I inherited 22 hens and a rooster. Cleaning help please!!!

Banana01

Songster
Feb 18, 2021
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San Martin, Peru
I like sand for drainage properties, but your coop is a dry coop where water should not accumulate.

Have you tried bare floors, or putting a cover over the bare floors? I put down rice bags sometimes and remove them or swap them out. But Im still cleaning every day if i do that.

For the wet, muddy, droppings covered conditions, i use bare floor and let the mud and droppings accumulate. But i have an open coop so 100% ventilation. I dont know what to do in a closed coop.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
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Belding, MI
You could also do poop boards (under their roost bars as they sleep).
Poop boards are fantastic, as long as they work. Mine have a lip on them to keep the sweet PDZ on it, and they work very well. (PDZ, if you don't know, is sold at places like TSC; check the horse section and look for "stall refresher.") The PDZ really helps with the ammonia smell.
Second, could we see more photos of the coop in and out? Especially photos of the ventilation?
Yes, the more, the better, with photos. :)

One way to know if you have enough ventilation is to check the relative humidity in the coop. It should stay very close to the RH outside. If it's more than 5% (ish) higher, consider adding more ventilation.
Please allow me to add the run is not covered, I plan to add roofing this spring, but the rain just soaks everything allowing the birds track in mud/poop/etc as well.
Roofing the run will help a lot. Can you put up a tarp in the mean time? I did that last year, and it worked very well. I had raked up leaves in the run, and they stayed dry, for the most part.

And, welcome to BYC.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,223
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Going to wait on more coop photos to see if I can make a better suggestion other than changing the layout in there (you have a good amount of actual floor space but it is cluttered in there!)

For the run, two things: see about improving the drainage if drainage is an issue at the location, and also consider switching to deep litter. My run is uncovered and I had a mud/odor issue when I first started, but I started using deep litter and it gradually fixed itself with no extra effort from me.

Start off with a base of chunky wood chips for drainage and aeration. Ideally you'd want aged chips but it's easier to get fresh ones and set aside for aging (though you can start building up thin layers of chips immediately to help with your mud issue). If you have room in the yard to hold onto a load of chips, tree companies (at least in my area) are always looking to offload chips and will do so for free/a small tip.

Now it's a little late in the season for gathering these, but if you have neighbors still putting out bags of dried leaves, those are a great add in on top of the chips. I store bags of dried leaves in my greenhouse each fall for use in the run. Non-toxic weeds and garden trimmings can also be added through the year. In summer, I add in short grass clippings left out a day or two to dry.

My uncovered run floor the morning after a night of heavy rain... it's surface dry even though there's standing puddles in the lawn surrounding the run.
litter.jpg

I also use wood chips as my main litter inside the coop, mainly because it's free and readily available, however my birds don't poop a lot inside the coop as I mostly feed and water outside (I keep 1 dry feeder inside the coop). As I do not use poop boards I buy hemp bedding for use under the roost so I can sift poop out for composting.

coopfloor.JPG
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,739
4,503
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The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
This is a good note to make
Going to wait on more coop photos to see if I can make a better suggestion other than changing the layout in there (you have a good amount of actual floor space but it is cluttered in there!)

For the run, two things: see about improving the drainage if drainage is an issue at the location, and also consider switching to deep litter. My run is uncovered and I had a mud/odor issue when I first started, but I started using deep litter and it gradually fixed itself with no extra effort from me.

Start off with a base of chunky wood chips for drainage and aeration. Ideally you'd want aged chips but it's easier to get fresh ones and set aside for aging (though you can start building up thin layers of chips immediately to help with your mud issue). If you have room in the yard to hold onto a load of chips, tree companies (at least in my area) are always looking to offload chips and will do so for free/a small tip.

Now it's a little late in the season for gathering these, but if you have neighbors still putting out bags of dried leaves, those are a great add in on top of the chips. I store bags of dried leaves in my greenhouse each fall for use in the run. Non-toxic weeds and garden trimmings can also be added through the year. In summer, I add in short grass clippings left out a day or two to dry.

My uncovered run floor the morning after a night of heavy rain... it's surface dry even though there's standing puddles in the lawn surrounding the run.
View attachment 2914574

I also use wood chips as my main litter inside the coop, mainly because it's free and readily available, however my birds don't poop a lot inside the coop as I mostly feed and water outside (I keep 1 dry feeder inside the coop). As I do not use poop boards I buy hemp bedding for use under the roost so I can sift poop out for composting.

View attachment 2914577
This is a good note to make. I also don't feed or water inside the henhouse, so they don't poop much in there except overnight.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,344
42,111
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Belding, MI
This is a good note to make. I also don't feed or water inside the henhouse, so they don't poop much in there except overnight.
Ditto on that too. I do have feed in there during daylight, but take it out at night. I don't keep any water in the coop; it adds to the humidity, and it can spill.

I like to have open space in the coop, and clutter in the run. The space in the coop makes it easier for me to clean. I scoop the poop board and the poop mat under the other roost every day. (The poop mat is a boot tray with PDZ on it. The "other roost" is lower and for the younger birds; the older one won't let them up on their roost yet.)

It will change as it gets colder, but until then, the birds spend most of their time in the run.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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NY Southern Tier
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I cleaned it all day yesterday and cleaned off about 10 lbs of poop this morning off just the boards.
Wow. That's a LOT of poop!

I have 27 birds that I'll call "23 LF equivalent" to account for the bantams and mid-sized birds. They have 25' of roost space over lipped boards. It takes me no more than 20 minutes to do chores in the morning.
2CAA8E144B7C_1637697964974.png

I'm approaching peak poop board load as the days get shorter. I clean the boards daily and it takes about 1.5 weeks to fill a cat litter bucket that weighs about 40 pounds full.
I strongly suggest getting a solid roof on the run and installing gutters to divert run off away from the setup.
As has been suggested, wood chips are a great substrate. I use them and also allow my flock out of their coop/run combo daily. I have never removed anything from the run. I just add wood chips as needed.
2CAA8E144D14_1637777663075.png

I keep all the food and water in the run. Getting feeders and waterer out of your coop would help with the crowding in there and make it easier for you to work in there.
 

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