Let’s see……scrub brush?…check, rags?…check, rubber gloves?…check, air filtering mask?…check, and natural home made cleaner?……CHECK! I’m ready to spring clean the coop!
We do what they call the deep litter method. You keep a deep 5-6 inches of bedding on the coop floor and turn it routinely which helps the chicken poop to break down and create it’s own compost so it doesn’t smell. It really works! Every 3-6 months you pull out the bedding and clean the nesting boxes, roost, floor, walls and windows. We waited 6 months over the winter for this day and it’s finally here!
I started by getting all my cleaning supplies together. There are great recipes online for natural cleaning solutions. Mine includes diluted white vinegar, lemon oil and cinnamon. It cleans great, smell fantastic and it has no harsh chemicals.
The girls never miss an opportunity to go free ranging so it was easy to get them out of my way. Open the gate, make sure they are all out and then shut all the coop doors. Open the windows to allow air flow and I’m ready to start!
I had a dump trailer hooked up to the UTV and moved 5 trailer loads of partially composted bedding to the composting area! It didn’t look like much laying in the coop. I swept the linoleum floor and then pulled out the farm specific shop vacuum to remove all the dust possible. Then came the brush and rags to start wiping down EVERYTHING with that great smelling cleaning solution. What a difference in the the smell!
That’s about the time the girls started to lose patience. I’d been in there for over an hour already and they wanted back in! As I was putting new nesting pads and dried herbs in their nesting boxes they started to peck at the doors and jump at the windows trying to get in! It was like being in the movie THE BIRDS! Crazy chickens frantically throwing themselves at the coop dying to get back inside!
I started working really fast getting the coop back together tossing 5 bales of pine shavings on the floor, barely spreading them out before I opened up the coop door. They came running back in right into the nesting boxes. They really wanted to lay their eggs inside the coop. I’m lucky in that they never laid eggs outside.
In the end we have a super clean coop and happy hens who, by the way, are now laying more eggs than ever!
See the before and after videos on the What the Flock YouTube channel: