While gathering the flock into the coop tonight I pondered on if I was doing the right thing by using the DLM or Deep Litter Method to control the mounting pile of poop in the chicken coop. Yep!
The Deep Litter Method is not only a good way to keep the chicken coop smelling (fairly) sweet, it also gives you a head start on your garden compost pile. You’ll have plenty of partially decayed, nitrogen rich compost for your veggies and flowers in the spring by following the directions I’m about to give you.
Less stink inside the hen house. (and that’s a good thing.)
You only have to clean out the chicken coop once or twice a year.
The litter creates warmth for the birds during the winter as it composts in the coop.
I like using the DLM for several reasons. It only takes me about 10 minutes each day to do chicken coop duty.
The daily coop cleaning duty consists of scraping all poop off the top of nest boxes and roosts, sprinkling new litter on the coop floor as required, filling feeders and changing out water. All the while being cautious of stepping in a fresh little pile of chicken poop in the aisle and landing on your keester. Every day is full of fun here.
What I don’t like so much is the coop spring and fall cleaning. It’s not fast, easy or fun. It’ll take several hours to clean the coop, which involves shoveling out about two feet of poop encrusted litter.
But… with each scoop full of poop, I reminded myself that this one day of pain makes the daily coop poop management more tolerable the other 364 days of the year. And you’ll be amazed to see that once all the litter is removed, the floor beneath it is perfectly dry and clean.
You’ll end up with a mountain of poop and litter to compost down. If you add water or Chicken Poop Tea to the pile it will start smoking in no time. For the next several months you can also add straw, grass cuttings, kitchen scraps, more chicken poop and water to this pile, and next spring you’ll have a beautiful pile of compost for your garden.
Chicken Poop Tea will really help keep the compost pile hot. To make the tea, just fill a couple of buckets half full of water and then add in the poop you scoop each day until the buckets are full. You can stir them frequently, while holding your nose, and make sure to keep the buckets covered with a loosely fitting lid.
Chicken poop is extremely strong and will kill plants if applied directly to them without allowing the poop to age and compost.
If you can recognized the shape of the poop, it’s probably too “hot” to apply to plants. Allow the chicken poop pile to break down completely and NEVER apply Chicken Poop Tea directly on plants or the ground where they are planted. It’s just too strong, but it works great to speed composting in compost piles.
Hope you enjoyed learning the basics of coop poop management with the Deep Litter Method. Please comment below and share your ideas.