Warmth from deep litter method?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Angiebubs, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Curious-Im trying the deep litter method...but I suddenly had a "duh" moment....How does this provide warmth for the chickens? Are they actually smart enough, if cold, to stop roosting and nestle down into the bedding material?

  2. clairabean

    clairabean Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    It provides insulation from below. Great if you have a cooler floor or dirt flooring. It also provides some heat as it composts.

    For comparison think of carpet versus tile. Cozier for them to walk on as well.
  3. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thanks clariabean!! So more for during the day etc... Just suddenly hit me-there is no way I can see mine sleeping in a pile on the floor at night. But your comment about carpet vrs tile makes sense
  4. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    While I was cleaning out my coop, from summer to fall, I did not quite finish in time as night fell... The had to walk across the bare vinyl floor to get to the roosts -- it was the funniest thing EVER!!! One ran, one hopped, another skipped from the door to a feeding tray to the ramp up to the roosts. They do not like a bare floor.

    In addition to adding insulation value, the deep litter method helps distribute droppings. I have a poop board under the roosts, but still, on their way in and out, on their way to nest boxes, they can leave quite a lot of poop. With lots of litter there is a lot of places for it to go before it reaches critical mass... like a kitty litter box with insufficient litter will fill very quickly. More litter, more absorption.

  5. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thanks MissJenny. I guess I thought it worked for both easy/better cleaning as well as warmth.....somehoe was thinking the would all snuggle down into the shavings if it became really cold. Tonight I was in the coop in the dark and realized they would never roost on the floor

  6. I live in an area that gets very wet and cold in the winter, I have noticed that the coop is noticeably warmer with the deep litter method.

    I use hay/straw starting in the fall and it's a lot drier and warmer for the birds. I do have younger pullets that do choose to make nests for themselves I've noticed... Silly birds!
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have about 7 inches of pine shavings in my coop now....it stays considerably warmer than the outside temp, I have a thermometer nailed to the wall to check...
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Composting litter creates heat. Like a compost pile that gets warm or hot, depending on how you manage it. That's what they're talking about when they talk about deep litter providing warmth. You can also manage compost piles or litter in a way that doesn't get as warm. That's a cool pile. The composting happens much slower, so generates very little heat, in comparison to a hot pile.
  9. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I use the DRY deep litter method, so no composting going on that would cause any heat.

    However, because it's a deep litter, it does provide the insulation to keep the coop warmer.

    And, besides, my Sillkies do not roost, so they keep warm in their little corner on the floor of the coop.


  10. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Yes my girls dig deep on windy days and snuggle up together.

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