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Is the dust dangerous to breathe when cleaning coop?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I searched this subject first and didn't see anything.  Is it harmful for us to breathe the dust emitted by their droppings when we sweep out their coop?  I just worry because my little ones are around the area also when we clean.  It's sort of a family affair that we all do together.  Yes I will admit, my paranoia prompted this post because I just saw Dr. G and they were talking about rat droppings that dried up and were swept up in the air and breathed in, causing a horrible disease called hantavirus and there is no cure, and you will most likely die if exposed to this.

We don't wear masks or anything.  Should we?  And does anyone else have concerns on the subject?

Thanks!

Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
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Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
post #2 of 27

YES! Invest in a high-quality dusk mask and wear them any time you're cleaning...I think mine was around $25 or so and make sure it's one for fine particles...also, leave the windows/doors open when you clean and run a fan if you have power out there...

Rare Feathers Farm is located just outside of Okanogan, Washington. We specialize in rare and critically endangered poultry.
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Rare Feathers Farm is located just outside of Okanogan, Washington. We specialize in rare and critically endangered poultry.
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post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks RFF.  I am really worried because we never really have taken precautions before.  I know the chickens don't carry the virus I am worried about, but I guess it should have been common sense to do this prior.  We are always out in the open air as the two coops are tiny but there still is a certain amount of dust (including from their wood chips, poop, and maybe food)

Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
post #4 of 27

Ive cleaned out coops without masks....lazy me! tongue However there isn't much in there to clean since most of the droppings are outside in run. The sawdust seems to help it along.

Above all, do wear your masks or a bandana if you do not have a mask. Its better than being "naked".


Edited by EweSheep - 10/23/10 at 6:19pm

BYC Member since 4/11/2002 Welsummers and Champagne d'Argents

                                     WCNA & ASCA Member

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BYC Member since 4/11/2002 Welsummers and Champagne d'Argents

                                     WCNA & ASCA Member

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post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yeah the coops are very small--one is an old playhouse and the other holds just 3.  Alot of stuff accumulates in there for sure.  I will get some little masks or use a bandana...thanks!

Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicksrcool 

Yeah the coops are very small--one is an old playhouse and the other holds just 3.  Alot of stuff accumulates in there for sure.  I will get some little masks or use a bandana...thanks!


If there is a lot of dust you might want to reevaluate your ventilation, too...

Rare Feathers Farm is located just outside of Okanogan, Washington. We specialize in rare and critically endangered poultry.
Reply
Rare Feathers Farm is located just outside of Okanogan, Washington. We specialize in rare and critically endangered poultry.
Reply
post #7 of 27

The GOOD masks are NIOSH approved in the US. You can still use the disposable masks, as long as they have a NIOSH rating, preferably N95 or higher. It's just harder to get a good seal around the face with a filtering facepiece than with a cartridge type respirator. Sorry, a sleeve to your face or bandana doesn't do anything. (If you don't get a seal, the air leaks and the mask doesn't work- you just wasted your money.)  hmm  Masks also come in different sizes. (S, M, L)

If you want do make sure you're being the safest you can (and with some individuals that have health issues this is VERY important!) go to a safety supply store to check out the different types of masks they have in stock.

You should also check out gloves and boots too if you don't already have those. wink


Edited by birdsNbeesNseeds - 10/23/10 at 6:30pm
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Please leave a message at the beep.
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post #8 of 27

I have asthma so I always always always wear a respirator. I happened to have the kind of respirator you would use to apply pesticides with, because I needed it for a few other things. It fits well and works great, my asthma actually improves when I clean the coop while wearing it, because the air I'm breathing is so well filtered.

post #9 of 27

As a respiratory nurse I will say without fail that dust from a chicken coop is EXTREMELY dangerous to be inhaled. Then you combine the natural ammonia, etc, with things you may add like DE, sevin dust or PDZ and you only compound it! Yes a N-95 respirator is the key and you do need a good seal as was stated, otherwise, you're defeating the whole purpose. I watch my clients everyday and it reminds me to wear my mask in the coops hmm

AUCTIONS UP RIGHT NOW- 6+ BLRW test eggs
I am NOT a hamster... and life is NOT a wheel.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum....
I bought the farm...
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AUCTIONS UP RIGHT NOW- 6+ BLRW test eggs
I am NOT a hamster... and life is NOT a wheel.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum....
I bought the farm...
Reply
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks All!  I really feel I've been a little careless or is it carefree (not sure which).  Nearly all my shoes have chicken poop on them too!  I am really a sanitary person but I guess you just get lazy.  And they free range a lot so we are always stepping in doodoo.  We don't have much land, just our tiny suburban backyard.  But I could really use some rubber boots, gloves, and the mask for sure.

Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
Chicken Mama to 2 RIR's named "Lipstick" & "Puffin" and 1 GLW named "Mystery"
(born in July 2009) Have you hugged your chickens today?
New additions November 11, 2009 Ameraucanas: "Peanut", "Blondie", and "Spunky".
Reply
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