deep cleaning the coop - where do the chickens go to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fiddlebanshee, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I've been using the deep litter method this winter for my 14 chickens who are now 28 weeks old, so far I've loved it. I intend to clean everything out and sanitize in the next three weeks or so. But I don't really know when to do this during the day as they are all making use of the nest boxes at all hours. I gather it would maybe take about 2 hours plus some drying time. I can't really allow them in as the big doors would be open and I can't let mine free range due to predator issues.

    1. is it a big deal for the girls not to be able to access the nest boxes?
    2. do you provide an alternate nestbox in the run? Would they get that?

    Input from experienced folks would be appreciated.
  2. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    i think they'll be fine i also lock mine out when i clean out the coop.
  3. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    My chickens will leave the coop if I bring a broom inside. I usually clean after they lay and I clean the nest boxes also. I don't use deep method though, I spot clean several times a day since I spend so much time with the chickens.

    We use shelves for their roost. Our chickens prefer it this way, so they can pile together. I use oxine ah to sanitize the coop, it's awesome stuff. One gallon goes a long way! I have a spray bottle and spray the chickens in the summer with the oxine to keep them clean as well. I spray them at night due to it being most effective.

    I wear a mask when cleaning the coop and disinfecting. I clean the coop often. The girls stay away unless they are laying. They will stay in the nest box and finish out their lay if I clean during the day.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I do deep litter also and as I have a lot of litter and it's just me, it takes me a few 'shifts' to get it all out. I just do it after most of them are done laying for the day. Easier that way. :)
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I use the deep litter method as well. About the only thing I spray in there is Adams Flea and Tick spray, and I use vinegar water to clean the window and outside of the nest boxes. The inside of the nest boxes stay nice and clean, so I just change out the shavings quickly, shoot them with the adams while they're empty and refill them every once in a while. The girls have no problems doing their business while I'm cleaning. They also like to get right in the way with their scratching as I'm trying to remove the spent shavings. Good luck with your deep clean, I'm doing my coop this week as well.
  6. JoieD

    JoieD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2011
    Marysville, Ohio
    I am far from experienced,but my girls drove me crazy last week when I was Spring cleaning. I have 8 and they lay at all hours of the day. A couple of them didn't mind me being in there when they were laying but the rest let me know without a doubt they wanted their privacy. I sat outside the coup waiting in the heat more than I was in the coup. How long does it take a chicken to lay an egg anyway!! Well I found out and sometimes it takes an hour ! (It was a HUGE egg) What should have been a 3 hour job took me two days to complete. It would have taken longer, but I came up with a plan of sorts. First get all of the old bedding out, then clean the floor around the nest boxes and clean the nest boxes they use the most first and replace the bedding in those. I also put a small pet carrier with pine shavings in the run. They scratched out the shavings and didn't use it but it's worth trying. As you can tell I am still very frustrated with the whole thing, but I love the fresh smelling coup with my new poop board tray and PDZ. Can't believe how easy the clean up is now! Good Luck.
  7. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    We also do this and I find it very easy to clean, although I would suggest a mask and maybe some glasses if you don't like to get shavings in your eye. I always lock mine out of the boxes unless someone is broody or laying they'll just watch intently until I start banging around in the nesting boxes. They'll be fine for that little of time ;)
  8. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    We also did deep litter this winter and our clean out process took 3 days. We didn't do any disinfecting in ours though (is that necessary?) and my girls just came and went as they wanted. They were kinda funny to watch but it didn't seem to upset the apple cart too much!!

    I do have Sweet PDZ and DE that I use when brooding meaties.

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