Why Do You Use Deep Bedding/Why Do You NOT Use Deep Bedding?

3KillerBs

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I'm putting together an article on using Deep Bedding in a small coop and wanted to make sure I had as complete a list of pros and cons as possible.

I know why I DO use this method and I can think of some reasons others might not want to use it, but I'd like to hear the voices of community experience in order to create a useful article.

Deep Bedding being defined as: A dry, non-composting system where you keep adding bedding to the coop as it becomes soiled -- managing it by turning it as necessary (or getting the chickens to turn it for you) -- and clean it out only infrequently when the bedding has become both thoroughly soiled and piled up to the point of not being able to add more.
 

CluckerFamily

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I have a walk-in coop with a chicken door on the side of a wall. The chicken door is a little higher off the floor. All this allows for deep litter. I live in a cold area and deep litter helps insulate the floor. Deep litter also makes the floor not slippery when everyone jumps from the roost.
 

Acre4Me

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Hmm...do. Have deep bedding? You @3KillerBs be the judge.

we have an elevated coop. We use shavings. So, it is certainly not deep litter bc it does not touch the ground.

we clean out the coop completely a few times a year. Sometimes this comes with a permethrin spray if the ladies are sporting lice 🤢).

we put one or two complete bag of shavings into the coop when it is completely cleaned out. Sometimes we add shavings on top. But, more often it is quickly swept out (so, not throughly like when we want to really clean it all and spray for bugs). and more clean shavings put in. In warm weather, this is done more frequently due to the smell.

we always try to get the shavings really covered in poop before we remove it. So, we turn it when it’s pretty poop laden, to expose cleaner sides. Since the coop is elevated, the poop dries out fairly well -but we are not a dry climate. Once it smells too much, and it’s very poop laden, so turning it does not reveal “clean” shavings, it is removed to the compost pile. We have removed it before this stage when the weather has been such that the poop isn’t drying out quickly enough snd it smells too bad, so for everyone’s health, it is removed.

right now, we have bedding that is frozen SOLID. It has a definite layer of poop under the roosts (we do not use poop boards), but we can’t turn or remove the bedding. We can add bedding on top of the soiled bedding. Once it warms up enough to remove it, it will be removed entirely.

so, I don’t know that we have deep bedding as we don’t fill up the coop until we can’t add any more, but we are similar in other ways.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
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I live in a cold area and deep litter helps insulate the floor. Deep litter also makes the floor not slippery when everyone jumps from the roost.

Thanks, I didn't have those. I'm in a warm climate and my coop isn't tall enough to worry about landing.

Why do I used deep bedding? I go through less bedding and I'm a lazy farmer.

Saving work is probably my #1 reason for using it myself. Savings in bedding didn't occur to me. Thanks.

My deep bedding keeps the plywood floor fairly dry

Good point there. My little coop is bone dry even in the soggiest weather.

so, I don’t know that we have deep bedding as we don’t fill up the coop until we can’t add any more, but we are similar in other ways.

Pretty close. Is there a particular reason that you don't fill up with bedding between cleanings? Something for my "cons" list?
 

Tre3hugger

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I use deep litter in my 10x12 layer barn which houses 25 birds. To me it is a no brainer. I totally clean my coops 2x a year, in fall and in spring. All the shavings go into my compost pile. When I add all the fluffy new pine shavings, I also add leaf litter, small sticks, wood chips from my wood splitting area, grass and shrub clippings, and any other organic debris I find around. My thinking is this keeps the girls scratching a bit for green goodies and also promotes composting when the bedding eventually makes it to the compost pile.
I will often throw treats under the roost bars when the poop is piling up to get the chickens to turn that area thoroughly for me. Some people think that is gross but the chickens don't seem to mind so I call it smart! As needed, which varies based on weather (wetness, amount of time spent inside coop etc.), I will add a whole new bag of shavings to the 10x12 coop. This occurs approximately every 1.5 months. I just throw it on top, add treats, and the chickens do the rest.

I LOVE the deep litter method. My chicken chores daily, with my automatic door and large capacity feeders and waterer, consist of collecting eggs and enjoying my girls. None of my daily chores involve poop. This gives me more time to just enjoy my birds. This has been my first winter with deep litter where my birds are inside a majority of the time. I was worried about cleanliness. But other than slightly dirtier feet, the smell of the coop and the cleanliness of eggs has not been effected. Everyone is happy and healthy.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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North Carolina Sandhills
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When I add all the fluffy new pine shavings, I also add leaf litter, small sticks, wood chips from my wood splitting area, grass and shrub clippings, and any other organic debris I find around. My thinking is this keeps the girls scratching a bit for green goodies and also promotes composting when the bedding eventually makes it to the compost pile.

Do you also find that it helps keep the bedding from packing and matting?

None of my daily chores involve poop.

That's right up there with reduced overall work load for me.
 

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