Coop cleaning, how & how often?

Iluveggers

Free Ranging
Jun 27, 2021
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Hi! Just wondering how you clean your coop and how often.

How much pine shavings do you put down on the floor, do you have poop boards (looking to put some in but not everyone is roosting at night yet), what do you use to scoop the poop out (especially when it very much stuck on the floor), and how often do you replace? Do you empty out the whole thing or just clean off the top? I am cleaning out the whole thing each week, but I am wondering if there’s an easier way.

I don’t know how deep litter method will go in the winter as if it’s super cold I don’t want things to take too long to break down. It takes forever for my compost to break down so I am assuming it would turn into a stinky mess.

Would love to hear what works best for you! Thanks!
 

NatJ

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Mar 20, 2017
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Hi! Just wondering how you clean your coop and how often.

How often? When it seems to need it (appearance or smell.)
How? Scoop stuff out, add fresh litter.

How much pine shavings do you put down on the floor
I tend to start with wood chips or dead leaves, and add whatever else I have handy. It ends up being quite a mixture as time goes on. It's best if all of it stays in small, loose pieces instead of packing into a hard mat on the floor.

I use enough to cover the floor, and add more if it seems thin or I see bare patches.

do you have poop boards (looking to put some in but not everyone is roosting at night yet)
I have never used poop boards. I've had several different coops over the years, and I always let the poop fall down to mix with the litter.

I know some people like them, but I'm pretty sure I would not like to scoop it every day.

what do you use to scoop the poop out (especially when it very much stuck on the floor)
I've used whatever tool is handy, often a shovel or rake. A snow shovel works well on loose shavings (wide, flat blade lets you get a lot at once), and a pitchfork is good for matted piles of stuff (hay or straw are particularly prone to this).

If there's a little poop on the floor, I usually just leave it. If poop stuck on the floor builds up too deep, I may pick a nice summer day and use water to soak it off, but I would not bother to do that more than about once a year.

If poop stuck to the floor really bothers you, you might lay down a big piece of cardboard and put the litter on that (then change the cardboard as needed), or paint the floor with a glossy paint, or cover the floor with a sheet of vinyl flooring so the poop will come off more easily.

Just using deeper litter can be enough to mostly keep the poop from sticking to the floor.

how often do you replace? Do you empty out the whole thing or just clean off the top?
It depends on what it seems to need.

Sometimes I leave the old but add some new as well,
sometimes I remove part of the old (the dirtiest part or the easiest part to reach) and add some new,
sometimes I remove all of the old and put in new.

I am most likely to remove everything if I want to till it into the garden that day.

I don’t know how deep litter method will go in the winter as if it’s super cold I don’t want things to take too long to break down. It takes forever for my compost to break down so I am assuming it would turn into a stinky mess.
If it stays dry, it will not break down at any season, and it will probably not stink.

You can probably let it pile up all winter, and just add a bit more litter on occasion. Then clean it out into your compost pile and add water so it can start decomposing, or clean it out into the chicken run and leave it for them to scratch around.
 
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Happy hen lover

Crowing
Jan 14, 2021
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Hi! Just wondering how you clean your coop and how often.

Me
Once a week under roost bar.


do you have poop boards and how often do you replace? Do you empty out the whole thing or just clean off the top?

Me
I have a short sided box 3" tall by 12" x46" . Which just keeps it in place. I line with leftover feed bags, etc. cut to size . I then either pick up bags and toss poop coated bags or sprinkle shavings on bags with wood ash underneath . I clean once a week. ( I have to scrape poop off of roost rarely now that they're 1 year old. )


I am cleaning out the whole thing each week, but I am wondering if there’s an easier way.

Me
When they were little I used cat litter scoop to get bigger chunks out of litter that ran from 4- 10" deep. No smell to speak of . My coop is deep bedding method not deep litter. I clean it all once a year . I love this method as I can make deeper in winter to add insulation to coop. I either compost poop , garden, or toss. If bedding is dirty I just toss in " poop box" and remove then. It got down to 23 below temp with wind chill 50 below last winter and my coop is raised. Hope this helps
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
My Coop
What kind of bedding you use may depend on how you manage the manure.
This is about cleaning, but covers my big picture

-I use poop boards under roosts with thin(<1/2") layer of sand/PDZ mix, sifted daily(takes 5-10mins) into bucket going to friends compost.
-Scrape big or wet poops off roost and ramps as needed.
-Pine shavings on coop floor, add some occasionally, totally changed out once or twice a year, old shavings added to run.
- My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.
Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.
-Nests are bedded with straw, add some occasionally, change out if needed(broken egg).

There is no odor, unless a fresh cecal has been dropped and when I open the bucket to add more poop.
That's how I keep it 'clean', have not found any reason to clean 'deeper' in 8 years.
 
6

629522

Guest
I'm following because things have become less manageable as we add more birds. We have wood floors (storage building) and we put down cheap industrial carpet and then pine shavings. I just made poop hammocks on dowels using drop cloths and they are working but I underestimated volume so I need to adjust my methods. We clean out and replace once or twice a year, usually Spring and Fall. Recently ammonia was high so we put in a mixture of baking soda and flour. Helped immensely.
 

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