How To Clean and Disinfect Your Backyard Chicken Coop
For anyone looking to expand their backyard farm, raising chickens is an excellent and accessible way to make the transition to caring for livestock. Chickens provide fresh eggs, companionship, garden fertilizer, and eventually, free-range meat.
However, these animals need a tidy space in which to live. To make sure your birds are as healthy as possible, learn how to clean and disinfect your backyard chicken coop.
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Clear Everything Out of the Coop
To start, remove everything from the coop to make it easier to clean. This includes all feeders, perches, nesting boxes, and drinkers. After you remove all the “furniture,” it’s easy to access everything else. This includes all the feathers, nesting materials, bird droppings, dirt, cobwebs, and shavings. You can use a square shovel to scrape away the dried droppings on the floor. Pick up as much waste as possible.
Wash It Down and Sanitize the Coop
After you’ve gotten the biggest pieces off, rinse the coop out with a hose. If there are still some dried droppings, give these another scrape and then rinse again.
Although bleach has a lot of uses around the house, you should never use it to disinfect the chicken coop. Vinegar is an excellent alternative as a natural cleaning product. Use a half-vinegar, half-water solution and scrub away at the walls and surfaces with a bristle brush. It’s crucial that you get rid of ammonia to prevent any health issues in the birds.
After you’ve cleaned and disinfected your backyard chicken coop, it’s finally time to rinse it out and let it air dry. The vinegar smell will evaporate with the water. If there’s any standing water, sweep it out.
Set It Back Up
Make sure you wait until all the coop parts are clean and dry before you start to put the coop back together. Any excess dampness could create mold problems down the road. Next, put the nesting boxes, feeders, perches, and drinkers back into the coop. Add the substrate to help keep chickens warm and absorb moisture from their droppings. Voila—the coop is ready for the chickens!
Like all things around the home and yard, chicken coops are another thing you need to clean and disinfect regularly. You must create a routine with this. For most coops, you’ll follow the above process two to four times a year while cleaning out and replacing the bedding every one to four weeks, depending on how dirty it gets.