How do I keep my coop clean?

Jeff H

Hatching
6 Years
Jun 14, 2013
5
0
7
Cole Harbour, NS
Dry shavings = no smell. Wet shavings = Hell on earth smell.

I've found that as long as the shavings are dry there is no smell. If they get wet, it's DEADLY. When we fixed our water problem, we fixed our smell problem. A quick fix for me before I managed to keep it all dry was to throw dry shavings and some treats on top of the stinky wet ones. The ladies mixed all the wet and dry shavings together and the smell reduced immediately.
 

Get Real Chick

Hatching
Aug 30, 2016
1
0
6
Some so-called Chicken experts try to glamorize chicken keeping don't fall for it.....they are usually trying to sell you something or spam you.....I've used everything..and it's going to smell and you will have fly's and ants at some point no matter what you use...your never going to want to have wine out in your chicken yard with your chickens ... I promise you!...Use the deep litter method.. inside the coop..clean it a couple of times a year and compost it..... with the nests I use pine shavings or straw and scoop them out weekly and put it in the compost, also make sure water doesn't pool in your coop... so drainage around the coop is important...beware of dust when cleaning your coop because it can make you very sick.. if you want perfection in your coop then follow the chickens around with a scooper I suppose..if you have time for that......the word "easier" I feel just isn't a word I associate with keeping Chickens....
 

frogman

Chirping
Mar 20, 2015
54
0
69
I use sand in the run and PDZ with a little DE under the roost in a roost pan. It pulls out and I scoop just like kitty litter - every 2-3 days. I rake the run every 2-3d too and then sift out the big stuff.
 

gsim

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,997
36
196
East Tennessee
Part of coop cleanliness is design. Ventilation is key.

I have an 8 x 16 coop (128 sq ft) with 4 windows and a turbine vent besides the man-door and two pop doors. I also have full length soffit vents along soffit, front and rear. Floors are OSB with linoleum glued over that. I never keep any water inside of my coop. I never keep any feed outside. ( They do get treats twice a day, outside in their run. Run is 1900 sq ft ) End windows are sash, full open all summer long. Nearly closed in winter and closed up if temp below 30.

Dropping boards are 2 ft deep X the length of the roost poles. Smooth texture. Roost poles are 1 ft from the wall. (salvaged kitchen counter tops are perfect poop boards) I turn the inmates out each AM around daylight and I immediately use an 8" drywall finish knife to scrape the poop into a plastic Tote Box that I keep under one of the poop boards. My total cleaning time each day is under 4 minutes !!! (4 poop boards to scrape and whatever I see on top of the litter, which is very little because mine stay out in their rainy weather place which greatly helps me keep the coop smelling good) This is a fact. It is all I do to clean my coop year round. Every April we toss out all the old dried grass litter and replace it with fresh stuff just cut the day before. We both wear masks to do this chore and devote 3 hrs to it, including washing the 4 windows and knocking down cobwebs. We add to the litter all year long and keep it nearly a foot deep. I empty the poop box about once a week for my 10 pullets. I blast it out with a garden hose and allow it to dry in sunlight before sliding it under one of the poop boards.

I use only grass clippings year round and I keep them 8" to12" deep year round. I add a lot in around late Oct since I will not be able to get any more until March. They do a super job year round, and they are free !!! :-D I love the dried grass smell when I come in to gather eggs in the mid morning and afternoon!

My coop never ever stinks. I can smell poop in the AM when I first walk in, so I turn on a box fan at the west end and it sits against a window and pulls in fresh air for the 4 minutes I am in there. I leave the man door open too. Time I leave, no odor at all, and I shut off the fan. Warmer days I leave the man door open all day long to help cool coop, and if going to be 90 degree weather, I will turn on the vent fan around 11 AM.

This has worked for me for 8 years, so it will work for you too. I never clean their run because it is 1900 sq ft and is 65% shady too. So there is enough room that it never gets bad, and rainy days wash it down perfectly. It slopes, so no mucky puddles anywhere.

A covered roost for a rainy day hangout is mandatory to keep a coop clean smelling. Mine all roost under the east end of the coop on the rainy day perch I nailed up underneath. Works like a charm!!! You can make a perch and cover it so they won't get wet. They will congregate there on rainy days, and that is a hell of a lot better than having them indoors!

Keeping chickens is very easy provided a bit of forethought is exercised and some practical design. Easiest livestock to care for or I'd not have them in spite of the great tasting eggs.

Gerry

 
Last edited:

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,250
75,152
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
..... Every April we toss out all the old dried grass litter and replace it with fresh stuff just cut the day before. .....

I use only grass clippings year round and I keep them 8" to12" deep year round. I add a lot in around late Oct since I will not be able to get any more until March. They do a super job year round, and they are free !!! :-D I love the dried grass smell when I come in to gather eggs in the mid morning and afternoon!


You put fresh grass clippings in the coop.....no problems with dry white or slimy black molds growing in that.... and/or impacted crops from gorging clippings???
 

AmandaMBG

Songster
Apr 16, 2016
547
72
116
Southern Utah
I personally would never have a poop board not covered with some sort of shavings or sand. Otherwise whether you clean it every day or not the wet part of the poop is going to absorb into the wood. It takes me all of two min to clean my poop board with a kitty scoop and I don't risk rotting or stinky wood down the road. And if I miss a few days or even a week it still doesn't smell.
 

MyBeautifulGirl

Hatching
5 Years
May 9, 2014
2
0
6
Northern Colorado
Some so-called Chicken experts try to glamorize chicken keeping don't fall for it.....they are usually trying to sell you something or spam you.....I've used everything..and it's going to smell and you will have fly's and ants at some point no matter what you use...your never going to want to have wine out in your chicken yard with your chickens ... I promise you!...Use the deep litter method.. inside the coop..clean it a couple of times a year and compost it..... with the nests I use pine shavings or straw and scoop them out weekly and put it in the compost, also make sure water doesn't pool in your coop... so drainage around the coop is important...beware of dust when cleaning your coop because it can make you very sick.. if you want perfection in your coop then follow the chickens around with a scooper I suppose..if you have time for that......the word "easier" I feel just isn't a word I associate with keeping Chickens....
And chandeliers and wallpaper and a rocking chair. I just laugh.... looks so pretty until you actually let the birds live there.

I agree with everything you stated, 110%!
 

janis1127

In the Brooder
Apr 18, 2016
13
1
26
I went to the automotive section of Walmart and bought a flat aluminum tray for around $10. I put it under my roost and it makes it so much easier to keep clean. Just take it outside and spray it off.
 

Spartan22

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 2, 2014
3,664
3,444
442
NE Ohio
I haven't totally cleaned my 10x12' 10' high coop since April except the daily collection of fresh poop every morning. We have combo of sand, pine shavings and pdz on the poop boards and floor. The coop has 4 Windows always open and 2 louvre vents and 3 doors including the pop door that's open to the run 24/7. So no smell with good ventilation and dry coop, now the occasional wet pine shavings and wet spilled feeds in an unroofed run is another story, whereas the covered part of the run is virtually no smell also.

It's our 3rd year with chickens (30+ total hens).
 
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