How often should I clean out the chicken coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SweetPeaMandy, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. SweetPeaMandy

    SweetPeaMandy In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    I have set up my chicken's night area under the highest part of my pool deck. They are free range within my privacy fence, and go under the deck during the hottest part of the day and at night. So my question is, how often should I clean out the straw I have as bedding on the ground? Or should I just fluff it around? I only have three chickens, so I don't have a ton of poo, but there is poo of course. [​IMG] I have a tarp over the deck to keep it as dry as possible under there, but it still gets a little damp if the rain comes down sideways or really hard. I currently have one square bale spread out, should I have more or less? Any input is appreciated! [​IMG]



    Pictures are from when I was first setting it up, I currently have hanging buckets for food and water. But still need to put a roosting pole/rod up since they are roosting on the nests and causing a mess in the nests. I also want to level the nests, just got to put that on the "honey-do" list and make sure he does it! lol [​IMG]
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    i scoop the big poops out everyday. i am home all the time tho. so i have waaayyy too much time. but i like the (less fly) around my girls when it laying time.

    some others scoop about using the (deep litter method)

    hope that helps. [​IMG]
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Uh, with only 3 hens you'd probably only need to clean it out every 6 months! It sounds like they are pretty much only sleeping there, so it won't get very messy. Some people do the deep litter method and clean it out once a year. In winter, if it gets damp, I'd clean it out more often though. Moldy, wet conditions are bad for chickens.

    I clean mine about every 3-4 weeks and I have 15 chickens.
  4. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    Clinton, OH
  5. SweetPeaMandy

    SweetPeaMandy In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    Thanks for all the feed back! I guess I will only clean it out about every 4-6 months as I see fit then. And let my husband use the "used" hay for planting grass. [​IMG]

    Thanks BetterHomesandGardens! I figured it was wasted space under there, might as well use it for something! And the chickens make great bug catchers so that being in the backyard is more pleasurable. And the only way I could talk my hubby into letting me get a few! [​IMG]
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Murphy NC
    I cant free range my birds so I keep them in moveable tractors. We move the tractors every couple of days and this keeps the mess down, as well as the smell. The actual coops we keep clean straw on the floors, removeing as soon as a smell becomes noticeable. In this hot weather, this usually means every couple of wks. Mostly my goal is to not see matted down piles of poop inside the coops under the roost area, nor do I want damp musty odors inside with my birds.
  7. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    That's a lot of nesting boxes for three girls...I think you need more chickens [​IMG]
  8. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick 8 Years

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I clean mine every day I am home by scooping up any 'piles' in the shavings, but if I miss a day or two I don't worry too much. And I don't change out the pine chips unless they come with the poop. [​IMG]

    However, my coop is considerably smaller with eight chickens and they are currently only in the run and coop when I am not around (not free ranging). Yours doesn't look like it will need it very often!
  9. Keens2050

    Keens2050 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    Narvon, PA
    I agree with "LizGled623" - that's an awesome setup for 8 or more hens! The more the merrier!!!!
  10. SweetPeaMandy

    SweetPeaMandy In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    lol I am planning on letting them raise a brood or two. Sell the new roosters and keep the hens for eggs. But that is a future thing since they haven't even started laying eggs yet! [​IMG]

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