cleaning coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Roy Rooster, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Hi [​IMG]

    I am raising my first flock of chickens and need some
    answers to some basic questions.

    1.) I was wondering how often should I change the shaving
    in the coop?? I am currently using pine shavings.

    2.) How often do I need to deep clean the coop with bleach or other
    cleaning agents?

    3.) I have heard a lot about DE. What is that and how often should
    I use it.

    Any other information in regards to coop cleaning would be very
    helpful.

    Thanks [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of my coop if it will be helpful.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I have a setup very much like yours, and I use pine shavings, about 3-4" deep in the coop and the run. The run has a dirt base, which is good for the chicks, as they will
    keep it turned over by scratching, dirt baths, etc. and will negate any need to clean out on a regular basis. It would help if you could keep out direct rain from the shavings.
    I would take out some of the shavings in the coop (which looks too deep) and put more in the run.

    Cleaning out the coop seems to be a matter of personal choice. You just don't want it to get into the position of causing smell, disease, etc. Many clean it out monthly, others
    quarterly, and some annually, in spring. A scrape-out and scrub-down seems to be cleaning most use.

    There are lots of information on this forum about DE. I don't use it because there are some negatives and the product is not easy to find. It keeps down worms and parasites
    is the main benefit. Do a search here and you can find out everything you need to know.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=193291
     
  3. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Joliet, IL
    Lovely Coop!

    1.) I was wondering how often should I change the shaving
    in the coop?? I am currently using pine shavings.


    Clean it out when it's dirty. This can be every day or once every 10 days. If you wouldn't want to go in there and sit down on the ground, it's too dirty.

    2.) How often do I need to deep clean the coop with bleach or other
    cleaning agents?


    Never let it get smelly. If there is an ammonia smell or poopy smell after you take out the shavings, it's time for a deep cleaning.

    3.) I have heard a lot about DE. What is that and how often should
    I use it.


    Diatomatious earth is essentially the prehistoric skeletons of sea creatures. There is regular and food grade. I works by microsopically scratching insects and dehydrating them. It won't hurt your skin but you don't want to breathe it into your soft lungs. Sprinkle FOOD GRADE Diatomatious Earth in the litter and onto the walls each cleaning. Mix a little in their food too. It's great for when a mudwasp decides to build a nest in there, just throw it by the handful at the nest, coating the area, and they will abandon it never to return.

    Your question was gerneral and so my answers were also. Each situation is different depending on heat, humidity, number and size of birds, thier feed and treats and access to free ranging. If you follow your common sense, it's pretty easy to get a schedule made out for you distict situation. There is 1 thing you did not ask about and it is a must: Clean, plentiful water at all times. Don't just refill that container, wash it out and disinfect once a week.

    Have a great time! It's not a lot of work when you're surrounded by loving trusting creatures to whom you are their world. [​IMG]
    Denise
    Paradise Found
     
  4. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Thank you so much for the information. [​IMG]

    Your replies were very helpful. I will call some
    of the farm suppliers around here and see
    if I can get some DE.

    I do not want to use many chemicals so the DE
    sounds like a good route for me.

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  5. princessbroc

    princessbroc Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    Colorado
    Great info!! Thanks!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    How often to clean is a very individual thing. Depends on your setup, number of birds, area, personal preferences, etc. Do what seems sensible.

    Bleaching is never actually *needed* unless you've had some sort of disease go thru. If you want to do a serious cleaning, scrubbing with warm possibly-soapy water works fine.

    You don't need to use DE at all. If you are interested in the subject, read up on it, there are a number of massive threads on it here [​IMG]

    Good lcuk, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

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    Joliet, IL
    Quote:Make sure it's FOOD GRADE DE. I've never been able to find or order it in around where I live. I have to get it from the internet.l Regular DE will be white. Food grade will be buff colored.
    Regular DE will be harmful to you and your birds.
    Denise
    Paradise Found
     
  8. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    These were great questions! Thanks for asking them since I had the same ones. [​IMG]
     
  9. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

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    Joliet, IL
    Quote:[​IMG] Where all your questions will be answered in different ways! (Usually they are all right)
     
  10. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very nice little set up you have.

    As Pat stated, clean up is dictated by the number of birds as well as how long they are cooped daily and your standards of coop hygine.

    I use sand in my big coop so I don't generate so much waste and have to pay $22 a bale for chips plus after scooping out the poo I can wash the rest down thru the sand and into the ground. Some folks prefer chips because they want it for their compost or in the case of my wood floor tractor, it adds too much weight. You can't sift poo out of chips, like sand, so you have to do a complete changeout when it gets dirty, wet, or too much uric acid build up (ammonia). If you do use chips, a shop vac speeds cleanup it nicely.

    Poo boards will save you a lot of cleaning and litter as chickens poo the most at night while asleep on their roost so you will simply have a little on the floor and the laying boxes to deal with. Hint: a removable plastic wash tub or litter box liner inside the laying boxes make cleaning them very easy.

    Whatever you use for litter, suggest you paint the floor or cover with vinyl so the wood does not absorb the moisture and poo and stink no matter what. If moisture is a issue in the coop, I've been told StallDry for horses is wonderful stuff.

    I do a scrape down & bleach water scrub down of my coops every fall after butchering (leaving the doors open & letting the cold kill any remaining gerbies) because I don't know what will be in which stall in the spring (ducks, chickens, turkeys)
     

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