I seriously need some coop advice......

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by juliemom25, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    We have this great old coop. There are US Poultry certifications in the inside that are dated 1947. It was really this coop that got us started on wanting to have chickens. Here's a current picture of the coop (you can see the old hen nesting boxes):


    We have been working hard to get it cleaned out. There was tons of old junk in there (some cool old chicken stuff included). Our plan has been to completely remove all the old interior boards and replace them. Those boards are a mess. Some are rotten, some have water damage, some have apparently been chewed on by a goat or something that was stored in there. As we started ripping down boards, we found a very big problem. TONS of raccoon poop (it is seriously disgusting). They have obviously infested the coop (up in the rafters) at some point. We started reading up on coon poop and found that raccoon roundworm can be very dangerous and sometimes deadly, especially to young children (we have 5 young kiddos). Many coons carry it and it is transferred to humans by coming in contact with any little particle of coon poop.

    Here's a link on it:


    So, now we do not know what to do. The recommended way to clean up coon droppings to try prevent contamination is by wearing the gloves, mask, etc and by double bagging or burning the droppings. After the actual poop is gone the only way to kill roundworm eggs (they can live for years and we have no clue if the poop is as old as the US Poultry Certificates) is by heat. Bleach will not kill the eggs.

    Now we have to decide if we can clean the coop thorough enough to put chickens in there. We could clean it up the best we can and then systematically propane torch the whole interior (which will then mostly be covered by plywood). That should kill any eggs that could be lingering. But could we get them all? We are not normally the type of people to worry about every little sniffle in our kids or every little danger out there in the world. But, there are massive amount of poop out there and raccoon roundworms can be very serious. I do NOT want to loose my coop. It is totally set up for out chicks and has tons of space, a chicken run, little closable doors, nesting boxes, etc. However, I will not put anyone or thing at risk because I like my coop. We will obviously be consuming those eggs and we plan to share the extra with friends and family.

    Please tell me what you guys think....


    Edited to add: We currently have 28 almost 3 weeks old hens. They have a few more weeks in the brooder boxes in our garage, but we need to figure our pretty quick what to do.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  2. crazy for chicken

    crazy for chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
  3. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    If you really want to use it then dont just stand there looking at it any longer start the clean up process! remove all poo and heat it up and rewood it isnt county living fun [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I think I would do what I could to clean it out - it is too cool not to use!! Get on your masks and gloves and good luck!
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    If it were I, I'd remove all of the poop that I could and throw it on a large brush pile fire out in the yard, making sure that it all burned.
    Then I'd rent a steamer that would put out lots of red-hot steam and use it throughout the coop.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you want to know what I think, I think the danger of raccoon roundworm is considerably oversensationalized. People can get severe health problems, even in very rare cases die, from DOG roundworms too, or lots and lots of other critters' roundworms. It is RARE. Admittedly there are probably missed diagnoses, but in the last 25 or so years there have been less than 1 case per year of raccoon roundworms in humans, and that's globally. Compare to deaths from shark attack, lightning, falling vending machines.

    If it were me, I would wear a mask and perhaps gloves when cleaning up large raccoon poo deposits; and I would dispose of the poo somewhere people and raccoons will not come into contact with it. Scrub surfaces well, apply agricultural/veterinary disinfectant, let sit a while. If the floor and/or is really nasty, lining it with plywood etc might be a good idea for LOTS of reasons, this being one of the more minor ones to my mind.

    Otherwise, just behave sensibly. Don't lick the coop floor. Even WITHOUT raccoon poo on it [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, WONDERFUL old coop [​IMG],

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  7. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    As you're sweeping up, etc., you might want to lightly spray things down with some 10% clorox water. Not necessarily to sanitize things with the clorox, but to use the dampness to keep the dust from getting stirred up too much...kinda like old sawdust floorsweep.

    Best wishes,
  8. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Go to Lowes and pick up some disposable coveralls and a pack of dust masks. It'll give you some piece of mind and protection from dust and contact with anything you're cleaning up as well as keep you cleaner while working.


    Just wear boots and duct tape the legs over them.

    You'll also want to get as many fans venting OUT of the building as possible to aid in keeping the dust down.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  9. winniegirl

    winniegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    I'm no expert in this area but JOEBRYANT's steam clean idea sounds good, and seems easier than blow-torching-plywood.

    I always knew about raccoon worms but was never too concerned about it. Until my vet told me about one of those "believe it or not" stories--raccoons were nesting on an unused roof garden at at preschool. Some kids got roundworms and health officials couldn't figure it out and closed the school over the summer to investigate. They were very concerned becuase they diagnosed it as raccoon roundworm, as Pat said it's rare plus difficult to treat. Finally they found the raccoon den on the roof and they soon realized that the raccoon latrine (yes, they use one specific area to poop!) was in an area where the rain easily washed it down the downspout right into the outside playarea YUCK!!!! They reopened in the fall, don't know how they cleaned it up exactly.

    Well, I don't know--that building looks too cool not to use. I have little kids and dogs also so I'd be in a quandry. Keep us posted!!

    Don't lick the coop floor.

    Oh yeah, what she said! [​IMG]
  10. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Quote:This should totally be a BYC t-shirt. [​IMG]

    Blow torching the interior seems like a really good way to set that sucker on fire. I agree that it is a really cool coop. I am totally jealous of your coolness actually. Burning it down would be a huge loss.
    Take as many precautions as you can. Respirators aren't that expensive and will help ease your mind. I would just make sure that the kids were far, far away when I was working on it and I would likely strip my outside layer off outside and then come in and scrub down real good once I finished working for the day. I wouldn't let the kids or pets near me, my clothes or the coop until I was done scrubbing it. Spray it down with a disinfectant (bleach water?). Replace the walls and floor. You should be fine.
    Congrats on the really cool space. I love it!

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