Leaves as Chicken Coop Bedding

I want chickens, but not the work of chickens. Their bedding in the coop and run need to be cleaned out regularly. UNLESS! Unless, you do the deep litter method. I love the deep litter method. Basically, you start the bedding in the coop with 8-12 inches of straw, leaves, or probably other things but I recommend one of those two (I’ve heard hay can mold, so that’s concerning). You then turn that bedding every so often. I’ve turned mine every couple months, which probably isn’t enough but I only have five chickens. The bedding mixed with the chicken droppings should turn into a nice compost. In theory, that compost will heat up to keep my chickens warm through this cold, midwestern winter. I’ll let you know how that goes, this is my first winter with chickens.

As I’ve mentioned before, our city lots have 100+ trees on them. We get A LOT of leaves. I watched this great Ted Talk about using leaves as compost. All autumn, I’ve raked up the leaves and dumped them into the coop and run. The chickens love digging through the stuff and finding whatever bugs or whatnot that they can eat.

This will be my first time composting and, according to the video, leaves are great for composting. I’ve also read that chopped up leaves are better than just regular leaves, but I don’t have a machine to chop them up. I’m hoping the chickens scratching and picking at the leaves will break them down enough.

In the spring we should have a nice chunk of compost for our yard. Now what am I going to plant…

-Jimmy

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