Is this coop maintenance ok?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hyline, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Hyline

    Hyline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Western Australia
    I have converted a horse stable and WIWO yard into a coop for my girls :) Inside I have a mister and fan for hot weather, and the floor is compacted dirt that I put bedding over the top of. I was using pine sawdust but found it got mouldy in places due to the water mister so have switched to washed white sand. Outside is just dirt, though I hope to grow some grass out there shortly.

    I use my horse pooper scooper and pick up chicken poo daily, just a skip out and rake all the sand level. When it needs it I dig it out and replace it all - usually with the change of season. It is all wooden inside.

    Is this OK? Alot of what I have read says the coop should be disinfected etc twice yearly, but I can't really do that with my setup. My girls are glossy and healthy and they are regularly wormed (every three months). I have Pestene powder for mites etc but rarely use it - they don't seem to have any. I want to get some diamotaceous earth to make a dust bath for them as a preventative.

    Do you think I am managing my girls ok? The rooster has a 'bachelor pad' with sawdust and that gets changed every few weeks and he is dusted off with Pestene powder fairly regularly as he is a grot! His coop is metal (a night coop - like an oversized rabbit hutch - he free ranges in the day).
     
  2. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    sounds like they are very happy girls...so yes you are doing a lot more than some people even do for their chickens :)

    I use sand in the spring summer and fall myself, and then I just use straw for winter cause well it gets rather cold here...I add DE tot he sand since they literally roll around the ground while dustbathing. Some of them look like they are trying to do some crazy break dancing moves..LOL...

    Ema
     
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  3. Hyline

    Hyline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Western Australia
    Thanks Ema! For winter I'll go back to shavings when they won't be getting wet from the mister. It gets so hot at this time of year that they'd really suffer without it. Shovelling out all that sand is going to be fun lol! I'll put it in the run to help the grass grow :)
     
  4. berniezahm

    berniezahm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2008
    Sounds like your doing a great job to me. There are some folks that feel bleach or any other disinfectant should never be use in a coop if it can be avoided. Chickens poo in their own water supply and then drink from it. They also peck through each others poo. If your chcikens free range they eat things that you and I would avoid putting in our mouthes for all we were worth. So what are you really disinfecting when you do it anyway? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  5. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I don't clean out the sand in the fall at all. I just rake it add DE and then toss the straw on top. after the spring thaw I rake out all the straw, toss more DE on the sand and then rake it through. Now if its really soiled then yes, I will clean it out, but DE keeps the smells down.

    Now on to disinfecting....in the winter I only rinse their waterers with hot water, only to get their poop off, but spring summer and fall their waterers, well most of them, are outside under shady spots, I do leave one in the coops for those who rather stay inside during the real hot weather, but because they are outside overnight (because we usually forget to bring them in at night) and there is other wildlife around, I clean them out with hot water and a little bit of bleach, they also get real muddy because for what ever reason the chickens feel like finding the nearest puddle walking through it and then it magically appears all over the waterers, LOL.
     
  6. Hyline

    Hyline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Western Australia
    I must admit, I did wonder what the whole disinfectant thing was about. Then again they say the same thing about horse stables and buckets etc and I never do that, and they're all still alive lol!! I don't do much disinfecting around my 'coop' either haha. I was a bit worried about the wooden roosts and red mite, although I see no evidence of it.

    I change their water daily and put a little apple cider vinegar in it, but they never seem to dirty their water (I have very anal, pedantic, clean fussy girls lol - little OCD chickens!!) so I just give it a rinse under the tap and refill.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

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