When To Clean

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by madamwlf, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mount Airy, MD
    Hi, I know many clean their coops once a year but when is a good time??? I started my flock early Spring and have only added straw to it when it needs it. Is it better to clean it before winter so that the ladies have a clean home to dwell in? I assume during winter they spend a lot of time in the coop. Thanks!
  2. User66184

    User66184 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2010
    East Coast, Virgina
    Hi First Off [​IMG] !!

    I Myself dont clean our coop once a year thats just icky and yucky (no offence to those whome may clean once a year) We Usually Do ours Every Other weekend, (saterday) So Well Have A Fresh Coop, Not some Dust Rag, If I Were you i wouldnt do the once a year unless u have a Brooder coop, ( www.poultryhelp.com/brooders.html ) But, Its Your Coop [​IMG]....Hope It Helpz

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2010
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm a frequent cleaner as well who uses dropping boards (and scrapes them off daily). But I think your idea is good. I orginally intended to change out my bedding each season. But live and learn. So I'll be doing a bedding toss this Fall, probably October/November, and then again in early Spring, as soon as the weather begins warming up. It'll get nasty over the winter, because as you said, they'll spend a LOT more time inside. [​IMG]
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    First off, I wouldn't use straw. When it gets wet it will mold and that could be detrimental to your chickens, you, and your floor. I use pine shavings about 4-6 inches deep. I also sprinkle some DE and Stall Dry (for horse stalls to absorb moisture and neutralize odor) in the shavings. I haven't had my coop long, but I put in a poop board to catch the majority of the poop. That I will clean every few days. The coop itself I probably wont clean until spring. I have an 8x8 coop and I used 3 bags of shavings. You can fluff the shavings by turning periodically or throw down some scratch and let the hens do it.
  5. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mount Airy, MD
    I prefer straw since we use it for other things and I plan to compost it for my garden in the spring. The coop actually stays pretty dry inside so I have no fear of it getting wet. Might have to look into the poop board though.
  6. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    I clean mine with each season, but I would be sure to clean yours out at the end of fall. They do spend so much more time in there during the long winter months, making lots-o-poop!
  7. SandyK

    SandyK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2009
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    I used to use the straw, but after trying the shavings, I'll never go back. They don't fluff up nice like the shavings do. I don't like how they mat down and you see the poo on top. With the shavings and DE, everything just blends together and stays nice and dry. In my nest boxes, I do keep the straw to give them a nice thick padding for the eggs. In the run, I also throw lots of straw around for them to dig through. Everything eventually gets to the compost bin.
  8. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I clean spring and fall, compleate,I start from the top, take down the spider webs, broom the walls, scrap/wire brush any poo on the wall nest boxes roosts, shovel out, sweep and spray oxine on everything. also scrub/bleach/clean all waters, feeders and anything else. plus all birds get checked for any bugs and treated if needed, if bugs are found the coop the bird is from get treated too. this usually takes me a week or more but I have more then 6 coops and many breed pens. if an area get wet/ditry it gets spot cleaned as needed.
    I use a layer of stall dry the shavings on top, unless there has been a moisture problem in the past I add the stall dry/horse bedding pellets then shavings
  9. chauqg

    chauqg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2009
    I have had my deep litter in the coop since December. Litter is still dry, the poop is drying out in about 1-2 days, and there is no smell of ammonia. I'm currently planting our fall garden crop and will soon remove all the litter from the coop and spread it on the garden. That will be about 75-100 cu.ft. I'll spread it on the garden without worry of killing anything with the urine content of the litter.

    DLM is the way to go. The coop is 10x10 the litter is about 8" deep wood shavings, considering it has accumulated/dried and poop from 25 birds since December - that seems to pretty low maintenance. It does not need to be removed, but I need it in the garden and would rather do it when the weather is warm.

    Good Luck cleaning... I spend the time in the garden or fishing!

  10. Chickenoverload

    Chickenoverload Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2010
    All i do is clean out the shavings once a season and do a big major clean in the spring wash poo off the walls, roosts, nestboxes and stuff.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by