Coop cleaning, how & how often?


12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I think it may depend on whether you have a small, prefab coop you can't get into, or a larger walk-in type, the kind I call a hen house. We have a hen house. My DH works at a bank and we don't own a truck. So he brings home big bags of shredded paper which we use for bedding. It's great! It's free and easy to handle, and there's an unlimited supply. It doesn't smell, mat or pack down, and it doesn't breed bugs. Plus it's good for the planet. We keep a thick layer of this on the floor and also use it in the nests. It dries out the droppings so there's no smell and no mess. We clean it out about once a year, using a horse "apple picker" for the paper, then a broom for the dried poop and dust that remains. Then we compost it.

I frequently mention "locally available materials", this is a great use of "situationally available materials".


Apr 15, 2020
SE Virginia
We have 2 coops. The smaller raised coop had a plywood floor covered with cheap vinyl flooring, 6-8 inches of pine shavings and no poop boards. I scoop under the roosts everyday, add extra shavings when needed and completely clean out all the shavings about once a year. The larger coop is a walk-in coop with a plywood floor covered with vinyl flooring, 8 or so inches of shavings and also has poop boards. The poop boards are also lined with vinyl flooring and have about 1/4" of sand mixed with sweet pdz. The boards are scooped and sifted daily. The floor is never scooped. I'm not sure how often we will clean out the shavings as we have only had the large coop four months.


8 Years
Aug 26, 2013
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!
I use straw on the coop floor. Several inches deep. I do have poop boards and highly recommend them. They keep me from having to clean the whole coop several times a year. I remove all straw and any poop about once a year. For the poop boards, I use a wide dustpan. It literally takes about a minute a day. My poop boards are about 12 feet long. Easy peasy.


11 Years
Aug 25, 2010
Richmond CA
@aart was one of my mentors when I started down this path. My management plan is pretty much the same as above and I haven't had any problems. No bad smells, no pest problems and clean, healthy birds. Works for me.

View attachment 2876306

This roost and poop board is 6 feet long (more or less) and ten standard hens share it at night. Poop scooping isn't as bad as it sounds.
Well, your coop looks lovely & clean. My hens manage to splat poop up walls & all over the roosts & everywhere else...I wish mine would just poop in a poop tray 🙄. Love your laying baskets 👏


5 Years
Oct 24, 2016
Southern Indiana
I followed very similar to @aart last year and I’m so glad I did! I cleaned out and replaced all my pine shavings from the coop floor once this year and honestly I didn’t need it. Poop boards with pdz stall refresher get scooped daily or minimum every other day. Takes less than 5mins. Throw it in a feed bag and then goes to compost. nest boxes have straw and I replace that probably 3-4 times a year, I’ve had lots of broodys and a few hatches in them.



In the Brooder
Jul 19, 2021
Hi! Just wondering how you clean your coop and how often.

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?

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.

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
I use hemp bedding and absolutely love it last so much longer then the pine shavings and it's scoopable

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