the anti-coccidial effect of deep litter

bj taylor

8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
North Central Texas
hi everyone;
i'm getting my new chicks the first week in feb. i'm reading a book by robt plamondon titled 'Success With Baby Chicks'. he discusses the deep litter method & how it began during WW11 out of necessity. he reports "the anti-coccidial properties are more interesting, at least to those of us who prefer using non-medicated feeds. after litter has been used by chickens for @ least six months, it acquires significant anti-coccidial properties. presumably this is because microorganisms that eat coccidia have had time to take up residence in the litter and have multiplied to the point where coccidia have a hard time surviving."
are you familiar with this perspective & do you give it credence?
the closer it gets to my chicks coming, the more nervous i am.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 7, 2010
Cincinnati Oh
Well i use the deeper litter method and it works great. I just put down some new leaves or wood shavings down once a week or so. It keeps it smelling great as long as you have good ventilation. I usually clean it out every couple of months once it starts to get a little funky.


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I use a deep litter method, too. Notice I said "a" and not "the" deep litter method. There are as many DLMs as there are people employing it.

In my case, the coop is a former garage with a dirt floor. I covered the floor of the coop with 2 inches just to start. Every now and then I bring in another bale and break it open. The chickens spread it out for me. I may place an opened and uncovered bale in a different spot which needs some more shavings, as the chickens do like to dust bathe in their coop sometimes. They make depressions in it, or managed to scratch down to the soil... the goal is for the litter to get to about six or 8 inches deep. Eventually. There is no weekly, monthly, or seasonal mucking out of the whole coop.

There is remarkably little odor. The chickens keep the shavings stirred on the top level.

As to anti-coccidial effect, I haven't a clue.


Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I have a whole lot of respect for Robert Plamondon. He has obviously studied and learned a lot, plus he observes and thinks.

I don't know how accurate his statement is, whether that is from study or just thinking about it, so I won't comment on its accuracy. I don't know. What I do know is that if chicks are exposed to the protozoa that causes coccidiosis at a very early age and are kept in a fairly dry environment, they usually develop an immunity to the effects without becoming sick in the process.

A wet coop is never good, so keep your coop dry. I'd rely on that more than anything else.

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