5 tips to a good deep litter system
• The mixture needs to be turned frequently to prevent the surface from forming a caked layer that stops the composting process. You can encourage your flock to do this by scattering a grain feed around it each day so they scratch at it.
• You will get a build-up of droppings under perches. This needs to be raked out over the entire floor. A few seconds of raking each morning is the easiest way to manage it.
• You need to keep the floor dry. Prevent rain from blowing into the coop, with a porch over the door, or by hanging strips of cloth or plastic. Ensure drinkers are spill-proof or placed away from the litter area.
• Keep a deeper layer of at least 15cm around any entry point to help absorb higher moisture levels. You may need to put in a 15cm-high ‘lip’ at the bottom of a door (lay a piece of wood across it) to stop litter from falling out or being spread around too thinly.
• Add, fresh, dry litter regularly; when you clean out nest boxes, add the nest material to the floor litter.
A well-managed deep litter floor can stay in place for up to a year with no smell. When dug out, litter can be added directly to the top of garden soil, spread over pasture or used around orchard trees.