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How should I clean out my chicken coop & how often?

Here at Eggshell, we want to make sure that you know the basics of how to look after your chickens. One of those basics is how & when to clean out your coop, this is vital to ensure your chickens have a high quality of life.

The chicken coop is where your chickens spend a lot of their time, feed, run, play and sleep, among other things. So, there is no doubt it should be kept clean at all times at whatever cost. In fact, the quality of life that your birds have inside their coop can affect their laying qualities & health in negative ways. It’s good for the well-being and health of the chicken. The big question, however, is whether you know how to go about this task and how often it should be done. To do this, your focus needs to be on specific areas of the coop. With the following ideas, you can sufficiently keep it clean.

1. Keep the chicken coop dry

Wet conditions are bad for the well-being the chicken. So, unless the floor has a good drainage, don’t use water to clean the coop. However, if the day is sunny and warm or allows for the use of ventilation to quickly dry the house, you may as well use water. Ensure everything will have dried but nightfall. 

2. Clean the nest boxes and the litter

Nest boxes and litters often get dirty or lost as they are frequently used by the birds. Be sure to clean the nest and the litter for healthier and clean eggs. One rule of the thumb is never to clean the nest if the hens have been left to sit on their eggs. Pick up any droppings around the nest. The only time you can clean the nest boxes completely is when the eggs have hatched/you have removed them.

3. Clean the water troughs and feeders

Any caked feed should be brushed out, washed and rinsed. An anti-bacterial spray or any other commercial disinfectant for poultry can be used afterwards as per the directions on the packaging. If it’s possible, you can let the containers dry in the sun before you can refill them with feeds or water for the birds. Water dishes must never have any accumulated slime, algae or scum. For these, you can make use of a bottlebrush. The nipples of automatic water devices must be kept rust-free or free from scale build-up of hard-water.

red chicken coop

4. Clean all the remaining parts of the coop

The chicken coop can be cleaned by the use of window cleaners or the general purpose cleaners. The only cleaner to never use is ammonia as it’s harmful to the lungs. You don’t really need to disinfect the general quarters of the chicken. However, this would be necessary your chickens had caught a disease.

5. Deep cleaning

The best thing about our chicken coops at Eggshell is they are easy to take apart and clean. This means that you can carry out a deep clean anytime you want. This is ideal as it means you can ensure all the cobwebs and built up dirt & grime is cleaned out.

you will also need to dampen a broom and use it to sweep the floor. The light bulbs should be wiped once they cool down, clean all the windows; wipe all screening protections for ventilation flaps and windows. You can then wrap it up by placing fresh litter in the chicken coop.

How often to clean the coop?

As you can imagine a deep clean should be carried out several times during the year. However, minor cleaning such as the nest boxes, litters, feeders and water containers must stay clean at all times. This means you’ll need to clean them as soon as you realise they become dirty. Some poultry farmers have even made a habit of cleaning parts of the chicken coop weekly. If you ever have any questions then please feel free to contact us.