Disinfecting coop floor with lime??????


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 10, 2009
HI there. I am extremely confused. Sadly, we had to cull our flock of 18 birds this past weekend due to Macroplasmosis and possible Coriza infections due to mixing new birds in the flock -( I've learned my lesson). I was told by a man at our university Ag dept. to "cover the floor with hydrated lime". My coop floor is 12X12 dirt floor. I learned that there are 2 kinds of hydrated lime, the AG kind and then the caustic kind. I am thinking I am to use the kind of lime that will kill bacteria in any droppings I missed on the floor. Which one do I use? Do I water it down, rake it in, just sprinkle it? I've already scrubbed down all the roosts and egg boxes with a bleach, antibacterial soap, water mixture and then wiped it off with plain water. The coop will sit for at least a month before being used again. Any advice so I make sure my new flock will be safe? The UT guy isn't answering my emails:(

Thanks a ton!
Sorry you had to go through this.

I'm really not sure what kind of Lime to use ~ hopefully you will get an answer from someone today.
I know nothing about lime other than that I would be worried about my chickens' feet if they were walking on it. I'll be interested in what others with experience have to say about what is the preferred kind of lime and the safety factors to consider when it is used.
I would have just used a lot of strong bleach water that could have soaked into the soil, but I'm not sure that that would work for you.
Here are a couple quotes from this old thread with your question. Hope this helps.

Also, check out this thread ..... I have read that Virkon-S (has to have the - S ) kills Mareks.

Yes, but there's some talk that it's inactivated when in contact with actual dirt so while you can use it, it won't work.

Again here's a reference from a very highly respected source, poultry specific, stating that bleach will NOT work on dirt:

Source: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext/INF-PO_Sanitation.html
: Hypochlorites. Chlorine compounds are good disinfectants on clean surfaces, but are quickly inactivated by dirt. Chlorine is effective against bacteria and many viruses. These compounds are also much more active in warm water than in cold water. Chlorine solutions can be somewhat irritating to skin and corrosive to metal. They are relatively inexpensive. Examples: Clorox, Chloramine-T, and Halazone.

It will give you basics on how to effectively disinfect.

Many thanks as i saved the article !! Interesting that chlorine is not effective on dirt.
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Thanks a ton you guys! I will change my coarse and try some of these other disinfectants.

My feed store sold me some hydrated lime. I cleaned the coops with very warm water and dawn soap - air dried them - sprayed them with bleach solution and let them dry in the sun, sprinkled the lime in the bottom of the coops under the bedding and added the bedding - so far so good no problems. I was a little worried about using lime too - I was assured it was okay but I still wonder about it.
I don't use it in the chicken coop, but dust the floor between sheep when lambing in the Spring. There you have to take specific precautions to sweep away any excess lime, leave the pen a day, then cover with a good layer of straw because of its corrosive properties. You also have to be very careful not to inhale it.

With these precautions in mind I use Jeyes Fluid or diluted bleach in the coop and then allow to air dry,

We just experienced this same thing, brought new birds into our flock..........! It was a hard lesson to learn, after much research-thought-and going back & forth.....my hubby & I culled our flock of 12 just this morning before sun up & I NEVER want to have to do that again.

I know how you feel & I am so very sorry.

We plan to start over with day old chicks & hopefully hatch our own replacements in the future. I, too, have been wondering about the best way to disinfect before ordering our new chicks. We have a 10x12 coop with a wooden floor that we put linoleum over (& of course pine shavings that will be changed out), but during the day our flock free ranged on our 5 1/2 acres. Do I disinfect the coop AND the land?!?!??! And how do I do it? And how long should we wait before getting new chicks? Do the organisms die on surfaces after a certain amount of time? How sould I dispose of the old shavings???? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!!
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