Getting New Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 12animals3, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. 12animals3

    12animals3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had my flock for almost 3 years, and it's sadly time for them to go.
    They'll be leaving sometime in the fall, and I'll be getting new chicks in the spring.
    I need to clean everything and get rid of all the old diseases for my new flock,
    and I was wondering how to do it and if you guys have any suggestions.
    My chickens have been in the same place with a small fenced area for them to run in and a coop
    for about 2/3 the time I've had them.
    I'm planning on doing a big coop cleanout and tilling the run area,
    then leaving it during the winter.
    Are there any suggestions for getting away all of the diseases and things to prepare for my new chicks?
    Also, the chicks will be staying in a brooder for a few months before I put them in the coop.
    Thanks!
     
  2. SonoranChick

    SonoranChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are going through a similar situation right now, our old hens are long gone but the coop needs to be cleaned out before the new chicks move in next month! We have sand/dirt flooring, so we turned up all of the dirt and used water with a splash of bleach to power-spray EVERYTHING down. (This includes the walls, roosts, doors, everything). Once it dried we did the same thing a second time just to be sure. We will be putting in new sand in the next few weeks and it have had brand new laying boxes made. Our old coop sat vacant for about 2 years but it still needed a deep cleaning before the new guests move in! Of course be completely sure that everything is DRY before moving any chickens in if you choose this method, and you should not have an overwhelming scent of bleach when you finish...it should smell clean but not like a hospital lol if that makes any sense! Hope this helps and happy cleaning :rolleyes:
     
  3. 12animals3

    12animals3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! So will digging up the dirt I'm the run, adding some new dirt, and letting it sit there and compost over the winter kill all the diseases? I don't really want to bleach the dirt because chickens scratch around in and eat from it.
     
  4. SonoranChick

    SonoranChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally understand, I am hesitant to use bleach in my own house, let alone the coop. The fumes are so strong! I wouldn't use the bleach in the dirt where the chickens will scratch/eat/bathe. Digging up the old dirt and adding new dirt should be a good move. In my coop, the old floor was just earth (dirt), so we cleaned it out (no bleach) and then added 6 inches of new sand to cover the old ground. It's like getting new carpet in your house! :rolleyes: We did use a diluted bleach and water solution to clean the walls and roost areas but the floor was simply raked, removed, and replaced. The new girls are doing just fine. Good luck!
     
  5. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If no chickens in it for the winter, maybe add some lime to sweeten the soil. I've read that some types can burn their feet if fresh. I think it's the hydrolyzed one, but do a bit of research because I could be wrong on that.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    What diseases or parasites did your old flock have? That can influence what you need to do. Some diseases or parasites can last for years, others will be gone by your leaving it over the winter. Some flocks don't have any diseases or parasites.

    I can understand your desire to clean and sanitize. It's a good move. But since you plan to leave the coop empty for months there is no way you are going to have any bleach residue when the chickens go in. Chickens, like other birds, have sensitive respiratory systems, I would not want to put them anywhere I could still smell bleach. But after months there will not be any residue. Just air it out.

    I don't know where you are, what your weather or climate is like, or what time of year you will get the chicks, but many of us raise the chicks in the coop to start with if we have electricity out there. Even in fairly cold weather most chicks can go to the coop without supplemental heat at 5 or so weeks of age. I don't know if you plan to brood the chicks in your house, in your garage, or maybe in some other outbuilding but you don't need to keep them in the brooder for months unless you really want to.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    DO NOT PUT ANY BLEACH ON YOUR SOIL, PLEASE! Bleach is extremely caustic and will kill all of the organisms living in the soil. I have a spot in my yard where bleach water was spilled, and 2 years later, I'm still having a hard time getting anything to grow there.
    Did your old flock actually have any disease, or are you just looking to sterilize things as a precaution? A lot depends on this answer.

    As for the soil in your run, if it's bare soil, I would lightly till it, though that is entirely un-necessary. Simply give it a nice dusting of Agricultural lime, and then start building a deep composting litter on top of it. If there were no identified diseases in your flock, no mite or lice infestations, and no ?able deaths, remove all of the old bedding from the coop, and use that as a base for the deep litter in your run. Add to that: grass clippings, leaves from fall clean up, any compostable yard/garden debris. Your goal will be to build it about 2 feet deep. If you want it to cook faster, you can cover it with plastic. By spring, you will have a nice healthy compost, and a nice healthy soil. It will be loaded with beneficial organisms which will keep any future pathogens in check. It will give your chicks healthy gut flora for good digestion and a strong immune system. They will derive a good amount of their nutrition from the insects and other goodies they glean from their compost.
     
    Melodychick and NorthTexasWink like this.
  8. 12animals3

    12animals3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your answers! My flock didn't have any diseases or parasites that I knew of, except a tiny bit of pasty bum when they were little.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    So you're good to go. Just a good coop cleaning, and get that run taken care of: either get something growing there, or turn it into DL.
     

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