I still don't understand deep litter method...


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
So, this is what I know so far according to what I read around here:
-make the first roost about 1-2ft high if using ladder method
-use DE to get rid of smell, flies, and to dry the litter
-better to make a hinge for ladders so to make it easier to clean
-only need to clean out coop about once or twice a year

What I still don't get:
-if it's deep, how do the chickens get out when the litter is just starting its first layer? can the chickens hop up that high themselves?
-does that mean I should dig a hole on the floor and how deep? I read that the layer can get up to 6in?? or is it more?
-or should I just make the coop a bit higher?
-for people who use deep litter method can you put up a picture of the entrance to your coop so i can see what it looks like?

Thank you!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 28, 2010
BFE Assyria, MI
I am sure they can hop/fly up that high. I am making my coop nice and tall so I can get in there. I would to see people's entrances. I am still building mine and haven't got that far yet.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
First, remember there is no "the" deep litter method, there are all sorts of different ways of managing a coop that involve some deepness of litter but that are not at all the same as each other.

That said.... you'll want the popdoor to be cut a little ways up the wall, not flush with the wooden or dirt floor. (This is also the case for non deep litter... no matter how you slice it, you're best off with a good-sized sill under the popdoor doorway, so that the bedding doesn't get kicked out into the run). I would suggest making it at least 6" higher than what you expect to be highest the litter will get.

Chickens are excellent at hopping up onto things; if the popdoor sill is 6" or 12" or even 18" above what they're standing on, they just hop up onto it and go out. Really. It is not a problem.

To answer your Q in your other post on the DLM thread, some people use droppings boards with deep litter and some don't; personally I think it's very useful to use adroppings board even with deep litter, but it is certainly not essential.

This really is not "A" method, you can manage things any way you want, just experiment and see what you end up happiest with

Good luck, have fun,



11 Years
Dec 29, 2008
Orange County, New York
Is it unsafe to use DLM with Silkies if they don't roost? I can't imagine why it wouldn't, but I thought I'd ask because I wanted to try it and they won't be roosting. It was mentioned in the first post that roosts were a factor.

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