Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cleaning the Chicken Coop & Daily Routine

I have to admit that caring for chickens has proven to be a very easy task. The worst part of caring for our chickens comes at night when we have to leave the warmth and comfort of the house to go out and "put the chickens up".

In this post I'm going to talk about cleaning the chicken coop. These are my personal thoughts and opinions and what I believe and what works for us may not work for you. Keep in mind that we have only had our chickens since last July (2010) and the way I do things might change now that they are getting older. But for now this is how I do things!! I have things broken down into daily, weekly and monthly (depending on the season).

  • Every morning I go out to "let the chickens out". Which is basically opening the door so they can go out into the run. We are unable to allow them to be completely free range because there are dogs in the neighborhood (including ours).
  • Check their water and refill if necessary
  • Check their food and fill if necessary
  • Make sure nesting boxes are clean and have plenty of nesting material in them. We currently use wood shavings - I have found that hay doesn't work out well because the chickens take it right out. 
  • Check for eggs - during the winter this needs to be done more frequently so that they do not freeze. 
  • At night we go out after dark to "put them to bed" - which is closing the door to the run
  • On a weekly basis I put fresh bedding into the nesting boxes 
  • In the hotter months I will clean the poop out too because it will have a tendency to become stinky in the heat. I think that probably just a quick racking should be sufficient on a weekly basis. This isn't really possible during the winter months because it will be frozen
MONTHLY - I don't know if I should call this monthly or bi-monthly or semi-annual - I guess it all just depends on what season it is. I didn't remove any poop all winter because it was frozen
  • I deep clean everything. Wash the food dishes and water containers. Remove all the nesting material and replace with new and fresh material
  • Clean out all of the poop and put down fresh litter - I use wood shavings or sawdust
  • Wipe down and wash the roosting pole
  • Wipe down and wash the walls and the doors
On a average I spend about 5-10 minutes out there a day. I don't know for sure how long the deep cleaning will take because we have moved on to a bigger coop and I have yet to deep clean this one.

One of the most important things is to make sure that the coop stays dry. It has a tendency to stink more if it gets wet.

I think that is about it - I hope I didn't miss anything. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions on things that I may have missed!! Thanks!!!!


WinKeySolutions said...

Thanks for the participating in my blogs giveaway - Im enjoying reading your blog & following you!

Kerry said...

My dad and his family raised chickens. I have heard lots of stories about their chicken farm.

Following you back.