be dry, so if there's moisture, youre not adding enough. Dunno how to tell if u add too much.

+1 for Jacks comment about adding scratch so the birds do the work of mixing it up
 

Smithyard Farm

Songster
8 Years
Apr 15, 2012
447
13
152
Pembroke NH
Thank you - I will stop stirring it up and see what happens. I don't use this door very often, there is another door on the other side I go into all the time. I use this door to get to the roosts for cleaning, and usually pull the shavings away before opening.
 

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