That Once a Year Deep Clean Time Has Arrived
After months of cold weather, the coop is probably about as foul as it ever gets, so it’s that time of year for deep cleaning. That means bedding, nest boxes, roosts, feeders & drinkers, and scraping up all the soiled material from the floor.
Confine the chickens to an outdoor run for the day with a sandbox or fresh dirt to have a nice dust bath while their coop is being cleaned. It’s best to let the coop air out & dry for most of the day before adding new shavings and bedding. Choose a sunny breezy day for this not-so-fun chore because the coop will air out and dry quicker. Don’t forget to wear gloves, boots, and a mask when cleaning, there’s going to be all kinds of nasty dust and muck stirred up that can’t be healthy for you… so gear up and protect yourself.
If your chickens are in a shed or enclosed structure, avoid harsh cleaners, vinegar & Dawn dish soap is a suitable cleaner and safe for you and your birds. Use a putty knife to scrape off hard-to-clean areas, and sweep out all the old bedding and pests that have probably been hiding in there over the winter. If you have windows, brush off the cobwebs and all the feathers stuck in them, get the Windex, and make the glass shine.
There are always repairs or needed improvements on chicken coops, and this is the time to address them. Duct tape, zip ties, and baling wire go a long way to fixing things, so make sure you’re armed with these valuable tools. 🙂
After the coop has been thoroughly cleaned, add your fresh bedding, feeders & drinkers, and nest boxes, and don’t be afraid to move things around and make changes. Chickens don’t mind change, and a little change of scenery might even be welcomed. Before returning your birds to the coop, this is a good time to check their individual overall health and address accordingly.
The Simple Version:
Here Are the Six Spring Cleaning Steps to Follow:
Empty the coop: Start by removing all of the bedding and nesting material from the coop. This includes any straw or wood shavings, as well as any old eggs or feathers that may have accumulated.
Scrub the coop: Use a scrub brush and mild detergent to thoroughly clean the inside of the coop. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices, where dirt and bacteria can accumulate. Rinse the coop with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
Treat for pests: Check for any signs of pests, such as mites or lice. If you see any, treat the coop and chickens with a pest control product that is safe for use around poultry.
Inspect and repair: Inspect the coop for any signs of wear or damage, such as holes in the walls or roof. Repair any damage before adding new bedding to the coop.
Add new bedding: Once the coop is clean and dry, add fresh bedding to the floor and nest boxes. Choose a bedding material that is appropriate for your chickens, such as straw or wood shavings.
Restock supplies: Check your supplies of food and restock as needed, make sure you have extra in case of a shortage.