How Often Do I Clean?
You may hear that chickens are simple to keep. While they may be simple animals, they are not exactly maintenance free. Keeping your chickens comfortable, keeps them “happy” and a happy chicken is a productive one. Let her chicken coop fill with refuse and you’ll quickly see egg production decrease and disease and vermin increase. How often you need to clean is directly proportionate to the number of chicken you have and their temperament.
You won’t necessarily have to clean everyday, but you should keep an eye on your coop to make sure chickens have feed and are well hydrated. Since most chickens tend to poop in the evening, a good practice is to take 10 minutes each morning to check on conditions. Tend to the water and feed, and remove feces if it is accumulating. Keep a bucket just outside the coop in a protected area and collect feces and dirt. Mixing it with the soil you use for your vegetable garden makes for an inexpensive nutrient rich growing soil.
Each spring and fall you should do a complete coop clean out. Scrape up up any manure in the pen area and replace the top few inches of soil. Sweep and scrape out all the manure, feathers, dirt, bedding, cobwebs, etcs. from the coop and scrub all the surfaces of the coop, including walls, doors, and window areas using a mild disinfectant. Skip the bleach, vinegar works great as a natural disinfectant, mix it 1:1 with water.
The work required to keep a clean coop pays off with a healthier happier flock that is more productive and ultimately less costly than dealing with the spread of disease.
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