Coop Maintenance = Happy healthy chickens!

Coop Maintenance = Happy healthy chickens!

May 30, 2024angelique van zuylen

 

To keep your chickens healthy, daily maintenance of the coop is important. By following these simple steps, you can keep your feathered friends happy and healthy!

How often to clean your chicken coop?

As a general rule, the smaller your chicken coop (or the more chickens you keep) the more you'll have to clean it. If you have a small flock of chickens, weekly cleaning combined with a few deep cleans a year will do the job. Chicken coop cleaning can be split into three categories:

  • weekly cleaning;

  • monthly cleaning;

  • yearly cleaning.

Weekly Cleaning 

Once a week, it's important to change the bedding in your chicken coop, especially beneath the perch where your chickens sleep. Remember to clean your perch at the same time.

Once you are finished cleaning, lay down around 3 cm of new bedding on the floor. Bedding is important both for the well-being of your chickens and their overall hygiene. What's more, it is insulating and makes it easier to keep the coop clean.

A variety of materials can be used: untreated wood shavings, hemp Hurd, old newspapers, and so on. Straw is commonly used, but is not very absorbent, holds the smell of ammonia and molds easily. we recommend only using straw inside the nest boxes. dont forge too clean them out too!

Quick tip: the bedding from your chicken coop is full of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphate. Throw it on your compost heap and it will turn into a fantastic green fertilizer for your garden. 

Monthly Cleaning 

Clean and disinfect all feeders, water dispensers and nest boxes. Don't forget to remove all droppings from the floor using a scraping tool.

White vinegar is a great cleaning product. Vinegar and hot water has long been a favorite cleaning solution among chicken owners. 

When cleaning your Chicken Coop Accessories, remember to take care of the dust or sand bath. These baths are used by chickens to clean... by getting dirty. In actual fact, the process helps to get rid of certain parasites. Be sure to place the tray far from the feeder and water dispenser.

Yearly Cleaning 

The best time to do so is at the start of winter as your chickens will soon be spending more time indoors. After emptying your chicken coop entirely, proceed to the same steps you carry out monthly. Then, use a pressure washer to hose down everything, paying special attention to corners, hinges, and so on.

After everything is dry, apply a specialist disinfectant such as Bio-Zyme Coop Cleaner or Smite professional (also kills mites) product all over the inside of the chicken coop then wipe down the walls, floor and roof. Using a pump action weed sprayer is great for this as you can set it squirt setting to get into all the small corners and cracks, then use the mist spray for doing the walls and bigger areas.

You can also use this opportunity to disinfect all accessories. Carrying out a deep clean once a year allows you to rid the chicken coop of all parasites (such as Mites), bacteria and any harmful insects that may be lurking inside.

Regular Cleaning

Keeping your chicken coop clean is an essential part of maintaining your flock’s health.

No matter which cleaning method you choose, it’s important to prioritize cleanliness in your chicken coop. A clean environment helps prevent the build-up of dirt, dust, and bacteria that can lead to health issues for your chickens.

Regular cleaning ensures that any waste or debris is removed promptly, reducing the risk of infection and disease. It also helps control unpleasant odors that can accumulate in a dirty coop.

Use Natural Cleaning Agents for Disinfection

monthly chicken care tasks include using natural cleaning agents like Bio-Zyme Coop Cleaner to deep clean your coop. Bio-Zyme Coop Cleaner has antimicrobial properties that help kill bacteria and germs without posing any harm to your chickens.

Spray this solution on surfaces such as nesting boxes, perches, and walls to kill bacteria and eliminate odors. Remember to let the area dry thoroughly before reintroducing your chickens.

Wash, scrub and clean waterers with dish soap when required.

 

Deep Litter vs. Spot-Cleaning

There are two main approaches you can take.

Spot-Cleaning

With spot-cleaning, you remove any visible waste or soiled bedding on a daily basis. Once per week, you remove all the bedding and replace it with hemp hurd, or wood shavings.

This approach is the most popular method for backyard chicken keepers as it minimizes odors. 

Deep Litter Method

This method involves adding a thick layer of bedding material (such as Hemp Hurd or wood shavings) on the floor of the coop. As time goes by, droppings and other waste materials get mixed with the bedding, creating compost-like conditions.

Regularly turning over the bedding helps promote decomposition.

This method can be quite smelly in warmer months and requires the coop to have taller edges so the compost does not spill outside the coop. 

By including regular cleaning into your chicken coop maintenance routine, you ensure a healthier living environment for your chickens. It also makes it easier for you – the longer you leave the mess, the worse it is to clean!

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