Animals | Chickens

Chicken Coop Cleaning

Summer chicken coop cleaning is as easy as cleaning it out once a week. Summertime can be the best time for raising chickens. You don’t have to worry about them being too cold or their water freezing.

chicken coop with text overlay

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Chicken Coop Cleaning

There are a number of different materials that chicken owners sure as bedding.

  • pine shavings
  • sand
  • straw

I use pine shavings because they seem to be more absorbent and easy to clean than other materials we have used. Plus, I can add them to our compost pile for our garden at the end of the year.

  • excellent absorption
  • easily attainable – you can pick up shavings at local feed stores
  • easy to clean – shavings can be fluffed and forked up much easier than straw bedding. 
  • great odor control – because shavings are typically more absorbent, it is also better at controlling odors which is great in the heat of summer

Remember that chicken compost is hot compost and can kill your pants if you add it right away. Always wait a year before using it.

unfinished chicken coop

Clean Bedding, Clean Coop

I pick one day a week for cleaning our coops, usually first thing in the morning before the sun gets too hot.

Clear out all of the dirt, feathers, nesting materials, and bird droppings. Depending on the size of your coop, this could take some time. It’s important to scrape out as much of the bird droppings as you can since they, unfortunately, will not soften with the help of water or a cleansing solution.

Then refill with clean shavings. I give my birds a lot of shaving, about 5-7 inches worth. They are going to dirt bath in it. They are going to kick some out of the coop into their runs.

chicken coop with text overlay

In the Spring I also like to disinfect my coop after winter:

Break out the hose and spray the enclosure down. You’ll want to remove any and all dust and debris leftover from scraping and shoveling.

Use a natural cleaning agent like vinegar to disinfect the chicken nesting boxes and coop. Do not use bleach, as it is far too harsh for animals to bear and can be toxic to the chickens if it hasn’t dried completely.

Vinegar, however, has very similar cleaning properties without the harsh effects. Mix equal parts vinegar and water to create a cleaning solution and mop up the area for an all-natural cleaning. Take a hand brush or thick-bristled broom and scrub the floors and walls to free any remaining droppings, stains, dirt, or debris.

Rinse once more.

Sweep out any standing water, but let the coop and nest boxes air dry. The fresh air will help with the lingering vinegar smell, and sunlight will also help aid in the disinfection process.

Then refill with clean shavings. I give my birds a lot of shaving, about 5-7 inches worth. They are going to dirt bath in it. They are going to kick some out of the coop into their runs.

You can add more ventilation in the summer. We have two small windows that are covered in hardware cloth that we cover in the winter with boards, these give the chicken more air circulation in the summer.

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Caring for Chickens in the Summer

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