This is one of the best explanations I've found on the deep litter method of keeping chickens. Gardeners are often warned to not put fresh chicken manure in their garden because the nitrogen is way too high. Add to that the warning of not putting freshly cut mulch around their plants because it will "burn" them. In the decomposition process the mulch robs the soil of any nitrogen and causes the plants to whither and die.
Chicken manure and wood chips seems like a natural pair for making compost. I personally clean out my chicken coop about once per month and rake all of it out to the chicken yard to break down further. I replace the wood chips/shredded paper in the coop and it keeps it fairly clean for laying.
Since we're in an area that has two short vegetable growing seasons (Spring & Fall) I am beginning to prepare the area for Spring of next year with the chicken manure compost. I am currently spreading rabbit manure in my Fall 2010 vegetable garden. The good part about using rabbit manure is that it can be applied fairly fresh and not cause problems.
Building up my soil is continuing to be my biggest challenge here, especially with a limited budget and wanting such a large area developed quickly. I am seeing the benefits on many of my regular landscaping beds as they mature. Organic matter, beneficial insects and micro-organisms take time to build up and balance out. Every time I see new life in my garden I know I'm just one step closer!