How dirty is your coop when you clean it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JuliaWesterbeek, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. JuliaWesterbeek

    JuliaWesterbeek Chirping

    Oct 17, 2016
    The Netherlands
    Hi Everyone,

    I have some problems with chicken lice and I was wondering if this is because my chicken coop is not clean enough. I have a small chicken coop where my chickens stay in at night and during rain but during dry days they are free ranging. I clean my coop once a week... Is this enough? Can you please post pictures of your coops when they are clean and when they are in need of a cleaning?

    It will be much appreciated

    Also, if you have any treatment for lice it would be great!
    1 person likes this.
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Songster

    Feb 15, 2017
    I've heard if you put Apple cider vinegar in their water it will get rid of lice. It also works for many other things on chickens.
  3. JuliaWesterbeek

    JuliaWesterbeek Chirping

    Oct 17, 2016
    The Netherlands
    Thank you for you reply!
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    I also clean my coops once a week and as part of the process I'll spray the area with insecticide. If you are not into using insecticide you can saturate the area with diluted Dawn. Make sure you have good ventilation and clean your coop in the morning to allow the treated area to be dry when the chickens roost at night. Be sure to change the nesting material. I burn all refuse that comes from the coop-feathers, feces, nesting material, and roosts-if I change them.

    If you have a small flock you can bathe each bird in cat flea shampoo, rinse well, and dry them.

    Hope this helps.
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    You could clean every day and you wouldn't get rid of the lice unless you treat for the lice.
    2 people like this.
  6. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    First and foremost there are too many variables to give a one size fits all solution.

    My coop is only 4'x8' with 3 levels I have kept as many chickens as 24+or - birds at one time with no major problems. I check my nest boxes daily and clean my poop boards weekly. I lime and deep clean my coop yearly in the spring. I sprinkle small amounts of lime and rake the pine shavings weekly or when needed though out the warmer months.
    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.


    I hold the bag in place with these paper binders.

    Easy Peasy Japaneasy

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    This is how my coop looks on any given day.



    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Absolutely true.

    I use permethrin powder or spray on the birds themselves for lice.
    Spraying the coop will do nothing to get rid of lice, as they live entirely on the birds body.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Is it lice or could it possibly be mites? There are different kinds of mites so if it is mites, it would help to know which one. Some mites live in the coop during the day and attack the chickens at night. They do not live in poop or filth though, they live in cracks in the wood or somewhere out of the light. Cleaning poop out of the coop has nothing to do with controlling either mites or lice.

    This is my 9th year having chickens here and I’ve never had either mites or lice. Probably more luck than anything. I keep a closed flock to minimize exposure but a wild bird could drop them off at any time. A previous place yes, but not here.

    You asked how dirty is it when I clean the coop. These photos might give you an idea, but it was still not ready for cleaning to me. I clean the bedding out about once every three or four years. I keep it dry, it never stinks, so I’m not under any pressure to clean out the bedding. The only reason I do is I want it on my garden and I’m too lazy to do that too often. The top of my brooder and nests are my droppings boards. With high chicken density and wet humid weather I may need to scrape them once a week. With low chicken density and dry weather I sometimes go over a month. If it stinks I waited too long. If it doesn’t stink I’m under no pressure to clean it.


    I’ll offer these to show why I really don’t think cleaning the coop has anything to do with it. Mites are different from lice, but the entire life cycle of lice is lived on the bird. Treating does not kill the eggs so you need to treat for lice twice about 7 days apart so you get the ones that have hatched the first time and the ones that hatched after treatment but before they start laying eggs.

    Good luck, these can be a pain to get rid of. Your wild bird population may be reinfecting your flock.
  10. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Songster

    Dec 19, 2016
    Cassville Missouri
    I went on line and put in the browser
    And came up with many products.
    You would do well to do this
    especially if you live in foreign country.
    That way you could get the products they use over there
    Also AArt gave you a product for lice try that.

    1 person likes this.

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