Spring Cleaning Questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cats Critters, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    I'm getting ready for spring cleaning, slowly emptying it of bedding, I need to do some touch up paint on the outside (cats thought the one corner was the best scratching post [​IMG] ) clean roosts and nest boxes and possible paint the inside of the coop and possible add some new nest boxes
    My questions are:
    1. Should I clean with just strait water or with soap or what?
    2. how can I clean the nest boxes and paint the interior with the girls needing to get inside to lay?
    3. Best way to clean roosts?
  2. Keep it simple. Get out all of the old litter. You can use a stiff brush and some 10% bleach water to scrub out the inside where there is poop and other sticky stuff. Use a garden sprayer to spray the entire inside with 10% bleach water. This will kill off any nasties that are in the coop. Allow the inside to dry, add clean litter, and then let your chickens back in. A clean coop means healthy chickens. I wear a dust mask when I clean out my coop. It is a really easy way to get a sore throat breathing in "chicken dust".
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Dust masks or respirators are a very good thing to wear when cleaning out the coop.

    I clean roosts primarily by scraping them. We always use 2x4s or 2x2s as roosts. It's very easy to just run a putty knife or other scraping tool along them. I do this at any time during the year that they need it.

    I hesitate to say this, but we don't normally disinfect the coop. I know there are people that bleach their entire coop, top to bottom. I just use a damp sponge to wipe down dust on things. We scoop out the old litter and put down fresh.

    We've never had a disease problem here. If we ever had an outbreak, then we would disinfect everything. As it is, dry food dispensers get cleaned as needed. Water dispensers or bowls get cleaned every time they get filled. Bowls used to serve supplemental foods, that are usually moist, are cleaned after each use.

    We've never had a problem with poop on the walls. I think that may be more of a problem when the roosts are a little too close to the walls. Maybe a poop trajectory problem?

    For painting, can you set them up with food, water and a nest box in the run, for the day? Then, just lock them out. I'd start early, use a low voc paint and maybe set up a fan later in the day.
  4. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    For painting, can you set them up with food, water and a nest box in the run, for the day? Then, just lock them out. I'd start early, use a low voc paint and maybe set up a fan later in the day.

    Most likely, but that will have to wait till I can butcher 2 roos that are in the now
    Thanks for all the ideas!​
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    You're welcome!

    If you have to wait a little longer to do the painting, you'll have even nicer weather for it.
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Just wondering...

    Has anyone ever cleaned their coop with borax for mite control? I used a carpet cleaning company in San Diego that used borax in the wash solution for flea control (I lived at the beach). It worked...
  7. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    So, has anyone tried Tek-Trol or Quat-A-Mone?
    I like the bleach idea, but if there is something better, I'd love to know. This is my first major cleaning- AND BOY DOES IT NEED IT!! PEEEE_EWWWW

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't personally see the point in using bleach or any other disinfectant (unless you've had a known disease problem).

    Just scrubbing with vigor, warm water and a little bit of soap will be FINE for getting the poo and dust off.

    My preference is to scatter some DE into the crevices (where walls meet floor, around roost mounts, nest boxes, etc) whenever I happen to have the bedding all out for any reason. I feel it helps keep down any incipient or smoldering mite problems.

    It's a good idea to wear a dust mask when cleaning out the coop (and have all windows and doors open); histoplasmosis is no fun, and even without it, you can give yourself a good case of bronchitis etc that way, or discover hitherto-unknown incipient allergies in a rather unpleasant fashion.

    Have fun,

  9. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    I prefer to clean out the coop on a warm, sunny day, so that I can lock the girls out in their run and not freeze to death while I'm battling dirt and dust.

    I sweep out the coop and put all the old bedding/nesting materials into the compost heap. Then I deckbrush the floor of the coop (bleach optional) and sweep out any cobwebs from the ceiling and rafters. I use this opportunity to look for crack or holes in the floor or walls, and patch anything up as necessary. I may ShopVac the screens/window openings.

    I always, *always* wear a mask when cleaning the coop; I just use one of those disposable drywall masks people wear when sanding down drywall mud.

    I have heard the suggestion of "whitewashing" the roosts with a mixture of DE and water (I think Silkiechicken has suggested this before...), which seems like a good idea to me.

    Then, of course, it's time to let the coop dry/air out, then spread fresh bedding.

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