Coop maintenance

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Carly Avgeris, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Carly Avgeris

    Carly Avgeris In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015
    kane county Illinois
    Hi all,
    I am a little confused on how often and what exactly entails coop cleaning.( Also, feel free to list your favorite cleaning products. I am thinking vinegar and E.O's.) Which things should be done daily, weekly, monthly, ect? Our chicks are still in the brooder right now and we change the shavings every other day, but once we move them into the coop, it will be a much larger area. We have straw to put down once they transition. Thanks in advance, I am still learning as I go and have MUCH to learn!!!
  2. munchkin123

    munchkin123 Chirping

    Nov 13, 2014

    When I clean the chicken coop, all I need do do is use a hoe to clean out the waste and carry it away in a wheelbarrow. If the nesting area gets dirty, jut scoop out the hay and put in new hay. We do not need to use vinegar, but if you think it is best to wipe it down, I don't think it will hurt anything. We have 18 chickens and clean it out every Saturday, but if your coop gets dirty quicker, you may have to clean it out more.
  3. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chirping

    Nov 21, 2014
    Western Massachussetts
    Coop cleaning may mean many different things to different people, so you may get all kinds of good sound advice on this subject.
    Basically, depending on the number of chicks you have and the size of your coop, would most likely indicate to you how much and how often does your coop need cleaning. The more chickens you have, the more often you need to clean. Basically you don't want your chickens to be stepping over a layer of excrement or urine. Let me give you an example of what I do, this may or may not work for you as I said based on your personal situation.

    I have 2 coops (one large coop with 8 nesting boxes and one smaller with 6 nests).
    In the summer the chickens go to sleep in both and lay eggs and other than that they don't spend any more time in the coop, they spend most of their time outside the coop in the run or free ranging. In the winter they stay a lot longer in the coops and also sleep tidier longer. I used pine wood shavings on my coops and nests.

    In the summer I check the coops for excrement accumulation, every 2 days or so and smell around to sense urine intensity. After about 4 years I kind of have it to a science for my flock size and coops size ( around 30 adult birds). I change their whole pine shavings every other week and clean the coop, like really deep clean (vinegar and other cleaning stuff every 1-2 months). In the summer I clean the shavings and use scalex spray in the coop inside (due to mites and lice, that is the season for them to invade your coops). Even though I have a kind of schedule, I always check and sometimes replace the nesting and shaving a little more often than 2 weeks. You can see excrement, but you cannot see urine, that is why I keep checking. If it starts to smell and there is not a whole lot of excrement (poo) on the coop floor, I go ahead and clean and replace.

    For regular cleaning I remove the shavings, hose down the coops with a hose full pressure. Let it dry. If a full cleaning is due, I spray vinegar on the walls and celling, let it dry and then put new shavings (nice thickly laid). If a regular cleaning, I remove the shavings and any excrement that may have stuck other than the shavings. Check for bugs or any unusual changes, if I see bugs I spray with scalex and let it dry, then add shavings. If no bugs, just put new shavings and done it is. Your hens may or may not like the cleaning time. Some of mine go as far from the coop and some are right there with me. If they are present with me, then I am extremely careful with the cleaning stuff as I don't want them to inhale any foreign substance. Hope it helps.
  4. Carly Avgeris

    Carly Avgeris In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015
    kane county Illinois
    Thank you for taking the time to share! Your advice will help me loads!
  5. Carly Avgeris

    Carly Avgeris In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015
    kane county Illinois
    Very helpful information. Thank you for your time!!
  6. Honey B

    Honey B Chirping

    Feb 1, 2015
    Thanks for sharing. Helpful info for those of us that are new to chicken keeping.
  7. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Do a little reading on deep litter.

    Lots of info on this site.

    As I am doing such, my inside coop gets cleaned out once every 12-18 months, outside has not been cleaned in over 6 years.

    I have around a dozen birds in a 64 square foot print coop, with 8-12 inches of pine shaving bedding, and a 200 square foot secured attached outdoor run, also with deep litter.

    I have over 17 square feet of ventilation indoors, and have no odors, bugs, mud, nor flies, inside or out.
  8. kirschj

    kirschj In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2015
    I also am a minimalist about cleaning, every 2-4 weeks and use deep bed litter. I do sniff around and keep the litter very deep and scrape away poop, more so in the winter. My chickens are very healthy though I always feel like I should be cleaning more often. I think checking them out every day is key.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use a poop board under the roosts with a sand/zeolite mix 1/2" deep and sift the poops out every other day or so, sending them to a friends compost.
    Floor has large flake pine shavings, I totally change those out twice a year spring and fall.
    I use straw in the nest boxes and change that out if an egg breaks or when it starts getting thin...maybe every 3 months.
    Scrape off roosts and ramps when needed, not very often.

    Haven't found the need to do more than that. My coop is nice and dry that helps.

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