Keep your chicken coop smelling clean and fresh

Use the deep bed method

You are now ready for your new flock of laying hens . But what do you use for the garbage on the floor of the chicken coop ? Pine shavings, hay, straw or what? How often do you have to clean it? How can you keep it from getting stinky?

The deep litter method is a sustainable method of handling chicken litter in the hen house that many small farmers use. In the deep litter method, you are basically composting a hen’s poop right on the coop floor.

Like a compost pile, you start with a layer of pine shavings or other organic matter in the “browns” category. High nitrogen chicken poop is the “green” one.

Just add enough chips to keep the floor composting nicely, and the chickens do the aeration for you with their scratching behavior. Scattering the corn on the cooperative floor encourages them. The litter has beneficial microbes, think of it as probiotics for your chickens.

Once or twice a year or less, clean the cooperative. The resulting material can be used primarily as compost, although if you notice some spots that are cooler than others, you can toss it in the compost bin for a while.

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The benefits of the deep litter method are:

  • It doesn’t take long to manage.
  • You end up with compost.
  • Birds get to scratch through microbes and the beneficial culture of live compost litter material, which is good for them.
  • It does not smell.
  • It is safe and the birds stay healthy.

What do you use on the floor of the cooperative?

For the deep litter method, pine shavings seem to work well and are purchased free of charge at your local bale food store. If you have a very small co-op and limited storage, you can buy smaller bags at pet stores or you can directly avail discounts purchasing it with Amazon promo codes. Make sure you don’t get any cedar shavings, which can be toxic to chickens.

Some small farmers prefer to use straw or hay in the cooperative for garbage. I like to use hay or straw in the nests, but on the floor it seems to attract and hold too much moisture. Others accept that, depending on their individual conditions, the hay or straw may be too wet in the cooperative.

Is this method right for you?

The deep litter method is a sustainable and easy to maintain system that works well for flocks with a dirt floor. If you have a wood or other flooring, you can still do a variation of the deep litter method, but you will need to compost the litter when you clean it before use because the soil supplies the moisture and culture to start composting. process.

If you live in an urban or suburban area or have a very small area for your chickens and a small flock, you can simply clean the litter down to the ground and do it frequently (anywhere from weekly to monthly depending on your personal situation)) This way, you won’t have to deal with a large amount of junk to get rid of at once. You can add trash and stern to your compost bin.


Selena is a blogger and a guest contributor for a well-known brand that includes MESHEBLE , Saveucoupon & INTHEMARKET. In her leisure time, she plays tennis.

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