Black Gold!

This is why I love using the deep litter bedding system in my chicken roosts. I use sugar cane mulch as bedding under the perches where my hens sleep at night. This is then scattered with the chickens’ droppings as they sleep, adding nitrates and moisture to the carbons of the mulch. Of course, any good gardener knows, Carbons + Nitrates + Water = Compost!

This serves some valuable purposes. First of all, in winter, the heat generated as the materials break down, creates a lovely warm space for the sleeping birds. It also attracts natural predators that feed on fowl mites which can plague chickens in their roosting areas.

Then, when I change the bedding every six months, the beautiful, nutrient rich compost goes onto the vegetable patch to help build up the soil! Every body wins. Well, except the fowl mites. *g*

When changing the litter, I find it is useful to leave a small amount of the old litter and some of the beautiful compost behind to help the new system to get established quickly. In summer time, I tend to shake it all up a bit every couple of weeks so that it doesn’t get too warm for the girls!

This is such a marvelous system (and odour free!) that our local council has made it law to use deep litter bedding systems for odour control in fowl houses, but I was using it before that anyway. It’s just one more way to reduce, reuse and recycle and it keeps the chickens and the garden healthy!

Here is a photograph of the cleaned out roosting area with a new layer of mulch in it ready to start over.

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2 thoughts on “Black Gold!

  1. Very interesting. We had chickens before the fox took them but are planning on getting more in Spring ‘cos the weather isn’t great this Summer. The deep bed mulch is definitely something we will look into. When we go to buy our chickens we may give you a shout for some advice on what to look for in a good laying hen.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that your hens fell victim to a fox. We have been lucky here, so far and have never lost any hens to predators. A few roosters have ‘gone missing’ but I have a very good idea of where they are. 😉

      I’d be happy to help with some tips if I can.

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