Question about deep litter system . . .

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pches, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. pches

    pches New Egg

    Oct 10, 2011
    So I have just gotten 6 new chicks, having given my lovely 3.5 year old hens to a friend (she has an older flock, my kids really wanted chicks, and I really wanted more eggs [​IMG]). Soo, I'm thinking about using a deep litter system . . . I actually did what I thought was a deep litter system for the first flock, but now I'm wondering if I did it wrong. What I did was fill the bottom of the coop with about 12" wood chips (from our local tree company - I use the same chips in my garden paths), and then every week or so for over 3 years (!) I would go in and rake in any droppings that were on top of the chips (actually, my hens helped me out with this task - they were always scratching around in the chips). Now that my first flock has been re-homed, I've gone in and cleared out the coop and put all the now fairly composted chips in garbage cans to set out over the winter . . . I'll screen it all in the spring for my garden beds. My first flock (of 4 hens) was healthy and happy and I never had any problems with this system, but I'm wondering what folks think. Should I have changed out the chips every year? Should I have used pine shavings and not wood chips? Not that I want to fix what's not broke, but the more I read about how folks do the deep litter system, I'm starting to think I was a bit negligent in my choice of bedding material and in more regularly cleaning out my coop [​IMG]. Thanks!
  2. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    I think the proof is in the pudding. If your method works for you and provides for happy, healthy, productive hens, then go for it. There's just no arguing with success. I use sand in the coop and run and deep litter in the yard. This also gives me happy, healthy, productive hens. And out of 10 chicken flock owners, you will probably get 10 different methods that provide equally good results and happy chickens.

    If it works for you and your flock, it's a good way to go.
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Sounds like it is working good.

    I use it in my brooder An dig part of it out in the fall for the garden an put new wood chips in there. I don't dig it all out cause there is lots of bugs that live in there to make it work so ya don't want to lose them all. Sorta like not changing all the water in the fish tank at the same time.
  4. djjeffery

    djjeffery Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2011
    My personal method involves removing all litter once a year in the fall.

    my opinion is do what works.
  5. flockof4

    flockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    It sounds like what you did was just fine. Especially if all your hens were happy and healthy. Keep going with what you know.

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