Essential Oils In Cleaning & Deodorizing?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WilloughbyStead, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. WilloughbyStead

    WilloughbyStead Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2016
    USA-FL
    I love using essential oils and vinegar in cleaning and deodorizing my home naturally. Many essential oils like tea tree oil or lavender are natural antifungals, antimicrobials, antibacterial,&c. TTO even repells some pests.

    We have turned an old barn shed into a large flock house. We haven't put vinyl down yet on the floor, its just old wood. I'm looking for ways to spray the wood surfaces, nest boxes and floors after scraping and sweeping which will help knock out the odor and disinfect without bleach and carcinogenic chemicals.

    Does anyone have experience in this? We use hay for bedding.
     
  2. HnkyDnkyZZFarm

    HnkyDnkyZZFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the idea in theory, but at the same time, I tend to try to stay as low cost as I can and still be effective. F'ex we have sand baths and naturally dusty low organic material soil, so we don't use diatomaceous earth because they have dust bathing sources that provide some of the benefits of the DE without as much risk of lung problems.

    Deodorizing... I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm probably completely nose blind to any odor. I'm currently wearing my goat flannel and I can't smell it. I know it's gotta smell like goat, but... lol.

    I would say deodorizing a farm style flock(as opposed to a garage flock or a suburban backyard flock) of over about three would be a waste of time if it is cleaned regularly. If you're noticing smell, then I would question moisture and air circulation. I would increase air circulation, and try to lower moisture. Change bedding, put trays of baking soda out above reach of the chickens, add sand to the coop floor under the bedding, etc etc. making sure the feed is staying dry and isn't accumulating anywhere it shouldn't be...

    If you're cleaning out regularly, even just once a week on a reasonably sized housing space for flock size, you're not going to be having much smell.

    Chicken waste composts, that is it's broken down by bacteria and insects, so if you're noticing smell, I would be concerned about what is growing in that compost. If I notice my compost pile has smell, it means I've put something in that feeds bacteria or fungus that is creating the odor, so I wouldn't necessarily use anything to CONCEAL odor, because it can be a flag that something is up. Too much moisture, bad bacteria etc.

    I don't use bleach - or anything else chemical to clean out the chicken coop. If I'm really determined, I use the pressure washer. Otherwise, the hose on jet, but more typically I pull the nesting boxes and dump them, if they're nasty, hose em off, let them dry in the sun, rake out and then hose down the coop and floor (dirt - pavers in places, cause if you put down pavers, bugs move in under them and you can flip the pavers/loose bricks and treat the flock with zero effort or money, and cause I stand on them when I'm hosing out.)

    For things like mites and feather lice (chicken lice don't like humans, so you're not at risk of getting them from your chickens.) I use treatments meant for mites and lice in poultry and live stock. When that stuff shows up, I want it gone. Like yesterday.


    I would be super careful, just because birds can be a bit sensitive, and even "natural" things can throw them off and even kill them. F'ex eucalyptus oil, or cassia oil will burn human skin neat so no way, and even something as seemingly innocuous as tea tree can kill good bacteria as well as bad and some have lost chickens to it - some have had decent if not reliable results. Some use garlic in their water, and pumpkin as a natural worm preventative/ remedy, but I would be very specific about what you're trying to disinfect against, and case by case on oils and herbs.

    For injuries, I would use vetricyn before tea tree. Mainly because I have the vetricyn, and I know it works, whereas I would have to play guessing games with the oil, and again, there are no guarantees on the concentration of any given essential oil, so the dilution that was safe in one brand may not be safe in another. If an oil is sold as a COSMETIC it is regulated differently than if it is sold as a supplement or a drug, and most are not regulated for strength or effectiveness by the FDA, if you're in the US, so what works once might not work - or could be lethal another time.



    I might even hesitate a bit with vinyl flooring - but that's just personal preference. I like to use the hose for cleaning out. It's more of a washing the car situation than a washing the counters situation. Anything that might hold moisture between the layers could actually create places for rot and mold. I would want every surface in the coop area to have enough air flow to dry out completely if you hose out. You would be amazed how chicken poo finds its way into cracks, crevices and the strangest places when they roost up at night. They're like little poo squirt guns. Old wood flooring if you can get it dry if you hose it down might not be a bad thing.
     
  3. WilloughbyStead

    WilloughbyStead Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2016
    USA-FL
    Thanks for your response, the problem I have is how to clean the wood floors effectively. I scrape them but I hate that I can't clean deeper than just scraping. I don't think its realistic or good to hose or pressure wash the floors daily as they probably wouldn't dry quick enough. What suggestions would you have for keeping the wood floors clean and sanitary? I was thinking we needed to floor it better and had read that others used vinyl- honestly I am not sure what would work. I just need something easy to scrape, sweep and mop out...
     
  4. WilloughbyStead

    WilloughbyStead Out Of The Brooder

    59
    3
    38
    Nov 30, 2016
    USA-FL
    Thanks for your response, the problem I have is how to clean the wood floors effectively. I scrape them but I hate that I can't clean deeper than just scraping. I don't think its realistic or good to hose or pressure wash the floors daily as they probably wouldn't dry quick enough. What suggestions would you have for keeping the wood floors clean and sanitary? I was thinking we needed to floor it better and had read that others used vinyl- honestly I am not sure what would work. I just need something easy to scrape, sweep and mop out...
     

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