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!
- The Healthy Garden Composting made easy and clean and not smelly (theinsider.retailmenot.com)
- Composting Chickens! (ashevillesoul.com)
- Making Your Own Compost (reubenshome.wordpress.com)