Safe Practices for Cleaning Coops
Maintaining a clean coop is vital for the overall health of your chickens but it is equally important that you practice safe techniques while cleaning. Before you head to the coop, I have created a list that you may find helpful to assist in safe coop cleaning practices.
Coop Cleaning Best Practices:
1) Disposable face mask: It is highly recommended to wear some form of face mask when cleaning out coops. Remember you are dealing with dust, feces and much more. A face mask will prevent you from inhaling anything that may irritate your lungs.
2) Gloves: I personally prefer using rubber/disposable gloves when cleaning my coop. These gloves protect my hands, especially when using liquid cleaning supplies. I do not recommend using cotton or fabric gloves because any form of liquid or bacteria can absorb through the fabric.
3) Apple Cider Vinegar/Hydrogen Peroxide: A mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide is an excellent and safe solution for scrubbing waterers. I also like to use this mixture to spray down the walls of my coops. Mix roughly 1 cup apple cider vinegar with a couple teaspoons of hyrdogen peroxide into 5 gallons of water. It’s important to note you should never mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar directly together in one container without water. The resulting chemical, peracetic acid, can harm you when mixed together this way. Adding vinegar and peroxide directly to a bucket of water will help reduce the risk of accidentally creating a strong concentration.
4) Poultry Protector: A great product that can be directly applied to chickens as well as the floor, walls, and top of the coop to control pests such as mites, lice, fleas and many more.
5) Better Rodent Trap: Mice and rats can carry several diseases and are known for getting into the feed as well as being egg thieves. Keep your coop free of droppings and rodents by using this trap, along with securing feed in a closed container.
6) Turf Nest Pad: Tired of your birds scratching the bedding out of their nest boxes, and struggling to keep the boxes clean? These nest pads cut down on bedding material and are super easy to remove for a quick clean. Simply hose them down, spray with hydrogen peroxide, set or hang them to dry and place back in the box.
7) Pine Shavings: The perfect bedding for your coop as it helps to absorb extra moisture. These are easy to spread for a fresh-smelling coop and make scooping up a breeze when cleaning.
I personally like to give my coops a good cleaning at the beginning of each season. Feeders and waterers should be given a thorough cleaning at least once a month. Depending on the bedding you choose to use in your nesting boxes, that will determine when and how much you need to clean them. A clean coop makes happy and healthy chickens, which means more eggs and a happy chicken tender!
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