If you own chickens, you probably don't look forward to cleaning your chicken coop. But failing to keep your coop clean and disinfected could lead to a diseased flock and other problems. Here are five basic guidelines on how to clean and disinfect your chicken coop, along with some considerations and warnings.
1. Know What to Clean and How Often
Be sure to clean and disinfect everything in your coop. This includes nesting boxes, the coop ground and walls. As for how often you need to clean and disinfect, a good rule of thumb is about once every one to two weeks or even sooner. Of course, consider that cleaning frequency can depend on need, the size of your coop, weather conditions and other factors.
2. Scrape and Shovel Out Manure and Other Filth
The first step is scraping and shoveling out dried, old chicken manure, cobwebs, shavings, dirt and feathers. For stubborn dried poop, use a square shovel which is exceptionally effective.
3. Hose Down Floors and Walls
Besides hosing down floors and walls, spray grime and manure off nesting boxes and roosting bars. Do this until all the poop has been loosened and knocked off. For those more stubborn spots on roosting bars, use a sponge that's been soaked in white vinegar. Applying a little "elbow grease" also helps to sanitize as well as deter bugs.
4. Repeat the Process
As a final step, repeat what you've done. In other words, scrape, shovel and hose down, again, to remove any remaining dirt, softened manure or other debris. After the water has drained, sweep everything out.
5. Add Fresh Bedding
The type of bedding you use is critical for keeping your floor clean, in addition to making it easier to clean away manure. For your bedding, choose dry, absorbent materials. What's more, the right bedding can prevent poop from becoming stuck to the floor as well as control odor. Ideal bedding materials include those, such as chopped straw, wood shavings or untreated wood sawdust.
Other Considerations and Warning
• Pick a sunny, warm day to clean so that your coop can dry out quickly, following the cleaning procedure.
• Before you start the cleaning process, protect yourself by wearing a disposable dust mask.
• Consider that some chicken diseases are usually detected in manure. Therefore, when removing poop from a litter tray, examine it to see if it appears normal.
• Consider painting the surface of a home built coop. This is even more critical for a plywood coop as mites won't be able to burrow into bare wood.
Check out our previous blog posts to learn about more ways to keep your flock healthy and happy! Also, be sure to check out our store wide sale! It won't last much longer, so make sure you are in on the deals!