Yes, it’s time to clean your chicken coop, and in this article, detailed step by step instructions have been given.
I know how messy your chicken coop could turn out after a long vacation!
Nevertheless, to clean a chicken coop isn’t rocket science. Below are five best steps on how to clean a chicken coop.
Thus, to get both new and old flocks of laying hens ready, keep them off litters and unpleasant odor, we’ve outlined what’s required of you.
For a detailed approach, we included the deep litter method of cleaning a chicken coop.
- How to Clean a Chicken Coop
- Step I: Taking off Dirt from Roosting bars, Nesting Boxes, Floors, Buffer, and Checking Health Status.
- 1. Start with the Roosting Bars
- 2. Move to the Nesting Boxes
- 3. Clean the Floor
- 4. Get Your Bucket Cleaned
- 5. Give Your Chicken a Place to Run
- 6. Check Your Chicken’s Health
- Step II: Disinfect the Coop and Nesting Boxes with Vinegar
- Step III: Mend the Broken Places
- Step IV: Rinse once more (Optional)
- Step V: Add Some Dust
- Step I: Taking off Dirt from Roosting bars, Nesting Boxes, Floors, Buffer, and Checking Health Status.
- How Often Should You Clean a Chicken Coop?
- The Best Way to Clean a Chicken Coop Using the Deep Litter Method
- What You Should Use on the Floor of a Kitchen Coop
- Is the Deep Method for Cleaning the Chicken Coop Right for You?
- Final Thoughts
Here are the six-step by step approach to clean a chicken coop
Step I: Taking off Dirt from Roosting bars, Nesting Boxes, Floors, Buffer, and Checking Health Status.
Time spent on this is dependent on how large or small your chicken coop is.
But let’s begin with the first point:
1. Start with the Roosting Bars
Generally, chickens love to roost. So, if you have roosting bars in your chicken coop, here is a place to start.
But why? The simple answer is: A sleeping chicken is a popping chicken.
Thus, it mustn’t come to you as a surprise that the roosting bars would get nasty.
So, what will help you clean up that? A garden hose is an excellent tool.
The garden hose is one of the simple yet useful tools.
With it, you can scrap everything clean without getting messed up.
Run the garden hose over the roosting bar until you knock loose, and you are left with a clean roosting bar.
After this, then, wash up the roosting bars with a water hose.
And based on how nasty they are, after washing up the bars, dip a sponge in a dash of white vinegar and run it over the bars.
This will keep the bars clean and sanitized.
- Scrap repeatedly with a garden hoe
- Wash up with running water
- Disinfect using sponge and vinegar
2. Move to the Nesting Boxes
You are always delighted to jump into a bed that has a clean sheet, isn’t it? I can relate too. The feeling is heavenly.
Well, your chicken can’t just talk, but they want their chicken coop to be as neat as possible.
And for that reason, their nesting boxes must be cleaned too. That’s their bed!
The regrettable part is that if your chicken nesting boxes aren’t cleaned, it will impact their output.
Therefore, one way to enhance their egg production is to get them cleaned.
After a thorough cleaning, it must even be done regularly.
To do this, you would have to incorporate a garden hoe.
Use the garden hoe to scoop all the poops and litter onto the floor smoothly.
The sweet thing is that the process isn’t challenging or lengthy.
After scooping, you can also clean up with water or any disinfectant.
If you are comfortable with the result, you can return fresh material inside the nesting boxes.
After that, use varying materials. Many bird owners love using shredded papers, mulch, straw, or hay.
I’d recommend cedar pine shavings. But if you don’t have that, use what you have within reach.
As soon as this is cleared, move to the next area of the coop.
- Smoothly scoop with a garden hoe
- Clean up with water and dry
- You may wish to return fresh material inside
- Pour varying materials to keep warm and comfy for sitting
3. Clean the Floor
Your home will be gross if it’s the floor is dirty. It’s the same with your kitchen coop.
Your chicken wouldn’t find it comfortable to walk in a coop if it’s dirty.
Unlike a typical home with the dirt waiting to be cleaned every day, your chicken coop has poop waiting to be cleaned.
The way you clean the floor will strictly be based on the method that works well for you.
Many love to incorporate a deep litter method (explained below).
This is to help add materials to the coop floor to allow waste compost inside the coop.
After using this method or any other method you love, you can take the poo to feed your garden.
One bonus point is that, if you are using this method, you’d need to scrape all the poop from the roosting bars and nesting boxes to stay on the floor of the coop.
Then, set the stage ready to go over the floor and get everything leveled.
If you have bare spaces or some gross spaces, you could add more litter to the coop’s ground.
You might use wood chips for this. Your chicken will love this because it provides them with ample chance to run around.
This will also give your coop an incredible smell.
However, if your coop is concrete or any other type of floor, you should clean it up!
Start the process by cleaning up old waste or materials that you find on the floor, then scoop it out.
You have the liberty, however, to incorporate the materials you have in your compost bin. This will help you not to waste anything.
Then, you will have to wash up and hose down the floor. If you don’t have a concrete floor, then add more materials.
The moment you can bank on a clean floor, you are set to move to the last point under stage one cleaning a chicken coop.
- Scrape poop off the floor
- Get everything leveled
- Disinfect and wash concrete floors or other floor types different from wooden floors. (you might use homemade non toxic for disinfection)
- Filled up wooden floors with materials
4. Get Your Bucket Cleaned
I didn’t forget to mention that chicken poop is still everywhere.
For that reason, you must keep water and food off the nesting boxes or nesting bars.
Of course, you are right; they will poop inside them.
Thus, you have to keep the feeder hanging in the middle of the coop.
This disallows popping around or in the feeder.
Also, it allows their water system to be kept right next to it.
You don’t need a fancy watering system for your chicken; all you need is a simple bucket.
Make it smaller so your chicken can comfortably drink from it.
This makes them happy as they guzzle the water.
Any cost-effective brand will correctly do the job if you aren’t willing to use this.
If the number of chickens you have is small, just one or two will do.
But if you have more, then it’d be best to get more than to.
As I said, a bucket will do, so save up for what you can get a DIY for.
Whatever you use in feeding and watering your hen, the bottom line is that they must be cleaned.
And to do this, bring them out, and wash them with water, thoroughly.
That way, you can keep dirt entirely off them and let them air dry.
It keeps them clean and disallows the growth of any gross inside of them.
And interestingly, it’s merely one of the ways to keep your chicken healthy.
Okay, let me drop this:
When you return your water and food container inside the coop and refill, just add some garlic or ACV to their water.
This strengthens their immune system, and it’s incredibly beneficial during the winter months.
Also read on How to Take care of your health during Covid-19
- Take out food and water container
- Clean and rinse thoroughly with water
- Return inside the coop
- Add ACV or garlic in their water
5. Give Your Chicken a Place to Run
If your chickens do not have a place to free-range, they likely have a place to run or maybe a chicken yard.
My chickens have the liberty to free-range in our fenced-backyard during the fall, and that’s a bonus for me.
They help clean up the garden beds.
But, during the rest of the year, they aren’t allowed because of the items we have in the garden bed inside the fenced backyard.
And this brilliantly suggests that they have a fenced-off chicken yard, disallowing them from accessing that region.
Thus, you can’t forget about these areas when doing the cleaning.
Clean using a hoe or rake to level out litter material covering all the spaces you have.
Incorporate some materials when needed.
Generally, all you just needed to do is to clean up any mess that’s comfortably sitting around.
It’s not a tough job to do.
What you just need is to be maintained, so it doesn’t become unsanitary.
You might not have to scoop this area regularly. But when you need compost, just do.
However, if you aren’t using the deep litter method, you should empty it each time you do sanitation.
- Rake to level litters
- Clean mess on the ground
- Add materials if needed
6. Check Your Chicken’s Health
While having your chicken coop sanitized is the right approach toward hygiene, you must not neglect their health.
You must also check their health status.
From time to time, chickens get sick, and only by being proactive can they bring the difference between life and death for the flock.
Start by checking their feet for bumble feet or checking their overall health.
When one isn’t breathing funny or possesses any abnormality, you would notice immediately.
That’s it for step I cleaning of your chicken coop. Yes, it’s pretty easy, not so?
But what type of cleaning material can you use for cleaning your chicken coop, and what shouldn’t you do.
That leads us to Step II.
Step II: Disinfect the Coop and Nesting Boxes with Vinegar
You might be tempted to use bleach, thinking that it will be more effective, but that is not right.
It’s going to be too harsh for your chickens.
They can be too toxic for your chicken.
Vinger, a better alternative, possesses many of these harsh chemicals’ properties, but they do not come with severe effects.
This is how to use vinegar to clean a chicken coop:
- Mix equal parts of this vinegar and water to produce a solution.
- Mop the area of the coop to achieve an all-natural cleaning.
- Then, using a thick-bristled broom or a hand brush to scrub walls and floors to free up any excess droppings, debris, dirt, or stains.
Step III: Mend the Broken Places
You’ve cleaned and disinfected your chicken coop, but you aren’t done yet. You still got a lot to do.
And that’s what step three covers!
Your chicken coops need repair, and it’s vital to keep them in shape.
If they are in good condition, your chicken will be safe and well.
Thus, while cleaning, give thorough attention to any damaged area that you find in your coop.
When you find one, fix it right away to confirm if there is any damage.
The majority of chicken coop repair will take just a few minutes to complete.
It will take more time if it’s a significant repair.
Now, I’ll give you a clue! One of the frequent repairs that are common to make in the coop that I’ve noticed are:
- Wire becoming loose and sag.
But, just with a few hammer hits, you can turn it back to its original state.
So, your main job is to keep an eye on any repairs that should be done.
Then, repair as you are cleaning, so you don’t forget. Or keep the materials for repair close to serve as a reminder.
- Pay attention to your chicken coop as you clean
- Repair as you go
Step IV: Rinse once more (Optional)
If you thought you were done entirely with this cleaning, then you have this step left.
Of course, it’s optional, but it will be beneficial for you in the long run.
What’s required of you is to weep off any bacteria standing or lurking, and allow the coop, nest bars dry out sufficiently.
When you allow fresh air, you will be keeping a lingering vinegar smell; then, sunlight will positively impact the disinfection process.
Once the coop has completely dried, keep fresh nesting materials so you can let your chicken enjoy the warmth and clean the floor.
But what material is best for nest boxes and floors?
Take into consideration that chicken manure is 85% water. Therefore the material to be chosen must be absorbent to moisture and matter.
Therefore, plan accordingly.
The moment the nesting material is carefully laid down, move your hen back to their home.
Step V: Add Some Dust
I’m a fan of diatomaceous earth. And the reason is in its potency.
It can be used to keep fleas away from your dog. Some spray it in their yard to kill ticks and other ineffective critters.
Nevertheless, you can be used to scare off mites from your chicken coop, and guess what? It’s 100% natural!
That’s why you shouldn’t miss out on it on your nesting boxes and the coop floor.
Thus, when chickens dust, they are raining diatomaceous earth all over and deterring pests.
It’s also incredible to worm your chicken using diatomaceous earth.
A simple way to do that is by adding little inside their food.
When they begin to poop on the eggs they laid, know that it’s time to warm them.
They eat, and thus naturally, they worm themselves.
As you’ve seen the benefits it has, when you are cleaning your coop, sprinkle this to keep your coop and chicken healthy.
But here is a question worth pondering: how often should you clean a coop?
How Often Should You Clean a Chicken Coop?
For me, cleaning the kitchen coop should be done once a week at least. But for the neat-freak, do it daily.
The truth is, abiding by the rule of cleaning it daily is one tip on how to clean a chicken coop easily.
This is because some birds are super picky.
If you’ve spoiled them, some might decide to sleep in the nesting boxes, while others would just prefer a clean space.
So, in a situation where a bird decides to pick the nesting box, you can imagine the result? Boxes get pretty dirty and awful.
So for that reason, if you can’t do it almost daily, then get it done weekly.
It might be nice to make it a routine to do every morning.
If you do the cleaning daily, you won’t spend much time cleaning when you have to do the more effective cleaning.
So, it ends up saving more time, and you can move things quickly.
There you go! These are the step by step instructions on how to clean a chicken coop.
Did you recall that we speak about the deep litter method of cleaning a coop?
Also Read on how to deep clean kitchen: 6 simple ways
The Best Way to Clean a Chicken Coop Using the Deep Litter Method
Begin with a layer of pine shavings or any other organic material you have.
So first, gather them in large quantities depending on how wide your coop is.
Then, add these to the floor. This aids the floor to retain its composting.
The chickens aid in doing the aeration as they scratch the flop.
If they’d not scratch it, just sprinkle some corn on the floor.
Thus when you clean the coop, you can use the resulting material to serve as compost.
This method is a sustainable method of handling chicken litters.
But there’s more.
These are the advantages of using the deep litter methods
- You are left with compost
- It does not give off an offensive odor
- It’s safe for birds, and keeps them healthy
- It takes up less time to manage
What You Should Use on the Floor of a Kitchen Coop
As highlighted, the use of pine shavings will be excellent and are even inexpensive.
So, if your chicken coop has a small space left, you can purchase in large quantities or small quantities at any pet store.
Refrain from purchasing cedar shavings; they are toxic and would affect your chicken.
When you want to clean your chicken coop, take them out to a neat and safe place so you don’t ruin them with water.
Nevertheless, some small farmers find it attractive to use straw or hay in their litters’ coops.
Well, hay or straw will do an excellent job in the nest boxes but won’t do an excellent job on the floor.
This is because, on the floor, it appears to attract and absorb excess moisture.
Based on individual conditions, straw or hay will be moist in the coop.
Using straw on the floor might not be too moist based on the type of chicken coop you have.
Is the Deep Method for Cleaning the Chicken Coop Right for You?
Yes! As highlighted earlier, deep litter is sustainable and an easy to care system.
It works well with the earthen floor and flocks.
If your chicken coop is made of wood or other floor types, you can still invest in the deep litter method.
If you reside in a suburban or urban area or you have a tiny place for your chickens, you might be willing to clean the litter.
When you do, let it be frequently done. It can be monthly, weekly, or daily. It all depends on your circumstance.
Cleaning frequently won’t leave you with the pain of cleaning many litters from your chicken coop.
I’m confident this was a good read for you!
Of course, because you crave cleanliness, you sure want your chicken to have a bite from this endearing trait.
You’ve done well!
As you’ve seen, cleaning the chicken coop is more than common sense; it involves cleansing to ensure that the cage is safe.
You’ve sought what material should go into each place and what shouldn’t.
You just have to follow this process to have a healthy flock.
Finally, recall that if you give your coop attention every week, it will save you lots of stress.
Then, it’s vital to scrape out lots of the bird droppings when cleaning the coop.
You can allow it to get soaked and soften with water, and finally complete with a cleansing solution.
As you learned how to clean a chicken coop, often keep it clean using these steps discussed.
If you do, great benefits await you!