Spring coop cleaning - To bleach or not to bleach

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Yay Chicks!, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forest Grove, OR
    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Yay Chicks! :

    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?

    Invisible dangerous germs that make you feel all oogy inside just thinking about 'em [​IMG]

    Seriously, if you have not had any actual disease problems, there is really no good reason to be bleaching the coop. Unless you just personally enjoy bleach fumes or can't sleep unless you feel that you have Used A Cleaning Product, in which case sure, whatever [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  3. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not bleach.
     
  4. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would imagine you have to be very careful with stuff like that... proper dilution ratio and plenty of drying time and evaporation of fumes. I washed my brooder bin (plastic) with 1 part to 10 and I still think I can smell bleach after 3 hours....
     
  5. Pairie Faring

    Pairie Faring Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a 10% bleach solution in a yard sprayer that is specifically for this use. (read : never used it for anything else.) and spray the coop down and let it dry naturally. this is what hospitals , restaurants and vet clinics use for general cleaning purposes. I only do it once or twice a year. Just me though:)
     
  6. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    is the smell of bleach gone after it dries? I am getting a bigger brooder set up to move ducklings into, and trying to be extra careful because of babies....
     
  7. Pairie Faring

    Pairie Faring Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it gets up my nose so I can smell it EVERYWHERE for a few hours but if you were concerned about babies maybe after it dries rinse it with water and let it dry again? I have also heard some people using vinegar diluted 50% in a sprayer so if bleach is a problem for you then that might be a viable alternative?
     
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, the question remains...what are we trying to kill with the bleach?
     
  9. Donner

    Donner Out Of The Brooder

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    Yay Chicks! :

    So, the question remains...what are we trying to kill with the bleach?

    And, I have to ask won't be right back 5 minutes after you put the chickens back, unless you bleach the chickens, too.

    Also, a coop typically have many porous surfaces aka, wood and joints between wood. Just how much will the bleach penetrate?

    My parents have had chickens continuously in the same coop for 20 years (not the same ones). No bleaching. And, no random deaths from disease. I would vote don't bleach.​
     
  10. Pairie Faring

    Pairie Faring Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For me I am most concerned with mold. Bleach will kill and inhibit future growth of mold which can be a concern in with any environment that gets warm and wet. This also makes sense to try to keep that sort of thing down since chickens can so easily develop respiritory issues, the antiviral and antibacterial properties are a bonus. As for the germs coming back anyway... Sure, but just because my kitchen sink is going to get more bacteria in it doesn't mean I don't clean it. once again. Just my opinion. [​IMG]

    I would also be interested in learning more about the vinegar method I mentioned before. Anyone have more info on that?
     

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