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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by norbert, Dec 12, 2012.
My chicken coop smells really bad. Is there anything to clean it with that is safe for my chickens?
Are you able to let the chickens out while you clean it and it dries out? A strong scrub brush and soap and water works fine and doesn't hurt the chickens at all.
When I do a big coop cleaning, I let the chickens out to forage to make it easier. I usually scoop out all the bedding and transfer it to the compost. Scrub with soapy water. Rinse. Scrub with a diluted bleach solution. Rinse. Then I let it dry out for a few hours. Replace the bedding and then put the chickens back in.
The only time bleach is a problem is if you have wet poop still releasing ammonia. You don't want to mix ammonia and bleach. You could substitute hydrogen peroxiode for the bleach.
If you aren't already, using a droppings board under the roost and cleaning it off daily really helps keep smells down. Good ventilation and dry bedding are important to keep things smelling fresh, too.
I'm glad you posted this! I've been wondering how good of a job I do when I clean out the coop. I do have a question though, would vinegar and water be an okay cleaner to spray with? We do our best to avoid cleaners in the house, so I usually use some combination of vinegar, lemon juice, and water.
Yes, vinegar would be fine as another substitute for bleach for a general cleaning. I use it a lot in our house as well.
I'll try that. Thanks!
I make a coop cleaner that is orange peels,lime peels,lemon peels,WHITE VINEGAR,and Cinnamon sticks put it all in a Mason jar and shake once a day for a month! or if I get impatient I just use white vinegar in a spray bottle! works great!!!!
Not enough ventilation in your coop?
You need good ventilation up high. Ammonia is lighter than air and will rise to the top. It needs a way to get out of the coop that is over their heads when they sleep. You may also need to clean out the poop. It may be building up too thick. Ammonia is created from their poop.
Most coops smell because they are too wet. In rainy weather that can be hard to overcome. You are likely to get a whiff of wet chicken or the poop in there can start to smell a bit, but if the coop is basically dry, it should not be overpowering. A lot of moisture in the air can cause some smell.
If your coop is too wet, the smell can get really strong. That can also be unhealthy for them. If your coop is wet, you need to figure out how to get it dry and keep it dry. That may mean fixing leaks, putting something over windows or vents to stop rain from blowing in, or if it is on the ground level, stop water from running in there. If your coop is really well ventilated a bit of rain blowng in through a vent is not a big deal, but a lot of rain coming in where the bedding becomes wet is a huge deal.
Instead of treating a symptom, look for the cause, probably either poop buildup or too much moisture. A droppings board is a great idea. Keeping it pretty dry and ventilated is essential.
Then there is the other side. If you feel it has to smell as clean and clear as the inside of your house, good luck with that. That is not a normal natural smell around chickens. I sure can't help you achieve that.