It's been cold and wet here but now we are headed in for a couple of dry days...not all that warm...but dry. I have four chickens and a small raised coop. I have not done a thorough clean out since early fall, and then it was just to completely replace the old shavings. That being said, I clean the poop off the poop board every day and scoop the big wet clumps up that miss the board and fall to the shavings below. I keep the poop scraped off the roost as well. I use DE to keep things dried out and have added clean shavings as needed. The plywood floor under the shavings appears clean and dry. The walls are clean and dry. The nest boxes appear clean. The roost is poop stained and has some gunk in the cracks where the boards are joined. Now, to my questions about ways to clean and the reasons why... A lot of people advise washing the whole coop down with bleach. Is that really necessary given that there is no visible mess on the floor and walls? What would I be trying to kill with the bleach? The poop board is easy. It's metal and I can just hose it off and it will dry quickly. The roost, however, requires my unscrewing it and taking it out of the coop to clean (little coop). I'm concerned that if I scrub it down it may not dry during the day, so perhaps I'll have to wait on that until it gets warmer...but then...bleach? It's not that I'm adverse to cleanliness, but I do have some sensitivities to harsh chemicals and don't want to use them if I don't have to. So, I guess the big picture of "what am I trying to kill" with the bleach would help. And, what might be a less harsh substitute? Thanks for reading and for your help. Edited for a clearer title.