What Is the Easiest Way To Clean a Chicken Coop?
Cleaning a chicken coop can be a daunting task. But, with the right knowledge and supplies, the process doesn’t have to be labor intensive.
In fact, with a few simple steps, you can keep your chicken coop sparkling clean in no time at all.
It’s recommended that you wear a dust mask (Amazon) while cleaning a chicken coop to prevent breathing in poultry dust, which can cause respiratory issues in people.
First of all, pick a dry, warm day so that the coop can dry quickly.
Second, lightly spraying everything with water before start cleaning the coop can reduce dust in the air.
To get started on cleaning your chicken coop the easy way, begin by removing all of the contents from the inside. This includes bedding material, feeders, and roosts or perches that chickens might use for sleeping.
After everything is removed from inside the coop, use a broom or wet/dry vacuum to remove any dirt or debris on surfaces, nesting boxes, and floors. Make sure to reach into tight corners where dirt may have gotten trapped over time.
Don’t forget to vacuum, blow, or brush the dust off of any fixtures such as lights, heaters, vents, and fans.
Once the coop is completely clean and free of droppings and debris, and you can begin disinfecting the coop.
There are a variety of disinfectants (Amazon) that you can use for this purpose; however, if you choose to use these products, be sure to follow any package directions or manufacturer recommendations.
How Often Should You Change Chicken Bedding?
Depending on the type of bedding (also known as litter) you use, how many chickens you have, and how big the coop is in relation to the flock size, you may need to remove and replace the litter once a week, once a month, or once a year.
The best time to handle this job is in the fall because it provides your chickens with fresh litter as winter approaches. This is the time of year when they spend most of the time inside their coop due to bad weather.
Carefully maintaining the litter is crucial to ensuring that it stays fluffy and absorbent and does not get compacted, moist, or foul-smelling.
In addition to promoting the growth of bacteria that release ammonia and other unpleasant gases, moist litter also supports the survival of viruses, worms, and other harmful organisms.
Often, all that is required to keep the litter functioning as it should is routine surface raking and a light dusting of fresh litter on top.
I use sand for my litter inside my coop, so I only need to fully clean out the litter once a year. I also use sand in my run, and I only have to remove about 4 inches of sand and top it off every year.
Sand really the best litter, in my opinion, and you can buy the sand from places like hardware stores or garden centers. It’s sometimes called concrete sand, coarse sand, river sand, mixing sand, etc. As long as it’s not like the fine-grain stuff you’d put in a kid’s sandbox.
I also use sand in the run because it drains well and is easy to work with. However, it can get very hot in the summer sun. So, I only put sand in some spots of the run or make sure the run is partly shaded, toward the coop door.
I have sandboxes full of sand underneath my chicken coops as well, where my chickens love to have their dust baths.
How Often Does a Chicken Coop Need To Be Cleaned?
The answer depends on a few factors, such as the size of the coop and how many chickens are living in it.
I go in my chicken coops every morning and just clean the chicken house a bit, just like I would in my own house. I check to see if there are some droppings in the litter, I remove any loose feathers or debris, I clean any poop I can find on roosts, etc. I also make sure the chickens have clean waterers and feeders (before refilling the feeder with feed, first allow them to fully dry).
In about 20 minutes, I’m usually done tidying up their coop. I find that just spending a little bit of time each day cleaning up something, then the coop stays smelling fresh and my chickens stay healthy and happy.
Typically, a small chicken coop should get a deep clean at least once a year. However, if you really want to prevent disease in your flock, taking the time to deep clean the coop twice a year is even better!
Please Note: A deep cleaning and disinfection of the chicken coop is crucial after a disease epidemic.
Conclusion: The Importance of a Clean Chicken Coop
Cleaning a chicken coop is an essential part of raising chickens.
A chicken coop accumulates pathogens over time, which may eventually reach infectious levels. Keeping the coop clean can help ensure the health and safety of your birds and reduce the spread of bacteria and parasites.
Microorganisms are not completely removed with routine cleaning but are kept in check. Around 95% of contaminants will be eliminated by a deep clean.