How often do you sanitize feeders/waterers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by katelk, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just wondering other people's thoughts on how often (and how) to sanitize chicken feeders, waterers, walls of coop, and anything else?
    What all do you sanitize and how regularly? I use Oxine, what do you use?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CityCAChicken

    CityCAChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I took the appoarch that my chickens needed to be clean, odorless and limited work for me. This has worked perfect so far.

    Feeder: I don't use a chicken feeder. I just toss a handful of feed on the ground in am/pm.
    Run: Sand bedding. I use a kitty litter scoop and scoop it out once every other week.
    Water:I dump it, rinse it out with the hose and fill it back up. Every other day.
    Coop: Has a sheet metal floor. I rinse it off with water once every other week when I deal with the run. Once a month I rinse with water/bleach.
     
  3. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info! This is basically what I do, but I use a deep litter method with pine shavings in my coop and fully clean it and scrub all surfaces with oxine twice per year. I also use a feeder, but they throw food everywhere so they basically eat off the ground anyway.

    I have been wondering about using sand as bedding. It seems like the most perfect solution to a clean coop, but I have also heard negative things such as it harbors ecoli and coccidiosis.
    Do you know anything about that? The things I have read seem to be 50/50 for sand bedding. I am dying to use it, but am a bit scared! Any thoughts?
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't sanitize much of anything anymore these days. If I'm canning food, then I will sanitize jars with boiling water before packing, but as far as the chickens go, I generally don't bother.

    I do scrub out their watering buckets (nipple buckets) most every time I fill them up.

    I do put in their water EM (effective microorganisms, basically a liquid probiotic). I also spray down nearly every square inch of their coop and enclosed runs (except the ceilings) with an EM dilution every 4-6 weeks during the warm months of the year. We also do a deep litter method and the EM will contribute to the health of the deep litter rather than being harmed by a sanitizer. There are microbes in EM that are especially suited to breaking down chicken poo.

    There's a new-ish cleaning movement that is about moving away from sanitizing (killing ALL microbes, good and bad) to inoculating (planting "good" bacteria, much like probiotics for your gut). The theory is that when you sanitize, you wipe the slate clear and it's a crap-shoot as to whether the good or bad bacteria will win control of the surface. However, if you inoculate with good bacteria (such as those in EM), after cleaning with mild soap, you dramatically improve the playing field in favor of the "good guys". The bad guys are still there, but they get beat out by the good guys. It's similar to the anti-biotics deal in medicine...and in that case, the over-use of anti-biotics has resulted in some pretty nasty "superbugs" that are impervious to all anti-biotics. Google for "C. difficile" for an example. Probiotics are becoming the new thing, though they are anything but new. Rather than fighting everything, simply improve your offense.

    I do think there is a time and place for sanitizing/anti-biotics, such when dealing with an obviously very sick person, chicken or other animal. What I sometimes do in these cases, is sterilize the surface, wait a while for the sterilization substance to lose it's power (bleach breaks down pretty quickly once exposed to light and air), then inoculate with something like EM, and repeat again in a few days. Internally, it would be to boost up on the probiotics once the antibiotic round is complete.

    There are a number of new household cleaners using microbial technology as the "cleaner". Bac-Out by Bio-Kleen is one such product and can be found in stores that carry environmentally-friendly household cleaners.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Nobody told me it needed sanitising so I never have. Two years and none of them has caught whatever it is that they could catch from not sanitising???

    I'm a great believer in allowing the build up of natural immunity by allowing contact to things ( within reason of course) if you kill all the bacteria around they won't develop natural immunity so any sort of higher than normal contact could be dangerous. A bird with some natural immunity however is at a lot less risk.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is interesting and I have never heard of this! Do you use the same product in their water and as a dilution to clean? May I ask you to point me in the direction of a specific product? Thanks!
     
  7. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I probably worry for nothing. Just with how much poop is constantly everywhere, I feel like everything is a hazard lol. I clean often but rarely ever sanitize and was more wondering if I should be. Apparently I am just looking for unnecessary work though :p
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've never "sanitized" anything. I've never scrubbed or washed the wall of the coop, but I do take down cobwebs when I start feeling threatened [​IMG]. I suppose the main coop could use a pressure washing, but honestly it's an old greenhouse and the panels aren't doing so well, so I'm afraid the whole thing would collapse!

    I do put some bleach in the water in the hot months, to keep the algae down. I use large waterers, so if I don't do that I get a lot of green growth. Other than that, I'll wash something with the hose if it's really dirty, but no sanitizing, even for chicks. I figure I didn't sanitize things for my kids and they have great immune systems, must work for my chickens also. I don't sanitize any of the other animals' quarters, either. We did pour alcohol on the scalpel before we castrated the pigs, does that count [​IMG]
     
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it is very interesting! Blew my mind once I started learning about it. Yes, I use the same product in the water and to spray the coop surfaces down. There are a couple different routes you can go with using EM in terms of which products to use.

    The easiest, but more expensive route:

    For water and spray-down: http://www.scdprobiotics.com/SCD-Bio-Livestock-p/a127-1.htm
    They also have a specific product for spray-down (but the Bio Livestock product above would work as well, just less as effectively): http://www.scdprobiotics.com/SCD-Probiotics-Barn-Kleaner-p/a182-b.htm


    The more complicated but most cost effective route:

    Get this product, a "mother culture": http://www.scdprobiotics.com/ProBio-Balance-Plus-p/a152-1.htm
    or a similar one: http://www.teraganix.com/EM-1-Microbial-Inoculant-Microbial-Inoculants-p/1000.htm
    Then follow these instructions (the instructions apply to any brand of EM mother culture you use): http://www.teraganix.com/Activated-EM-1-s/261.htm

    The "instructions" are how to take a portion of the "mother culture", mix it with molasses and water to "activate" it. In other words, you can take 1 cup of the mother culture and activate it to be 1 gallon of EM. The end result is not quite as strong or effective as the mother culture, but depending on the conditions in which you activate it in, it can come close. This is what I do and therefore only spend a few dollars a year on EM. pH testing paper can be handy if you go this route. For dilutions I use about 1/2tsp per gallon for drinking to start them with, then slowly increase the amount each water fill up to up to 1Tbs per gallon. and for spray-down I use a dilution of 10Tbs (aka 2/3c) per gallon. I use a handheld garden-hose sprayer set to 10T/gal like the "Gilmour 362 All-Purpose Sprayer", available at many garden stores or Amazon.

    The "easier/more expense" route is based upon the same stuff of the mother cultures, it's just they've already been activated and cannot be effectively activated again. For dilutions with these products, follow the instructions given on the products.

    Don't buy these products directly from SCD Probiotics, if you can help it. Their shipping prices are ridiculous. There are a variety of online retailers (including Amazon) that sell select products from the SCD line, with much reasonable shipping prices. Or, if you live near Kansas City (where SCD is headquartered), perhaps shipping won't be as pricey for you.

    My philosophy is whenever you put ANYTHING in the water...vitamins, probiotics, apple cider vinegar, EM, etc...give them a choice of plain water and the treated water. When I first put my chickens on EM in their water, they guzzled down the EM water like it was a tasty treat before touching the plain water. Now they drink less of the EM water than they did at first, sometimes more, sometimes less.

    If you're interested in more, PM me and I'll send you a small pdf book I wrote on using EM with backyard poultry. I don't work for any of these companies, I just enjoy their products.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  10. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Its probably more important to keep areas clean of poop than sanitised from it. I was only reading a link yesterday about coccidiosis and it really stressed the importance of keeping areas clean and dry. Damp is the danger thing and it stressed how important it was to make sure its not getting the litter wet when you fill drink containers etc so when you are cleaning you would have to watch that too as damp areas are the perfect breeding area for the little blighters. They spread it by scratching and eating poop containting spores accidentaly so they also mentioned rotating high use runs etc. Disinfecting didnt help kill the spores though.
     

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