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Chicken people - coop cleaning

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  • Chicken people - coop cleaning

    I just moved my 5 week old pullets to their new coop. I'm using pelleted bedding inside the coop and it's been super easy to clean using a kitty litter scoop each day. However, I read something yesterday that said it's better to let everything compost and not to clean out the coop very often. As someone who likes a spotless stall, I'm struggling with this idea, but will obviously do whatever is the best method. So, what do you all do?!

  • #2
    I clean mine once a week. I'm not sure why I'd want to clean it less often, the coop is small and they are closed in at night so I want to assure they have good air quality when they are closed int.

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    • #3
      We clean ours every day too.
      Like was said above, it is a small space that they are closed in at night. I want the air and bedding to be as clean as possible.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's called the deep litter method. We did it with no issues. You layer pine shavings as the brown matter, and then the chicken poop is the green matter. It does best if you let them scratch around at it, as that aerates the compost. You clean twice a year. I would not suggest doing this if you don't have windows open in your coop, but we do and did the deep litter method with no issues. We used the compost in our garden.
        I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

        BaileyAnn Neal

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        • #5
          We used sand directly from our river bed by the coop.
          We cleaned and dusted for mites every Saturday, then put fresh sand down in both, the roost and laying boxes areas.
          Their feeding and water bowls were in front of the roosts, cleaned at the same time.
          If at any time it looked dirty, we did an extra cleaning that day, but still again on Saturdays.
          We only had up to 15 layers at the time, maybe with more you need to clean more often?
          We generally started with 30 chicks, but about half ended up frier roosters by the time they were getting big enough.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks guys! My coop has excellent ventilation, so I'd imagine the deep litter method would be a good option....but as easy as it has been to clean (cleaning, feeding, watering takes less than 5 minutes!) I think I'll just keep doing daily cleaning unless there is a compelling argument as to why deep litter is better

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            • #7
              I clean every day, too--same as you, with the kitty litter scoop and the pelleted bedding It works really well, and takes so little time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                We used sand directly from our river bed by the coop.
                We cleaned and dusted for mites every Saturday, then put fresh sand down in both, the roost and laying boxes areas.
                Their feeding and water bowls were in front of the roosts, cleaned at the same time.
                If at any time it looked dirty, we did an extra cleaning that day, but still again on Saturdays.
                We only had up to 15 layers at the time, maybe with more you need to clean more often?
                We generally started with 30 chicks, but about half ended up frier roosters by the time they were getting big enough.
                What did you use to dust for mites?

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                • #9
                  I guess my coop is bigger than the ones you are talking about--I bed with straw (I tried shavings but the wind here just makes drifts of them!) and clean weekly. I scrape the poo off the roosts daily (two are 2x6 purlins that make up the barn wall). I have 14 hens, and the indoor coop is 10 x 5, the outdoor run is 10x 25, with another outdoor, grassed area that is 20x20. If I leave it uncleaned it smells and attracts flies, so weekly it is!
                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                  • #10
                    We clean twice a week completely stripping and relaying straw or shavings. My coop is 6x9 and the chickens free range most of the day. We have 40 and have yet to have any problems. In winter we strip more if the chickens aren’t able to go outside.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                      I guess my coop is bigger than the ones you are talking about--I bed with straw (I tried shavings but the wind here just makes drifts of them!) and clean weekly. I scrape the poo off the roosts daily (two are 2x6 purlins that make up the barn wall). I have 14 hens, and the indoor coop is 10 x 5, the outdoor run is 10x 25, with another outdoor, grassed area that is 20x20. If I leave it uncleaned it smells and attracts flies, so weekly it is!
                      Nah. I have 20 birds in an 8x8 coop. Run is maybe 15x50.

                      There's a shelf under the roosting bars, and if I didn't clean that daily, the hens who can't figure out the nesting boxes would lay their eggs in that (literal) crap. Gross.

                      Figure I clean stalls and litter boxes every day, makes sense to clean the coop every day, especially since I eat what comes out of there 🤷

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fin01 View Post

                        What did you use to dust for mites?
                        Best I remember it could have been Sevin dust.
                        Don't know if that is still best for that, or if there is better new stuff.

                        Our chickens had a very large outside yard and didn't really make much of a mess inside.
                        They spent most of the time outside pecking around some bushes in their yard.

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                        • #13
                          From what I’ve heard the deep litter method really only works if you have a dirt floor.
                          I have a raised coop so I clean every day or so. I only have 6 hens in a 4x6 coop. There’s a tray under the roost so I usually just grab that and scrape the poop into a bin, sometimes they miss and I use a kitty litter scoop for those.
                          My run is essentially deep litter at this point. It’s 10x6’. I add wood chips and leaves in the spring and fall, and throw down a handful of shavings or chopped straw when it snows. They kick it around and turn it over. It freezes in the winter and dries out in the summer though.
                          My girls also have a fenced 30’x50’ area to range in where they’re protected from the dog. I spot pick it every couple days so it doesn’t burn the grass.

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                          • #14
                            We clean once per week. More often if water spills. We have a wood floor painted with that garage floor paint. Deep litter only on dirt floors and where you have real winters. Treat it like the compost heap by turning it regularly. Does not work well in the South, or if rain gets into the coop.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              This is all such good info! As a new chicken owner, it's fun to read the different set ups and routines. Mine are in a 5x6 coop on stilts that is in the middle of their 12x12 run. The run is under my lean-to, with a concrete floor covered in deep shavings. I figured when the run bedding gets gross, I can strip it and hose down/sanitize the concrete before replacing the bedding. However, the chickens would probably be more entertained in a dirt/grass run. Too many predators to let them free range, but I did build them a portable chicken play pen I can move around the yard for them. Any tips on how to move them from the run to the playpen?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SugarCubes View Post
                                Any tips on how to move them from the run to the playpen?
                                Well, there is usually a lot of moving and flapping your arms to get them in the right direction. Long sticks help direct them and a solid fence line too big for them to slip through is easiest to drive them in the direction you want them to go in. Cussing helps, too.

                                No seriously, if you give them treats several times per day, they will start running towards you as fast as their little chicken legs can carry them, with their flappy wings going to speed themselves up. They are quick to recognize a call you use. Once they are treat crazy enough, you lead them where you want them to go and toss the treats in.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If your playpen is fairly static in placement, you could do a chicken tunnel to it. There are A LOT of pics out there if you Google, but here's one to get you started

                                  https://images.app.goo.gl/akSUyQASVeh7DY877

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Moonlitoaks View Post

                                    Well, there is usually a lot of moving and flapping your arms to get them in the right direction. Long sticks help direct them and a solid fence line too big for them to slip through is easiest to drive them in the direction you want them to go in. Cussing helps, too.

                                    No seriously, if you give them treats several times per day, they will start running towards you as fast as their little chicken legs can carry them, with their flappy wings going to speed themselves up. They are quick to recognize a call you use. Once they are treat crazy enough, you lead them where you want them to go and toss the treats in.
                                    They're definitely beginning to see me as their treat dispenser so I'll have to keep reinforcing that idea!


                                    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                    If your playpen is fairly static in placement, you could do a chicken tunnel to it. There are A LOT of pics out there if you Google, but here's one to get you started

                                    https://images.app.goo.gl/akSUyQASVeh7DY877
                                    That is SO COOL! What a fun idea, and I have a ton of chicken wire laying around.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Because I am Lazy, I do a combo of daily cleaning & deep litter.
                                      Coop has a plywood floor over dirt & I bed with fine shavings.
                                      Poop gets scooped daily from under the roosts.
                                      I use a kitty litter scoop & a dollar store dish scrubbing brush to get off caked stuff (frozen in Winter).
                                      Every Spring I clear out the old shavings, dust everywhere with Sevin (including hens) & put down new shavings.

                                      BTW:
                                      Composted chicken poop is The.Best.Fertilizer.
                                      I toss my pickings out into the lawn just outside the coop & grass there is twice as tall as anywhere else.
                                      Great in a veggie garden too.

                                      RE: Treats

                                      Try raisins
                                      = Chicken Crack

                                      Also dried mealworms.
                                      I have a hen who goes Full Alert when she hears me open the bag of mealworms.
                                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                                      • #20
                                        Sometimes we buy two dozen live crickets for two bucks, turn them loose in the chicken yard and watch. That's our wild Saturday night, lol!

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