Chicken Coop Deep Litter Method: Maintaining A Healthy Coop

Chicken coop deep litter method nurtures healthy microbes and creates a little heat

The deep litter method nurtures healthy microbes and creates a little heat. When it gets bitter cold outside, I don’t really want to keep cleaning out the chicken coop all the time. 

The deep litter method uses a deep layer of wood chips to compost and break down chicken poop. In my chicken coop, I have a 12 inch layer of wood chips on the floor of the coop.

The wood chips absorb the moisture from chicken waste and keep it from smelling. The deeper layer of the wood chips breaks down into compost and nurtures healthy microbes.

The healthy microbes maintain coop health and help to kill and keep dangerous microbes at bay.

The deep litter method allows chickens to feel warmth during winter even without electricity. The best way to use the deep litter method is to add a thick layer of wood chips in the summer or spring. All summer, the wood chips can start to break down. By fall, you will have a healthy environment of microbes in the coop.

You must start the deep litter method in the spring. If you start it during the winter- it won’t work and can cause issues for your chickens.

Plus, don’t ever use cedar wood chips. The scent and oils from the cedar are bad for your chickens and will harm them. Don’t use straw or hay in this method.  Stray doesn’t absorb moisture very well and easily molds. This provides a huge risk to your chicken’s respiratory health.

Even when using the deep litter method, you will need to add more layers to your coop throughout the winter to keep the wood absorbing the moisture from your chicken’s droppings.

Annemaria Duran

Hi, I’m Annemaria Duran. I moved out to the country 6 years ago, mainly so I could have more land. I love all aspects of country living. First, we got chickens, then ducks. Now we have sheep, goats, and rabbits. I'm always learning and love sharing it!

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