coop cleaning - is protection needed?


12 Years
Mar 7, 2010
My husband saw an episode of "Dirty Jobs" where the job involved cleaning up pigeon poo. The guys had to wear breathing equipment to prevent them from catching one of hundreds of different diseases- some of them were really, really bad. Hence we started discussing... would cleaning up the coop be similar and should we be wearing breathing equipment/protection too? (We have 10 hens and our coop isn't on the ground). Is all bird poo the same or is pigeon poo in a class all by itself?

Pigeons are flying rats.

I saw that episode, too, and the clean-up job wasn't for a pigeon coop of cared-for fancy or homing pigeons. "Wild" as in uncontrolled breeding and roosting of "feral" pigeons, so to speak.

However, I would recommend that when you do a full-scale cleanout of your coop, you wear those regular over the nose and mouth face masks just for the DUST that gets kicked up. The kind one would wear when doing a lot of wood sawing.....
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There are a considerable number of people on BYC who have gotten histoplasmosis and other acute or chronic respiratory diseases from coop dust. Me included (not bothered to have it diagnosed, but I now *have to* wear a mask if I'm doing anything that kicks up chicken dust *at all*, or I have bronchitis type symptoms for the next week or so).

I am by no means an ultracareful germophobic protective-equipment-wearing person in general... but I do think that working around lots of poultry dust is a GOOD TIME to be wearing at least a good dustmask.

Good luck, have fun,


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