The health of your chickens is an important criterion for how many eggs they lay and how high their quality is. Therefore, you should make sure that the chicken coop and the outdoor enclosure are always as safe and hygienic as possible. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a major daily cleaning, though. Some jobs are done every day, others only once a month.
Find out the best way to clean and disinfect your chicken coop in our guide.
The daily cleaning of the chicken coop
Every day you should empty, clean and refill the feed and water bowls of the chickens. Without cleaning, bacteria can quickly grow in the bowls. In addition, remove coarse droppings from the floor, perches and laying nests in the chicken coop. In this way, you ensure that vermin do not find a breeding ground and diseases spread less quickly.
Weekly cleaning of the chicken coop
In addition to the daily chores, you should clean the chicken coop more thoroughly once a week. This mainly involves mucking out, sweeping and bedding. The chickens spend this time best in the outside enclosure, because a lot of dust is stirred up when mucking out the coop.
How do I muck out the chicken coop?
For mucking out, you first remove the litter completely from the coop. Use tools such as a shovel or pitchfork. Pay special attention to the corners, because they are easily forgotten. Uncleaned corners offer mites and other vermin perfect living conditions. Clean the hens’ laying nests as well.
You don’t necessarily have to throw away the old litter. It contains many nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. You can compost it and then use it as green manure.
What follows the mucking out?
After mucking out, it is time to clean the ground. First sweep out the stable with a broom. Remove all visible droppings with a scraper, then sweep the floor again. To clean the perches, you can use black soap or a gentle vinegar cleaner.
Cleaning the coop also includes cleaning the chickens’ dust or sand boxes. They are used by the chickens for “bathing” to rid themselves of external parasites.
Water and feed bowls must be thoroughly cleaned and then refilled, as you already know from daily cleaning. Then you distribute new bedding in the hutch and the laying nests and put the bowls back in.
You have already completed the weekly cleaning.
The monthly cleaning of the chicken coop
During the monthly cleaning of the poultry house, in addition to the usual cleaning, the walls and ceiling are cleaned of dust. In addition, the focus is now on the safety of your chickens from parasites and predators.
Step 1: The safety check
Once a month you should check the coop and the outdoor enclosure for safety. One of the purposes of the security check is to protect the chickens from foxes.
In order to have a complete view of the protection of your chickens, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Are the roosts tight?
Are the laying nests whole?
Are all the doors in the chicken house working?
Is there a broken food or water bowl?
Are there holes in fences or the roof?
Have predators dug a hole under the fence that needs to be filled in?
If something is wrong, take care of it right away!
Step 2: Secure against mites
For the safety of your chickens, protection against mites is also important. To do this, first look for all the cracks and holes where the parasites could hide and seal them with silicone. It is also a good idea to put some diatomaceous earth in the laying nests. This is a powder made from diatoms that is not harmful to the chickens, but will kill the pesky parasites.
Brush the perches of your chickens with oil! This will keep the mites from getting stuck and climbing on the chickens while they sit on the perches at night. Until the oil is fully absorbed into the wood, you will need to coat the perches about every three to four days, later once a month is sufficient.
Step 3: Clean the outside enclosure
Finally, you need to keep the outdoor enclosure clean. To do this, carefully sweep all surfaces with a broom. If you find heavy incrustations, you can also spray them with a hose. In addition, you must clean all water holes and sand baths.
If your chickens peck and scratch on the lawn in the garden, it is a good idea to divide it in two regularly. This way, one part of the lawn can always regenerate, while the chickens use the other part for exercise.
Disinfecting the chicken coop
Disinfecting has many important advantages. By disinfecting the chicken coop, you fight bacteria, viruses and parasites that you cannot eliminate with water and broom alone. You protect your poultry from diseases. Without these pathogens, chicks and weaker chickens have a better chance of a long and healthy life.
Also, disinfecting helps if the chicken coop still stinks shortly after cleaning. The bad smell can come from bacteria, which you can remove with disinfecting.
Is disinfectant harmful to the chickens?
You don’t have to be afraid for your animals when disinfecting. The disinfectants that are now available in specialized stores do not harm humans or chickens. Of course, you should still wear gloves to prevent irritation of the skin.
The only disadvantage of disinfecting is that the coop must be aired out afterwards, which makes disinfecting the poultry house a bit time-consuming. However, the health of the chickens should be worth it to you.
When and how do I disinfect the chicken coop?
Disinfect the chicken coop once or twice a month. The best time to do this is in the early morning.
You let the chickens out of the coop and the animals can spend the whole day outside while the coop and accessories air and dry.
You do a basic cleaning and remove all loose parts like perches and bowls.
=> Then the disinfectant comes into play.
Disinfectants are not generally harmful to the chickens, but you should still rinse the bowls with hot water.
You should also ventilate the coop for a few hours so that the disinfectant dries and odors can dissipate.
In the evening, the animals can then move back into their home and enjoy clean, hygienic roosts.
For successful disinfection of the chicken coop, thorough cleaning beforehand is essential.
What should you keep in mind when using disinfectants?
Only use disinfectants that are suitable for the chicken house!
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and dosage!
If the manufacturer advises it: Wear work clothes and protective clothing!
Disinfect chicken coop with home remedies:
Disinfect chicken coop with vinegar
You can also disinfect the coop of your chickens with vinegar. The vinegar essence contains acid, which you use against bacteria and viruses. Vinegar also works well against mites, common parasites in the chicken coop. If your chickens are already infested with mites, you can also rub the skin and feathers of the birds themselves with a mixture of vinegar and water.
Disinfecting the chicken coop with lime
You can also disinfect the chicken coop with lime. Liming is time-consuming, but it is worth it for the health of the animals, as it keeps parasites such as mites and other pathogens away from the poultry.
To do the liming, follow these steps:
Clean the coop first!
Wet the walls just before liming so that the lime holds well!
Finally, apply or spray the lime with a brush!
The coating holds well if you apply it in several thin layers.
It is beneficial if you lime not only the walls, but also the floor, ceiling and perches.
After disinfecting the chicken coop
After disinfecting, the coop must be thoroughly aired.
All the items that you have removed and cleaned thoroughly can be put back.
Finally, you will spread new litter and also refill laying nests and manure materials.
Want to learn more about how to keep chickens and how to feed them properly? Then check out our interesting guides:
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