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Cleaning the hen house? How often?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have a 4 X 5 hen house and wondered how often I should clean it to avoid heavy smell and prevent sickness in my birds? I have six chickens.

Thanks.
J.

New to backyard chicken farming . We have 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes & 2 Easter Eggers. I have a 3-1/2 year old daughter who is in love with these fine feathered creatures, a husband who is tolerating the idea and me who thinks this is a lot of fun.
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New to backyard chicken farming . We have 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes & 2 Easter Eggers. I have a 3-1/2 year old daughter who is in love with these fine feathered creatures, a husband who is tolerating the idea and me who thinks this is a lot of fun.
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post #2 of 26

People clean their coops anywhere from weekly to once or twice a year.   Depends what litter you are using and whether you are using any version of the deep litter method.

The FAQ page might help you sort this out.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

What is the best litter to use? I have been using pine shavings. If so, how often do I change that? To prevent high stink how often do I change the litter?

I figured to prevent illness I would need to do it every week. When they were in the house, I was doing it every other day in the brooder.

J.

New to backyard chicken farming . We have 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes & 2 Easter Eggers. I have a 3-1/2 year old daughter who is in love with these fine feathered creatures, a husband who is tolerating the idea and me who thinks this is a lot of fun.
Reply
New to backyard chicken farming . We have 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes & 2 Easter Eggers. I have a 3-1/2 year old daughter who is in love with these fine feathered creatures, a husband who is tolerating the idea and me who thinks this is a lot of fun.
Reply
post #4 of 26

I want to use my chicken's manure for my vegetable garden fertilizer - how do i prepare it before adding it to my garden's soil?
Anybody familiar with this??

post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mottyh 

I want to use my chicken's manure for my vegetable garden fertilizer - how do i prepare it before adding it to my garden's soil?
Anybody familiar with this??


Big, ugly compost pile!  Toss in some weeds and plant trimmings and you got a cocktail that your garden will love.  Make sure it sits until it's no longer recognizable as its former components.  You will need to turn it periodically.  Some folks go a  year, some less.  I find that all that poo really speeds the composting process along.

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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post #6 of 26

I clean my same sized coop with 6 chickens every week.  I don't do the deep litter method, just because I don't quite understand it.  I use straw as bedding and they love it.  I'm sure your shavings are good, also.

I can't stand the wiff I get every time I open the door to let them out, so....weekly cleaning it is for my girls.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyweck 

I clean my same sized coop with 6 chickens every week.  I don't do the deep litter method, just because I don't quite understand it.  I use straw as bedding and they love it.  I'm sure your shavings are good, also.

I can't stand the wiff I get every time I open the door to let them out, so....weekly cleaning it is for my girls.


About the same here.   Unofficial gauge?  When I walk in the coop and it sticks to my shoes its time to clean.

I've been doing this TOO long!
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I've been doing this TOO long!
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post #8 of 26

my coop is 10x16 I do the deep litter method with 2 bags of pine shavings. I have linoleum floors and I scrape the floor and clean out as much poo once a week. Then take out all shavings and replace once a month. I have 24 chickens and find the floor stays cleaner and dryer with the deep litter. I live in KY were the rate for Histoplasmosis is high so I strive to keep the poo dry and out as much as possible. That is why I also let them free range lots too so there is no build up of poo in one spot.

edited for spelling


Edited by Ol'FashionHen - 5/7/09 at 11:06am
Happily married God fearing mother who loves to laugh, cook/bake,collect recipes, can, sew, listen to bluegrass, garden, and last but certainly not least raise chickens.
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Happily married God fearing mother who loves to laugh, cook/bake,collect recipes, can, sew, listen to bluegrass, garden, and last but certainly not least raise chickens.
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post #9 of 26

Myyy coop is about 17x13 and I've cleaned it so far since October when the girls first went into it probably 6 times (going on 7 this coming weekend cause its getting stinky). We have the front window open 24/7 and it hardly ever smells except in the winter when I have to close it during cold cold cold temps. Occasionally I pick out the bedding like you would with a horse stall, usually around the waterer and roosts. I have 15 chickens.

Lupin Farm [Labradoodles] + A Pretty Little Wilderness
Small Hobby Farm + Miniature Labradoodles
www.lupinfarm.com
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Lupin Farm [Labradoodles] + A Pretty Little Wilderness
Small Hobby Farm + Miniature Labradoodles
www.lupinfarm.com
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post #10 of 26

I have a 6x9 (apprx - I should really measure it one of these days!) coop for my three ladies and I use the deep litter method where I start with 2 inches of hay and pine shavings and a dusting of DE (mix it up a little) and then every two weeks I add a dusting of pine shavings and DE (mix it up). The DE helps desiccate the poop and the vermin that try an get in.
I have no smell and I find the poop just gets covered up when they scratch around for corn and oats that I throw in there. Y'know - nature's mixer? Chicken feet!
Also - I am going to only clean my coop once a year in the Spring - b/c the thinking is that the litter method builds up, the bedding on the bottom starts heating up as it decomposes - thus heating the coop, and creating an already started *hot* compost that you can add to your compost pile in the spring for it to heat up during the summer - great compost by fall when your beds need it.
So far so good. No smell and chickens are healthy. *knock wood*! Oh, yeah - and I started with a dirt and pea gravel floor.

5 Egg Laying Ladies and a yard full of Meaties getting ready to slaughter. Yum.

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5 Egg Laying Ladies and a yard full of Meaties getting ready to slaughter. Yum.

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