cleaning & bedding - how much/how often?


5 Years
Sep 6, 2014
How much and how often should the coop be cleaned. I know it will vary depending on the size of the coop and number of birds.. But is there some kind of bird per sq ft formula for determining how much pine shavings one should be using? And how much is everyone spending on pine??

Reasons for asking.. My husband isn't quite the crazy chicken lover as I.. And he doesn't always take my word for how things should be done... He likes cost effective.. Which is smart.. But I would like to compare how everyone else goes about caring for and cleaning up after their flock, and what that's costing you..



12 Years
Mar 15, 2010
On the MN prairie.
This is one of those things that doesn't really have a cut and dried answer. Some people on here clean or sift out their coops every day, replacing wood chips for bedding, or whatever else they use. Or they use sand in their coops and just scoop out the poop like you would a litter box. Others use the deep litter method (DLM) and maybe clean out their coops once a year. It seems to me that the "daily cleaners" are more likely to have the little doll house coops and therefore need to clean more often, while the DLMers have more shed-type coops. And there are those who fall in between those two ends of the spectrum, of course. It's a flock management decision that ever flock keeper needs to make. I am a DLM person. We farm, grow our own wheat and bale our straw, so that's what I use in my coop - pretty cost effective for me.


Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
Southern Oregon
I'm a bad one to ask. My coop was last thoroughly cleaned spring 14, and won't be again until sometime this summer. I do deep litter and Honey has added shavings while I'm gone, but I don't feel right asking him to do a deep cleaning.

As for buying shavings, always buy from a farm/ranch store, never a pet store. A big bale, I think it's 11 cubic feet compressed, is only $10. For a smaller coop that utilizes more shavings, one bale can last a few cleanings.


Apr 27, 2015
Kingsland, Texas
I am pretty new to this. We typically use hay and will throw a bit of new hay under the roost once or twice a week. I only pull out and sweep every few weeks. I am trying wood shavings this week to see if it helps my allergies.
We get a pack of fine chips at Tractor Supply for about $6.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Utilizing poop boards under the roosting perches saves a ton on bedding. Most of the poop falls on the boards. The boards get scraped and washed down each morning. Hardly any of the poop gets on the rest of the bedding, be it straw or wood shavings, and so it only needs replacing once every few years.

And the coop stays quite clean and odor-free. The cost is minimal, just soap, water, and a little time and energy.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I use a roost/poop board too, with sand and PDZ (3or4:1), sift the poops out for composting every 2-3 days.
Pine shavings about 2-3" deep on the floor, stirred up often, added to occasionally and only totally changed out twice a year then composted.

The PDZ keep the ammonia odor down, along with great ventilation.
The shavings keep things dry on the floor.
Dry equals low stink...wet equals high stink.
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5 Years
Oct 30, 2014
Mostly various on your conditions, I rake the bedding and apply a fresh top every couple of weeks. Mostly following the deep litter method. No odor or fly/bug issues so far!

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