Cleaning a dirt floor coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smileygreen64, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. smileygreen64

    smileygreen64 Chirping

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    I am new to chickens, and my wife and I just bought a house with some room in the country and it had a coop there already. The coop is about 10x30 and has a dirt floor. Does anyone have any advice on cleaning a dirt floor coop? How often do you clean it? I have 12 bantams and six brahmas in there right now.
     

  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Free Ranging

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    My coop has a dirt floor. The dirt gets compacted from the chickens walking on it, so I can just take a hoe and easily scrape up the top layer of poop and put it in the compost pile. You can do it every day, every other day or once or twice a week, just don't go too long without cleaning it. The more often you clean it the easier it is to do.
     
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

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    Do have have any covering over the dirt? Like hay or pine shavings or anything? That is a really big space for just the coop. Congratulations! Personally, I wouldn't leave it just dirt. I would have some covering over it, at least under the roosts, that will help absorb some of the chicken waste. I use pine shavings from Tractor Supply. They cost about $5 per bag and help keep the smell down. Turn them over every few days and clean it all out a couple times a year.
    If you are set on just plain dirt, you are going to have to rake it out almost daily to keep the coop from smelling bad. At least that's my opinion.
     
  4. smileygreen64

    smileygreen64 Chirping

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    I have been using oak leaves as bedding. I have a tons of leaves. I have been adding a few buckets full when it gets looking thin and letting them scratch and spread it around. I couldn't find anything about cleaning a dirt floor coop and just wanted to make sure I wasn't messing up. Thanks for the advice.
     

  5. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

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    Leaves are good because they will break down faster and eventually make new dirt. Just clean it when the smell gets too bad.
     
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Songster

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    Lucky you with all those leaves, I have to buy shavings.
     
  7. I have 2 coops now. One is 10x20 (used to be 2 coops) & the other is 10x10. Both are dirt floors. I clean my coops once a year, in the Spring. I take everything out and put it all in the runs. I let that sit over the Summer, then put what I need on my garden. The only time you can smell chicken poo is when a chicken passed a fresh one.

    In my coops, I put leaves, pine straw and sometimes shavings. I use shavings for my nest boxes so when they need cleaning, I just dump the shavings out on the floor and add fresh. My chickens love to dig through the leaves. By doing so, they keep the litter all stirred up so it never smells.

    For the runs, I also put leaves, pine straw, garden waste & cut grass in them. Keeps the runs from getting nasty from the dirt, rain & poo.

    Go ahead and put several wheelbarrow full of leaves in the coop. Your chickens will enjoy it!

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    Autumnlee likes this.

  8. Autumnlee

    Autumnlee Hatching

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    Ok, I need help from my stupidity lol. I let my chicken run go way too long and I am struggling to get it clean with a bad back. Plus i cant stand up straight in it. Ive been using hay in both coop and run. Coop stays dry mostly but the run is open. Well,fenced. It gets bad wet in there and the 'dirt' has become six inches of poo and hay. 8-9 months worth. Any ideas for an easier way to clean this up while on my hands and knees covered in poo lol. Im sure its a funny sight as I get it in my hair and face as well. Theyve been digging it, but i need to get it cleaned. It rinks bad. Im worried for their health in this heat.
     
  9. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

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    I’ve been there! My old coop was hay in the run and even though it was covered, the rain would come in sideways and it got soaked. After a short time it just gets packed down in the mud and is impossible to get out unless you pry it lose with a pitchfork. Even if you are in good physical condition, this is a very difficult job.
    Seriously, my opinion would be contact a local church and see if their youth group needs to raise some money this summer. Get a few of the kids over to clean it out for you exchange for a monetary donation. We live in a small rural area and attend a little country church, but our youth group is always looking for ways to raise some extra money at this time of year.
     
    Autumnlee likes this.

  10. Autumnlee

    Autumnlee Hatching

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    Thank you
     

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