I like to store all that I need in a 5 gallon bucket. This keeps everything I need in one place.
First, I remove the chickens from the coop and lock them out. I wear rubberized gardening gloves when I clean the coop. It can be a messy job. I remove the roosts and place them in the sunshine. With a dust pan, I remove all the soiled pine shavings, put them in my 5 gallon bucket and tote them over to the compost bin. Other times, I toss them into the run for the girls to enjoy, sort and compost for me. One of the best things I did when I ordered my coop was to pay extra for the industrial grade linoleum flooring.
I typically wipe down the linoleum with a water and white vinegar mixture. There is always some caked on poop that needs a bit of scrubbing.
Our sponsor, Randall Burkey, sent me a new coop cleaner to try. I must say that it did a fantastic job! It is made from all natural ingredients and smells delightful. Dried on bits, that I typically would have to work at, came off with ease. I am loving the Happy Hen Coop Cleaner. I even tried it on the plexiglass windows. They turned out sparkling clean and streak free.
After the coop is wiped down, I give everything a spray with Manna Pro's Poultry Protector. I spray the walls, roosts, nesting boxes, ceiling and flooring and then let them dry completely. I have used this product for over a year now and I believe that this is one of the best defenses you can take to prevent mites and lice.
Once the coop is sufficiently dry, using the Pest Pistol filled with food grade diatomaceous earth, I blast all the nooks and crannies, the flooring and the roosts. Be careful not to inhale the "dust". It can cause an inflammatory condition of the lungs over time. You can read about the benefits of using food grade diatomaceous earth here.
Next, I replace the removable piece of wood I made to keep the girls from scratching the pine shavings out of the nesting boxes. I also place a brick in front of the coop door, as the girls take pleasure in scratching out the pine shaving from the coop. This has helped. Plus, I think it acts as a nail file.
Finally, utilizing the 5 gallon bucket, clean pine shavings are added back into the coop. All the while, the girls stand outside waiting with anticipation. They cannot wait to return inside. Sometimes, they even knock on the coop door. I love that, because I know that getting back into the clean coop makes them happy.
As soon as they can, the broody girls return to their favorite nesting boxes, while my handy work is inspected by Sunshine and the rest of the gang.
Photo Credits: Tilly's Nest