After keeping chickens for a while, you will soon find yourself developing habits that work for you and your flock. Over time, I have learned to implement a few things. We view our chickens as our family pets, so we do make extra efforts to spoil them more so than individuals keeping chickens as livestock. All of these tips are not necessary, but in my opinion, help keep their eggs clean and the girls healthy and happy in their daily lives. I typically clean the small coop (for 6 chickens) every 1-2 weeks, depending on the need and the weather. The entire process takes me about 15 minutes start to finish. Here is how I clean the coop for Tilly and the girls.
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 in the run. I wear rubberized gardening gloves when I clean the coop. Glove that you use in the kitchen work well too. You know those big yellow rubber ones! It can be a messy job. First, I remove the roosts and place them in the sunshine. Next with a dust pan for a scooper, I remove all the soiled pine shavings, put them in my 5 gallon bucket and tote them over to the compost pile. Sometimes if they are not too soiled, I toss them into the run for the girls to enjoy, sort and begin composting for me. One of the best things I did when I ordered my coop was to pay extra for the industrial grade linoleum flooring. In fact, I even did this in my bigger coop too. I love it.
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.
There are also commercial coop cleaners available on the market. 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.
Next, I turn to the nesting boxes and spoil my girls with one of my favorite products, The Nesting Box Blend. My flock goes crazy for this. I sprinkle about a tablespoon in each nesting box. I think it makes them lay better and keeps pests away too. I like to think of it as egg laying aromatherapy.
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