Coop Bedding, bugs, wood shavings?

Feather Fluff

Jan 1, 2021
The Facts
Coop Dimensions
: 16 sq.ft.
Bedding: wood shavings from pet store on top of laminate flooring
Nesting boxes: 2 plastic bins with bermuda hay
Problems: bugs, stench, and GROSSness

  • How often should I change the bedding?
  • How often should I clean the coop floor and with what cleaning products?
Background Info and me griping
New to Chickens and coops and I would appreciate any help. We have 6 silkies 5 months old that free range and go into a 36 square foot run with a 16 square foot coop for the nighttime. The coop is really about 12 square feet with 2 shelves that they use making it about 16 square feet of living space. There was an air conditioner that I just removed today that may be responsible for the dusty environment. The AC was necessary since it gets up to 120F here in the desert. Now, it is under 100F and they have plenty of grass and shaded areas with ice water.

The coop hasn't been cleaned in about 8 weeks because I failed my chickens horribly. I had no clue that it could get so raunchy but this is my first enclosed coop. I cleaned out all the wood shavings today and bleached the laminate floorings and am airing it out now after it has been rinsed. This was not ideal but considering how dirty it was I wanted to really clean it before placing more wood shavings in. How often and how should I clean the coop so that the process is simple and keeps everyone healthy? I was thinking every 2-4 weeks since they aren't in there too much but what would you reccommend?


13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC.

Do you have photos of your setup? Inside, outside, and overall.

I'm personally a great fan of Deep Bedding for the coop -- here's an article I wrote on it:

If your coop was closed up enough to use an AC unit I strongly suspect that it is SEVERELY lacking in ventilation. Plenty of fresh air is one of the keys to good health for our birds because they have delicate respiratory systems. Those of us in hot climates (you can add your general location to your profile to help us give better advice), often find that the minimum recommendation of 1 square foot of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation per adult, standard-sized hen is insufficient. I myself built a 4-8 outdoor brooder with 16 square feet of permanent ventilation and 10 square feet of supplemental ventilation and still had to add a shade structure to keep the temperature acceptable. :)

Additionally, the more birds you have in a given space the harder it will be to keep clean.

Here are the target numbers for a 6-bird flock:
  • 24 square feet in the coop.
  • 6 feet of roost
  • 60 square feet in the run. 6'x10' or 8'x8'.
  • 6 square feet of ventilation.
  • 2 nest boxes, to give the hens a choice.
Granted, Silkies are on the small side so you *might* be able to short some of these numbers, but it makes a great starting point.

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