Is the dust dangerous to breathe when cleaning coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicksrcool, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. chicksrcool

    chicksrcool Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Aug 8, 2009
    SoCal
    Hi,

    I searched this subject first and didn't see anything. Is it harmful for us to breathe the dust emitted by their droppings when we sweep out their coop? I just worry because my little ones are around the area also when we clean. It's sort of a family affair that we all do together. Yes I will admit, my paranoia prompted this post because I just saw Dr. G and they were talking about rat droppings that dried up and were swept up in the air and breathed in, causing a horrible disease called hantavirus and there is no cure, and you will most likely die if exposed to this.

    We don't wear masks or anything. Should we? And does anyone else have concerns on the subject?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    YES! Invest in a high-quality dusk mask and wear them any time you're cleaning...I think mine was around $25 or so and make sure it's one for fine particles...also, leave the windows/doors open when you clean and run a fan if you have power out there...
     
  3. chicksrcool

    chicksrcool Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Aug 8, 2009
    SoCal
    Thanks RFF. I am really worried because we never really have taken precautions before. I know the chickens don't carry the virus I am worried about, but I guess it should have been common sense to do this prior. We are always out in the open air as the two coops are tiny but there still is a certain amount of dust (including from their wood chips, poop, and maybe food)
     
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    21,917
    69
    418
    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Ive cleaned out coops without masks....lazy me! [​IMG] However there isn't much in there to clean since most of the droppings are outside in run. The sawdust seems to help it along.

    Above all, do wear your masks or a bandana if you do not have a mask. Its better than being "naked".
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  5. chicksrcool

    chicksrcool Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Aug 8, 2009
    SoCal
    Yeah the coops are very small--one is an old playhouse and the other holds just 3. Alot of stuff accumulates in there for sure. I will get some little masks or use a bandana...thanks!
     
  6. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:If there is a lot of dust you might want to reevaluate your ventilation, too...
     
  7. birdsNbeesNseeds

    birdsNbeesNseeds Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
    0
    99
    Apr 24, 2010
    The GOOD masks are NIOSH approved in the US. You can still use the disposable masks, as long as they have a NIOSH rating, preferably N95 or higher. It's just harder to get a good seal around the face with a filtering facepiece than with a cartridge type respirator. Sorry, a sleeve to your face or bandana doesn't do anything. (If you don't get a seal, the air leaks and the mask doesn't work- you just wasted your money.) [​IMG] Masks also come in different sizes. (S, M, L)

    If you want do make sure you're being the safest you can (and with some individuals that have health issues this is VERY important!) go to a safety supply store to check out the different types of masks they have in stock.

    You should also check out gloves and boots too if you don't already have those. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  8. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    353
    4
    141
    May 23, 2007
    I have asthma so I always always always wear a respirator. I happened to have the kind of respirator you would use to apply pesticides with, because I needed it for a few other things. It fits well and works great, my asthma actually improves when I clean the coop while wearing it, because the air I'm breathing is so well filtered.
     
  9. LovinMyPeeps

    LovinMyPeeps Sees Wine Dots

    Mar 22, 2009
    Heuvelton, NY
    As a respiratory nurse I will say without fail that dust from a chicken coop is EXTREMELY dangerous to be inhaled. Then you combine the natural ammonia, etc, with things you may add like DE, sevin dust or PDZ and you only compound it! Yes a N-95 respirator is the key and you do need a good seal as was stated, otherwise, you're defeating the whole purpose. I watch my clients everyday and it reminds me to wear my mask in the coops [​IMG]
     
    theuglychick likes this.
  10. chicksrcool

    chicksrcool Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Aug 8, 2009
    SoCal
    Thanks All! I really feel I've been a little careless or is it carefree (not sure which). Nearly all my shoes have chicken poop on them too! I am really a sanitary person but I guess you just get lazy. And they free range a lot so we are always stepping in doodoo. We don't have much land, just our tiny suburban backyard. But I could really use some rubber boots, gloves, and the mask for sure.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by