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

Sandys peeps

In the Brooder
Jan 25, 2021
I agree to the deep method. Not only does it keep the floor warmer, and not slippery, but it keeps out the drafts. I actually let it build up, adding clean shavings regularly, then I actually rake top layer and bank it to the walls. Here in Maine it can get cold. I do this in my chicken coop, duck coop and goat barn. I also will let my chickens stay w my goats as they put out some body heat. I find sharing the heat and banking the sides my birds don't get frostbite on the coombs hardly. It's a win as they also keep my goat barn healthier. They all seem to know what to eat and what Not to eat. The deep bedding also keeps the snow from freezing on top ( turning it to ice. ) the very bottom stays frozen. On nice days after its built up I just do a regular top layer clean out. A complete over haul is done come spring.


Feb 2, 2019
I use a deep litter method as well, mainly for a soft landing from the roost. However, I use a tarp system underneath the roosting poles to catch 98% of their droppings. I have found this method keeps the coop very clean and odors way down.
The litter is scooped out of the tarp trough with a metal scoop once a week during the winter twice a week during the summer and spread into compost bins made from wooden pallets, older hardwood chips, leaves and stump grindings and/or topsoil are spread on top of litter.
My girls are allowed to come and go from their coop as they please (the coop is mainly used for roosting and nesting) into a secured, oversized, partially covered run which also uses a deep mulch method of woodchips, which my girls dig like crazy in. I add to woodchips a couple times a year and clean out and place in the finished compost pile once a year....makes great compost for your garden and your girls do all the work.

Note: I use the large pine shavings for the coop floor only. And rely on tree trimming companies for free wood chips for the run.


In the Brooder
Jun 6, 2020
Bethune South Carolina
Not really sticking to the "rules" of the deep litter method, but more of a modified DLM. I scoop the poop (like a cat litter box). It takes me about 10 minutes a day and I can spend time with the girls as I gather eggs. I add pine flakes on top of the old for the better aroma. The girls turn the litter but it doesn't get deeper than 3 inches and it never gets aromatic. In the evening I also add treats that they pick through the litter so that encourages them to spread it around I deep clean the coop once a month looking for mice, lice, and bugs and haven't found any (yet). The girls are happy and healthy and very talkative.


Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Premium Feather Member
Mar 21, 2020
NW Massachusetts
Why would you need to keep it moist..? Dry is what you want as do your chicks.. all puns aside. Just shovel it on your garden, or around your ornamental, mental key word.. keep on keeping on.

Critics.. what would life be without them.. Peaceful?.. Competing.. that's what this is .. Know this is a feminine site.. Why is that..? Guys love chicks too.. I am not the Easter Bunny.. but enjoy the candy I can scarf from my Grandchildren. Farmal M is a real tractor.. What you call a tractor is a rickshaw.. Chicken poop is poop.. High in nitrogen which will burn your crop.. but from experience it will work fine.. Status Que is only Status Que because someone said so.. Experience is the best teacher if you survive. Like once an explorer said, "Adventure is a situation you get yourself into and survive to tell the story. That has been my life and I am still here.. Misinformation is not my thing. Combative is.. You got my number. Call me.
LOL whatevs. So many things wrong with this post I am not even going to waste my time with it. You sound half drunk or something. Have fun in that competition by yourself macho man! :smack


Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
The one thing I would like to know from all of you is, what kind of waterer do y’all use in the winter.

I'm in a mild climate so I just bring it in on nights when it might freeze. :D

What would I need to do to make it deep litter method if I have a dirt floor to keep it moist?

Deep Litter is a moist, actively composting system. If it's moist enough it will compost, if not it won't.

There is a balance required -- moist enough for the composting organisms to work but not actually wet.

It has definitely broken down and I’m eager to remove some to my compost/dirt pile in the spring for use in the garden. Even if it’s not truly composting (I’m new to this and just don’t know), it’s good dirt and I always need dirt.

If it's breaking down into dirt then it's composting. :D

Why would you need to keep it moist..? Dry is what you want as do your chicks.. all puns aside

Moisture is the difference between Deep Bedding, which is what my article will be about, and Deep Litter, which is an actively composting system.

I'm not sure I understand why deep litter on a non-dirt floor wouldn't compost. I'm pretty sure as long as the pile is deep enough and the weather is warm enough, it will compost.

The composting organisms require moisture. If you've got Deep Bedding, which is a dry system, there will be no composting happening because bone-dry conditions do not support bacterial action -- either the good bacteria that create compost or the bad bacteria which cause illness.

I do have one question though: does anyone else get a lot of dust with this process? Whenever my hens scratch in the run big dust clouds poof right up. That would probably be my ONLY con.

I do not have that problem. I do make a point of buying large-flake shavings for in my coop.

Any dust in my run comes from the nature of the ground -- they don't call this region "The Sandhills" for nothing!

And what isn't sand is clay.


In the Brooder
Nov 14, 2019
This is my first winter with hens. Hen house is 8x9 with double doors. I left 1 & 1/2 bales of straw in the corner when the weather got cold. They worked for days! Straw is deep enough a couple of the girls made a new nest. I add pine needles and a little hay on occasion. Happy hens! I leave the door cracked the width of a brick so they can get in or out. Eggs every day!


Oct 20, 2020
LOL whatevs. So many things wrong with this post I am not even going to waste my time with it. You sound half drunk or something. Have fun in that competition by yourself macho man! :smack
Half drunk!? You underestimate me.. There is nothing wrong with my post and I quote. "Everyone's opinion that keeps birds is valid." Your words.. I don't want to fight with you.. If I did, I'd marry you. Macho, macho man I gotta be a macho man.. Village People.. They were exuberantly happy, I might add. Some of my best friends were enemies.. You could be one of them.. Let us be friends and keep your opinion.. I can deal with it, if you can deal with me. Good luck on the later.. but I will do my best.


Oct 20, 2020
OMG! Thought you were a lady.. Used to attend when was a child. Road a city bus all by myself at 8 years old for swimming lessons.. Things I saw.. Congrats, some of my dearest friends were on fire.. I worked in the service industry,, Hotel/Motel.. Have no issues... Best wishes my friend. Rooster.


Jul 18, 2017
East Coast of Australia
I live in a warm climate and have open air coops with only 3 walls and a roof for wind/rain protection. The walls start 1m off the ground and it's just weld-mesh below that to keep out foxes/dogs.

This means that there's constant airflow where any droppings land. I use deep litter and just add whatever organic bedding material I clean up around my property (grass, leaves) and occasionally add some fresh wood chip on top.

About once a quarter we'll get 200mm or more of rain over the course of a few days which washes most of the bedding away, and I top it up and continue. I've not had to clean the coop floor...ever?

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