do chickens ever get used to having their coup cleaned?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rustywreck, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Songster

    I cleaned the coup out today ahead of the -25 temps coming tomorrow. As has been usual, they jump and fly around, sqwauk like they were being beaten, crowd in the corner and are generally really annoying about the process.
    We go through this every week to ten days and I would think after a few times they'd realize no harm will come to them.
    Cleaning the coup would be less than a 5 minute job if I didn't have to deal with all the attitude.
    I know they learn things about the way we interact, but will they ever learn to be calm during cleaning?
    I suppose I could work out some behavior modification plan, but it seems so unnecessary. The only good thing is that they don't seem to hold it against me.
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    I live in California, so I don't REALLY understand your situation!!! [​IMG]

    But, based on what I have learned here on BYC, I HAVE to ask -- why are you cleaning out your coop every 7 to 10 days and NOT using the deep litter process??? It would seem to me (keep in mind it was 70 here today!!!) that you would use deep litter to keep the coop WARM and not empty the coop until Spring!!!

    What am I missing???

    But if you are going to remove all the litter every 7 to 10 days --- why wouldn't you put all the chickens out in the run -- or lock them out of the coop, until you are finished with your cleaning project???

    just asking!!?? [​IMG]

  3. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Some with very small flocks and coops do clean weekly. Personally I don't like the deep litter method and it doesn't work in all situations. However my coop only gets cleaned at max monthly and hasn't been touched except to add some straw since I bedded it down for winter beginning of november. Kinda normal on a farm around here to bed down for winter, barely clean until spring, do a thorough spring cleaning (that's one reason spring cleaning exists), and then some minor cleanings over the summer until you strip and bed for winter again. It depends on your setup though.

    My chickens flip out when out when I haul in a new bag of feed and that happens all the time. They see some large odd shape come in their coop and they all go flapping around like idiots. Same when I throw in bedding bags or anything. I don't think they'll ever really get used to it and I have some very calm breeds.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  4. FractalFarmer

    FractalFarmer Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    SF Bay area CA
    Another CA person here who can't relate. [​IMG]

    My chickens free-range, and when I clean the coops (about every 2 weeks), they all come back and crowd around the coops to see what I'm doing. I move the food and water out, so they like to eat outdoors. I suppose it's like a picnic. Then they all have to run through the coops while I'm taking out the old litter, putting in the new. Just curious about what's going on, no doubt. Makes it kind of fun for me.
  5. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    LOL, I have just the opposite "problem"! My chickens and ducks (housed together) all congregate in the coop to "help" me when I'm emptying their poop boxes. If I bend down to pick something up it's not unusual for someone to use me as a perch. They're very curious... it almost seems like they don't want to miss anything!
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I'm always scratching around with a 4-prong cultivator under the roost. So, where do the hens decide to hide? Of course, they are under the roost.

    They even race in from outdoors so as to hide under the roost [​IMG].

    I just try to be as slow and deliberate as possible (haven't snagged a chicken with the cultivator, yet [​IMG]). They are young and getting used to it.

    As far as the "deep litter" method: I don't really know the value. I want it deep enuf to scratch around in and to protect the floor but unless it is several feet thick, there isn't going to be enuf decomposition to add any heat. The fact that the litter is deep (& getting deeper) and has been in my coop for a month has to do with the difficulty in cleaning it out. There's just so much snow and frozen ground outside.

  7. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Whenever I clean the coops, I make sure it's a nice day, close of the pop hole door and scatter sunflower seeds or some other goody out in the run to keep the birds occupied. It doesn't stop them from gathering in front of "their" door and questioning just what I'm doing in there, though. [​IMG]

  8. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle 9 Years

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    My chickens love to help me with anything I'm doing. (Maybe it's California chickens.) They stick their heads in the bag of shavings, and sit on my back when I bend down. They help me turn the compost pile, help me rake leaves, help me build things, so it makes sense that they would also help me clean the coop.

    They're soooo funny!
  9. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:That's the same as with mine. Mine love it when I clean the coop. They get curious about what's going on. They don't get the least bit upset, unless I'm still in there shaking out new straw when they're ready to roost. Then they yell at me. If it's still early when I get the straw put down, they run in and start scratching happily in it, eating any bits of grain they find clinging to it.

    They get all excited about new nest boxes, too. They all climb in and out of them and talk (cluck cluck bawwwk, bawk bawk) about them. For a few days, almost all the eggs will be in a new nest, rather than whatever older ones are still in use.
  10. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Clean the coop... heck, mine have been in the coop while I was BUILDING it, so they got used to me in there with the cordless drill, hand saw, various pieces of lumber flying around... I don't think they are phased at all by some new pine shavings. I also throw scratch in an out of the way place when I want to clean the dropping board. I've never tried to clean the whole coop - I cycle the pine shavings through a little at a time.

    Eeks! It's 4 am and I am sure some of you crazy morning people are getting up already, but I really need to get to bed. Maybe I should change my name to NightOwl.

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