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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.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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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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