A chicken coop and any associated equipment can typically be effectively sanitized with just a thorough cleaning. (In this instance, sanitizing is defined as bringing the microorganism population down to a manageable level.)
Cleaning agents like soap and detergent do not serve as disinfectants, but after the coop’s dirt and waste have been fully cleaned away, the majority of microorganisms can no longer survive for very long.
However, cleaning is crucial after a disease outbreak or before putting used equipment in your chicken’s coop or surroundings.
Disinfecting, as opposed to sanitizing, involves using a method to either inactivate or destroy any microorganisms that may still be present after a thorough cleaning.
Not every disinfectant effectively combats every harmful organism.
A veterinarian can assist you in choosing the best disinfectant for your situation after a disease outbreak. Plus, the product’s label or info sheet for any specific disinfectant will notify you if it is effective against that pathogen after you obtain a positive diagnosis.
A good disinfectant should be easy to apply, affordable, and effective against a variety of pathogens. It should also last for a while after application.
Suitable chemical disinfectants for use around chickens include the following:
Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
Ordinary household bleach is one of the most widely accessible and reasonably priced disinfectants.
Warm water and bleach work best together. But because bleach evaporates quickly, make a fresh solution before each use. Use 1/4 cup of bleach per gallon of warm water while disinfecting the chicken coop.
Bleach’s main drawbacks are that it corrodes metal and irritates the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
Household bleach, like Clorox and Purex, is made of sodium hypochlorite. However, there is another type of bleach made from chlorine dioxide.
Chlorine dioxide, like Oxine AH, is safer for both you and your chickens and is a stronger disinfectant than sodium hypochlorite. Additionally, it has no smell and is effective against a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Due to the fact that only small concentrations are required, it is reasonably priced. However, it has the drawback of degrading quickly and not having any lasting effects.
Household (white) vinegar contains acetic acid, which kills most bacteria and many fungi and viruses. It is biodegradable and deodorizing and at low strengths is nontoxic to humans and chickens.
However, even though people say to mix equal part water and vinegar to make a cleaning solution, the 5 percent acetic acid found in household vinegar must be used at full strength in order to be effective.
When mixed according to the label’s instructions, phenols (like Lysol) are efficient against numerous viruses, fungi, and bacteria. It also has a lasting effect.
Their primary drawbacks include the fact that they are particularly hazardous to cats, are known to be carcinogenic, and are extremely irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
Of course, there are other types of disinfectants (Amazon) that you can use to clean your chicken coop.
The most popular are:
- Citic Acid: Disinfectants using citric acid work quickly to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They don’t need to be rinsed off after use and are safe for both people and chickens. They’re non-corrosive and efficient deodorizers. However, they can be very expensive.
- Iodine: Organic iodines are the least hazardous to humans and chickens of any disinfectant used around poultry, but they can leave yellow or brown stains, making them impractical for routine application. They might also be pricey, however, they are occasionally prescribed for disinfection after a disease epidemic.
- Quats: It is easy to find quaternary ammonium compounds (Quats), such as Germex and Roccal-D. Quats are deodorizing, noncorrosive, nonirritating, and only mildly toxic. They also leave no stains and no noticeable odor. However, these materials are poisonous to birds when inhaled or consumed. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly rinse and dry the chicken coop after disinfection.