1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Coop and run cleaning

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jsevcheck, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. jsevcheck

    jsevcheck In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2015
    Southeast PA
    Hello everyone, I have 4 hens, they are in a fully enclosed run ~45sqft, and 16sqft coop. I use pine shavings in the coop and sand in the run. How often should I be cleaning each? I'm imagining scooping dropping out of the run and adding sand as necessary, and maybe cleaning out droppings in the coop every 3-4 days, and adding more pine shavings to replace. Not sure if I should do deep litter method with just 4 hens. I am a newbie so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


  2. WCHomestead

    WCHomestead In the Brooder

    Sep 23, 2014
    East Tennessee
    Hi! hope you are enjoying the fun times with chickens like I am!
    We currently have 29 chickens (we had 31 until a couple of weeks ago) in a 4x8 coop and two runs, one is 16x16 and one is 16x18. We have pine shavings in the coop and dirt and straw in the runs. We only cleaned out the one run that was horrible when the ice and snow melted and that was the first time we have "mucked" it or raked it out since we built it last summer. We put all the stuff in the compost pile for later use in the garden. The only reason we cleaned it though was because it started smelling and was just too wet and muddy due to all the weather we had. I don't know anything about sand in the run, though. I put some in one run a couple of weeks ago hoping they would use it as a bath, but they ended up eating it! As for the coop, we do a deep litter method and clean it out every quarter or so. I wanted the whole operation to be convenient. I don't scoop poop at all.
    Hope this helps!
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's all dependent on what your sensibilities can take. Do you have a high tolerance for chicken poop? Or not. Most of us fall somewhere on the spectrum of never clean to clean every turd the minute a chicken deposits it. (I'm at the latter end.)

    So, if you want to keep ahead of the poop buildup, and most of it is at night, try to set up your coop and run to make it easiest to do, such as utilizing poop boards under the perches in the coop, and sand in the run for easy scooping.

    If you don't mind knowing there's months worth of poop building up in the coop, then use the deep litter method and clean it out once or twice a year.

    As for me, the best thing I ever learned about on BYC was poop boards!
  4. jsevcheck

    jsevcheck In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2015
    Southeast PA
    Thank you for the responses! I'll probably do a combination of both deep litter and scooping in the coop, and I'll scoop the run every couple of weeks and drop new sand. The sand seems to be doing a good job of drying up the droppings.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by