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1. The microbiological composition of litter (straw and wood shavings) was sampled, prior to placing 1-d-old chicks, during housing of the birds and after depopulation. Two independent trials were conducted. 2. The total aerobic plate count (APC) was determined and the predominant microflora of the samples was identified using flow charts. 3. Before chick placement, the APC of wood shavings (about 4.0 log/g) was lower than the APC of straw (about log 7.5/g). With stocking, in both types of litter the APC increased to about log 9.76/g straw-litter and log 9.89/g wood shavings, respectively. After depopulation, the APC remained high (> log 9 in both types of litter) within the period of observation. 4. From both experiments, 1981 isolates were collected and identified, most of them were Gram-positive. During stocking the birds, the number of Gram-positive isolates (in particular Gram-positive irregular rods and Micrococcaceae) increased; after depopulation it stayed at that high value, whereas the number of Gram-negative isolates remained low. In both types of litter the isolates were obtained in a comparable proportion.