I'm trying the deep litter method this winter (or maybe it should be referred to as "composting litter" method as my Storey's Guide states). In the fall I put a large amount of oak leaves (not shredded first) into the coop. I have maintained by mixing in the manure under the roosts and I've added more oak leaves when I thought it needed it. I am out of oak leaves now that there is snow cover outside. A week or so ago I added a small amount of pine shavings to the area under the roosts and mixed that in. This morning I noticed a slight ammonia smell in the coop and I know this is not a good sign. I'm wondering about my choices: Add a larger amount of pine shavings and maybe some wood ash to the area under the roosts (I refer to this area because it is in the half of the coop where I can maintain some depth in the litter because it is away from my doorways etc.), or shovel out the area under the roosts, maybe just minimally, because obviously this is where the excess manure is from the hens nightly droppings. How do most of you handle the nightly droppings? My Storey's Guide suggests removing (or using dropping board) this nightly stuff. I wondered if it's possible to maintain a deep litter/compost litter method by using the nightly droppings and not removing them?