How do you clean out a raised coop


9 Years
Jun 1, 2010
Peninsula S of San Francisco
Just joined the forum today. We can walk into our current coop to clean it out...and get the eggs. We need to rebuild our coop in a new location (neighbor request) so I have been looking at the medium plans. People have some pretty impressive coops out there, but I would not be surprised if we don't just go for another pvc hoop house. We hope to get it built on this Saturday. I definitely like the plans for accessing the eggs from outside the coop....and that is a must have. I notice that many of the coops are significantly off the ground and certainly too small to go inside...for a human, not a hen. I tried to research why it is done that way. I couldn't find the answers I needed. Some of the reasons I found would not apply as we live in a very mild climate so do not have to worry about it getting too hot, or shoveling snow away. We do have to deal with limited space in suburbia, so I can see that it gives you extra run space.....and a shady hideout on our rare hot days. I presume that there is some kind of cleanout, but I can't quite see how it would work. Any guidance out there?

Any CA suburban chicken raisers out there?
I built a Gareden Coop - it has a raised house in one end. It has a large dor that opens into the run area - I just put the wheelbarrow under the opening and rake the shavings out into the wheelbarrow - its pretty easy - the rake reaches everywhere pretty well.
The floor of my coop is 2.5' off the ground. I haven't had to clean out my coop yet, but it should be easy. My garden cart fits right under it, so I can push all the old bedding right into it. Also, mine is built sturdy enough that I can climb in if needed, and kneel inside the coop. For everyday cleaning, I can do everything I need to do by just leaning in, scraping off the roost/poop board with a handled scraper. Also, I like that I can hang their feeder under the run, so it doesn't get wet if it rains. The girls seem to like to gather underneath and take naps during the day - I think they feel more secure than out in the main part of the run.
For me it was the size of the coup and the fact it is raised. The length is 7' and width is a little over 4'. I keep hay inside whether they are enjoying the ventilation of the wire bottom or if I have the slide-in solid bottom. You see, I made it where a sheet of Masonite would slide in and out for cleaning and to keep them cool for the summer.

That's just one of sevearl gadgets which make my life easy keeping 9 hens in the city. My compost this year is growing some really good food!

Please take a look at my site for some easy clean and other ideas. The link is on my signature.
After much research (and checking the great coops on the BYC coop page) we decided to go with a raised hen-house for our coop. Its 33" inches off the ground and we did use hardware cloth all around underneath it so they can use it for part of their run and we can get underneath if needed.

The reasons are many:
No place for rodents of predators to hide.
EASY to reach in and clean!! The hen-house part of the coop is 5x4, the width is 4 foot. It has double doors on both sides which means we can get anywhere in it easily and no bending!
You can get eyeball to eyeball to your chickens for a good exam and for fun. Mine enjoy the intimacy and love to be petted up close in their hen house

Not too big to super clean annually, de-bug if necessary, and stays cooler in hot weather with shady, cooler air circulating underneath.

Our coop is completed with a 4x12 covered run filled with river sand. It was built with the KISS method. Keep it Simple Stupid--a motto I like to live by!
I use two spring clamps and attach a contractor's size/strength trash bag to the opening and rake the bedding right into it. I have five coops so I unclamp the bag and move on to the next one. The bag is big and strong enough to hold the soiled bedding.
Small garden rake works great. I use a 5" putty knife to scoop the remaining bedding from around the edges and corners onto a plastic dustpan. And do add vinyl to the floor to make the clean out easier.
I wish I had built my coop a second concrete block higher.... it's only raised one block high. Another block wouldn't be that hard to step UP into, and would have created a more useful space beneath the coop. The chickens do go under there (hardware cloth around 3 sides, the open end opens into their run). The coop is outside the run except for one wall, where the chicken door is. And the opening underneath it. But even the chickens have to hunch over to get under the coop..... and I certainly cannot belly crawl under it if I need to retrieve something, like a hurt or sick chicken.
Ditto Thomas423... My enclosed portion of the coop starts at waist level and is tall enough that I can put my upper body in to clean, I love the fact that the chickens always have a shaded area under the coop. I have vinyl on the floor and also use a dustpan and handheld "broom" to sweep the shavings out into a garbage bag. I also purchased a child's sand/beach rake & kitty litter scoop at the dollar store to clean the sand in the run. I'm all about low maintenance

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