Spring Cleaning for a Chicken Coop
Spring is on the way! The snow is melting, the cold weather is becoming warm, plants are sprouting, and you have probably noticed a tremendous mess in your chicken coop. How do you even begin to clean it up?
Just like your house and the rest of your yard, you chicken coop needs some spring cleaning. Every so often, a chicken coop needs to be deep cleaned, and spring is a good time to do this. But the task may seem pretty daunting. Here are a few pointers.
First off, remember that there is no ‘proper way to clean a chicken coop’. The important thing isn’t the exact process, but the fact that it all gets done and gets done well.
Before you begin cleaning, the chickens need to be removed from the coop. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose to keep from breathing in bacteria while cleaning. Inhaling the particles that are kicked up during the cleaning process can be very harmful, as they are covered in disease.You will probably want to wear heavy-duty cleaning gloves, too.
The first part of the actual cleaning is to clean all the removable fixtures in the coop, such as feeders, waterers, and possibly roosting areas, if those are also removable. Having removable roosting areas will make your job a lot easier. Take the removable accessories out, dispose of their contents, and thoroughly clean them by scrubbing them down with water mixed with a very small amount of disinfectant (such as dish soap or vinegar). Let them dry completely before putting them back in the coop.
Next, clean out the main coop area. This is done in a similar way to the way you cleaned the parts before. Using a shovel and broom, remove all dirt and manure, taking care to get the edges, too. Then scrub it with the same mixture you used before. Let it dry. The longer the inside of the coop is wet or damp, the more bacteria will remain, so allow it as much ventilation as possible to help it dry quickly.
After the coop and other items are dry, put the removable accessories back. Put more floor covering down, but do not put the old floor covering back in, as the bacteria in it will still remain, and your hard work will be wasted.
Then you will be able to put the chickens back into their new, cleaner home.
Many preventative measures can also be taken to ease the deep cleaning process, such as cleaning the feeder and waterer or emptying the rooster boxes on a regular basis. The more frequently you do stuff like this, the less work you will have later, and the healthier your chickens will be, due to more sanitary conditions. Many people also claim cleaning the coop more frequently increases egg production.
Ideally, you will deep clean your coop more often than once a year. A good cleaning every few months will benefit your chickens’ health and egg-laying. Also, before you put new chicks in the coop, it may be a good idea to deep clean the coop to create a safer environment to put them in.