How do you do the deep litter method?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mystery Peepers, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Mystery Peepers

    Mystery Peepers In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2009
    Could someone please tell me how you go about oing the deep litter method in your chicken coop? Can you do it in a coop that's raised off the ground and you can't really walk around in it?

    -Mystery Peepers

  2. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    I use pellets. Regular equine bedding pellets. When they have pretty much all turn to saw dust I either clean the coop or add another layer.
  3. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    Through the winter I used the DLM (deep litter method) and it was pretty successful. Not sure how it'll work during the summer, but we'll see...

    My coop is raised off the ground..

    I sprinkled some DE then put a layer of pine shavings on top. I used hay in the nest boxes, but eventually switched to pine shavings.

    Every weekend I'd go out and repeat - kind of like a lasagna - what a thought. Sometimes I would break it up and then lay some fresh pine shavings on top. After awhile I felt like I might have overdone it with the DE so I stopped using it for the next couple of weekends.

    I just did a spring cleaning - and am starting over again. I'll probably need to take the power sprayer to wash off the poop that appears to be permanently stuck on the roost and such. Yuck.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  4. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Yo ushould try the pellets. They're so much easier and better. Shavings just get wet and then tend to want to stay that way and stink. The pellets dont stay wet at all, and they never smell. One layer lasts me nearly a month with no set spots and no stink.
  5. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    Quote:I'm trying to think if I've ever seen the pellets. Can you add a quick link to what they look like/what you're using? I'm all over doing things the easy way! [​IMG]
  6. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    See, I keep looking at the pellets at my local TSC and thinking they would be great except for one thing...they look EXACTLY like the layer pellets I feed my chickens. I worry that they would try to eat them and then the pellets would expand in their crop and cause a fatal impaction. I imagine opening the coop door to find a bunch of dead and dying chickens. [​IMG]

    Would love to hear from people who have used these to see if their birds ever tried eating the bedding pellets.
  7. fzouk

    fzouk Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    middle Tennessee
    I'm bumping this and hoping someone will have an answer because those pellets sure do sound great except for them looking just like the food.

  8. eponagirl

    eponagirl Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    Quiet Corner, CT
    I can share my experience so far with the pellets:
    Everything I've read so far about them is how great they are...SOOO I put them in my brooder with the chicks. I used Woody Pet and then started to freak because they are not all whole pellets like some other brands...but it says it's ok for chickens on the bag. I've been watching them like crazy and see that they pick at them...but don't actually eat them. I think it does not seem appetizing to them once they taste it. They've been on it only a couple of days and it seems to be working out well. No smell, everything very dry and the chicks are more interested in their feed than the woody pet. I do still give them a paper towel in the area under their food/water (for cleaning the food area up easily) and where they sleep, though some seem to like sleeping on the pellets.

    I'm now considering putting this in my coop when it is ready. I've heard people that use shavings only change out their coop once per year with the DLM...will that be similiar with the pellets or will they need a change out earlier?
  9. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I don't use pellets for litter, so I'm no help there.

    But I do have a Deep Litter Method page that I put together, that may be of some help!

    The page also has a section of links to threads discussing the DLM.

  10. CARS

    CARS Songster

    I use the deep litter method during the winter... Because it's too dang cold out there to clean out the barn as I should [​IMG] When the poo gets too much I add more shavings. They mix the new in with the old and I add more. Rinse, repeat. Eventually, I have deep litter.

    I am 101% sure that this is NOT the proper way to do it.

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