To follow rules or not to follow rules


5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
I have 7 chicks about 5 weeks old. We are in the process of building a coop and a run. I have books about raising just about everything I can on internet about raising chickens......I am feeling a bit overwhelmed!!. I am very interested in deep litter method.....but don't want to use DE.....also have read that I need to have some sort of baby pool so I can mix up a concoction of....sand dirt wood ash. My husband says I am worrying too much. We have a lot of land....and are surrounded by a lot of land. He says to just let the chickens do their thing. He says that they will find a place to dust bath...and if I turn their wood shavings a couple tiMes a week that I won't need DE. I will gladly take any advice I can get.
I have never heard of anybody setting up a place for chickens to take their dirt baths. They will find a spot on their own. As for the deep litter method and DE, that is up to you. Just keep in mind that if you use the deep litter method, it will be inviting things to come live in it, which is why DE is recommended.
I don't use deep litter method myself, so I can't personally vouch for the importance of DE. As for the dust bathing area though, That would only be necessary if the chickens were completely confined to the inside of the coop. Any access to the outdoors, and they will find a place to wallow.

The thing to remember about the "rules" of chicken keeping is that they are pretty flexible. There's a lot of ways to do things, with only a few absolute "DO NOT" rules--do not use cedar shavings, do not let baby chicks get cold, do not let your birds run out of water, etc.

It's important to inspect your birds regularly for mites and other ailments, whether you use DE or not, whether you use deep litter or not, etc, so if it's what you want to do, go with it. Just be prepared to deal with mites if they become a problem, which you should probably do anyway.
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