Your chicken coop is easy to clean when you give 20 minutes to it every day. A little soap and water and a few simple tools will go a long way, contributing to your chickens health, happiness, and egg production.
Too many deep cleaning house tasks involve a lot of garbage. One time use sponges and wipes, single use plastic bottles, paper towels, plastic bag litter box liners, etc. This is just a fraction of the waste that result from our chosen cleaning products and cleaning methods.
The chicken coop is easy to clean daily with Instant Liquid Soap, diluted to the 2 gallon ratio. This way my chickens can happily and comfortably lay eggs during the day in a clean next box, and roost in a clean coop at night.
You can even use lavender or peppermint since that will help keep red mites away, freshen up the coop, and even help with health issues. If you choose to go with scented Instant Liquid Soap in your coop, please make sure, you use the 2 gallon ratio.
Chicken coop cleaning tools:
Go Soap (aka Waterless Hand Soap) dilute ratio
We have renamed Waterless Hand Soap to Go Soap.
You have an empty Waterless Hand Soap 2 oz. spray bottle and want to refill it. Make a Go Soap refill.
Dilute one bag of Instant Liquid Soap into one quart of liquid soap (32 oz.).
Follow the instructions on the package.
Pour 1/2 of the quart of liquid hand soap (16 oz.) into a one gallon container and fill it SLOWLY with water. This makes 1 gallon of Go Soap, aka waterless hand soap, that you use as hand sanitizer replacement and general cleaner.
Refill an empty spray bottle to use on everything. Click here for more uses
How often do I clean the chicken coop? Every morning. If you keep up with the cleaning every day, coop cleaning is simple, quick, and problems are easily avoided. Here are just a few issues we do not have to deal with.
My coop doesn't have that chicken ammonia oder.
My chicks rarely suffer from mites.
We do not have to deal with rats.
My chicks do not get bumble foot, when they have a foot injury.
Dress for the occasion
I put on my coveralls, tuck my hair up underneath a hat, slip on knee high rubber boots, put a dust mask over my nose and mouth, and slip on a pair of rubber gloves. Now I'm ready to scoop the chicken poop.
We use a chicken coop deep litter method. This means the tarred plywood coop floor has 3-5 inches of construction sand on it. This sand is very useful to the chicks and in keeping the coop clean, but uncomfortable for human lungs. It creates a LOT of dust when you move it around and soaks up a lot of moisture.
The chicks LOVE it. It's perfect for them. They eat it as grit to aid with their digestion, and dust bathe in it. It's also useful in the garden and in construction projects. But, it is very dusty, which is why I dress for the occasion.
I spray a generous amount of Waterless Hand Soap onto a damp sponge, and wipe down all of the surfaces, paying close attention to the corners. edges, seems, etc. This keeps away mites and flies, and all sort of other pathogens that can cause illness and disease in my flock.
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Cleaning the coop every day can be quick and easy.
After you are dressed for the occasion, grab your chicken coop cleaning tools and go in your coop.
Take out the roosts. I lean them up against the coop, while resting on the coop stairs. If there's poop on them, I have an out of the way spot, where I rub the poop spots in the grass.
If you don't have an out of the way grassy spot to do this, use a damp rag to wipe it off with before you sponge it down. Personally, I would find an out of the way grassy spot under a bush, where you never walk, instead.
Scoop the poop with the pooper scooper, being careful to not shake it too much. Simply let the extra sand sift through the scooper. This will keep the dust down.
Have your spray bottle with filled with Instant Liquid Soap diluted to Waterless Hand Soap strength, ready. This Instant Liquid Soap dilution is strong enough to kill pathogens, and will evaporate and dry without leaving any residue.
When all of the poop is scooped, I spray a generous amount of Instant Liquid Hand Soap onto the sponge and wipe down the roosts. If they are very dirty, I'll rinse them off and let them dry in the sun. Most days, they are not poopy at all, and I simply wipe them down with a damp soapy sponge.
Then I go around the coop and wipe down the window frame on the outside and inside of the frame, making sure to also wipe down any seams.
I wipe down the roost holders, making sure to go against the wall behind the pegs that hold the roosts in place. I also wipe underneath and the sides where they meet the wall.
I continue to go around the coop, wiping down the corners from floor to ceiling, where the ceiling meets the wall, around the nest box, around the door frame and the door window. I pay extra attention to any gaps and seams in the wall and ceiling coverings.
After I'm finished, I put the roosts back in place and dump the sandy poop in the chicken poop compost pile. I start a new pile every 6 months and use the old ones in the garden. My organic chicken poop is excellent nutritious compost.
I have a hose in an out of the way spot to hose off all of my tools: putty knife scraper, pooper scooper, sponge, bucket, boots, and rubber gloves. I wash them with the soap and hose them off again. I put them all away until tomorrow.
I take off my mask and coveralls and shake out any dust. Then I shake out my hat. I shower. I'm ready for the day and my chickens have a clean place to lay eggs.
When you have your beautiful fresh eggs, I wash them right before cracking them open to cook. Read about kitchen soap here.
I was shocked to find scale mites on some of my new chickens' legs. I acted quickly and within a week, my chicks were fine.
While getting rid of some scale mites that were beginning to spread through my flock, I quickly switched from Unscented Instant Liquid Soap to Peppermint. I liberally sprayed it in every crack and crevasse in both of my coops.
After I did my regular coop cleaning with Peppermint soap in the mornings, lightly dust the roosts and add it to the sand on the floor of the coops with diatomaceous earth.
I also sprayed it on the roosts to wipe them down and then sprayed soap to soak into the wood while the flocks were outside for the day. Scale mites have a life span of 7 days, so I did this every couple of days for 2-3 weeks.
Aside from cleaning the coops, I made a VERY weak solution of peppermint soap. I took 1/4 cup of Waterless Hand Soap, aka Go Soap dilution (1 bag of Instant Liquid Soap diluted to 2 gallons) and 1/2 cup of garlic water, put it in my 32 oz. spray bottle and filled it with water. This is a very weak solution. I am not a fan of garlic and it's not that strong smelling. Plus garlic is great for chicks. I gently sprayed it on their legs and feet, carefully avoiding any spray going anywhere other than their feet. I sprayed their feet with this solution about 1-2 times a week, if the weather was above 40 degrees during the day.
I mixed dried oregano, ginger, garlic, peppermint, fennel, and marigold seed heads together and sprinkled it on the floor of the coop, every few days. Not only did my coops smell great, the chicks love to eat this mix that will chase away or kill mites.I did this in the evenings before the chicks went to bed, so the herbal aroma would deter the mites as they were waking up for their all night feeding frenzy.
The last thing I did was gently spread a little bit of coconut on the chickens who had visible mite signs of barnacled feet and ankles. Then I would lightly dust their feet with food grade diatomaceous earth, being careful not to create a dust cloud.
Good, all natural bar soap is an essential as a whole body soap wash. It's economical, luxurious, and effective. When selecting a bar of soap, look for simple ingredients with pleasing essential oil aromas and lots of sudsy lather. Sudsing all the way down to a sliver, over 3-4 months of daily use, is key in good bar soap. Try Ithaca Soap
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Instant Liquid Soap is liquid soap, sold in a paper bag. The soap is sold dry. The end user adds water to turn it into true liquid Castile soap. This saves ship weight, space, and the environment. Water stays where it belongs.
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