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Spring Cleaning the Chicken House
For me there’s a great sense of accomplishment after completing a deep clean of any corner of my world that needs it. Besides the parrot cage in the living room, and the cat litter boxes, the one place in my world that always benefits from a good deep clean is the chicken house.
As the days get longer and warmer chickens are spending more and more time out of the coop. Making the time on a nice warm or hot day to clean the coop is best. Many coops will benefit from a good scraping of floors, walls, nest boxes and perches to remove dried droppings after all litter and nesting materials are removed. At least once a year it’s a great idea get out the hose and spray down and scrub the chicken house, top to bottom.
Many chicken houses are primarily wooden and all the little nooks and crannies throughout the structure can be a perfect breeding ground for certain mites that can have a very negative impact on chicken health. If you suspect or know you have had a mite or other parasite problem you might want to use dish-washing detergent solution to scrub all surfaces. If you’ve had any sick chickens, you might want to use a disinfecting strength of bleach water to scrub surfaces as well.
Be cautious that your chickens aren’t going to drink soapy water or bleach water. If you choose to use chemicals to treat for parasites, follow directions carefully. If using bleach or other strong smelling products make sure to allow plenty of time to air out the coop before allowing chickens back in. Start early in the day to give enough hours drying and airing time before chickens need to come in and roost.
This is a great time to scrub and disinfect water and feed containers, plus look for any needed repairs to the coop. Before replacing nesting and flooring litter make sure the coop is free from puddles and overly damp areas. Once I replace the floor and nest litter I sprinkle Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth onto the shavings. This product is 100% natural, provides some trace minerals to chickens and can deter all kinds of insects, parasites and bugs that might want to call your coop or your chickens home. If you do this type of deep clean at least once a year you will be rewarded with a good sense of accomplishment knowing you are providing a clean and healthy environment for your chickens. From cob webs and dust to layers of droppings, much filth can build up over just a few years. Keeping odors down in the coop may require removing and replacing floor litter once a month or more often.
If you can avoid using toxic chemicals the used floor litter can be used directly on some plants or composted for a great organic fertilizer.
And as always remember to purchase your chicken supplies from us at our store.
Got Chicken: New Auction Site catering to backyard chicken enthusiest. Raising-chickens.org has launched an auction site for the buying and selling of poultry and other domesticated birds.
If you are interested in or already have backyard chickens, our web site offers much needed information that may help you avoid or solve problems. We have a library of over 1000 questions and answers from people all over the world, plus articles, that can help you get started learning what you need to know.
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Your Guide to Everything Chicken Mel www.raising-chickens.org, 101 Preston Court, Macon, GA. 31210
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