Maintaining your hen house– cleaning, sanitizing, restocking food and water– is critical to the health and happiness of your chickens. Here are ten things you should know:
1. It’s best to clean your chicken coop at least once every two weeks. Depending on the size of your coops and the quantity of chickens, you may want to clean once every week.
2. It’s easiest to keep all your cleaning supplies cleaned and ready to go in one place. Many chicken coop owners use a 5 gallon bucket to keep their supplies.
3. Do not clean your chicken coop with your chickens inside. Certain chemicals could hurt the eyes of your chickens, and it is a generally scary and nerve-racking experience! You could also just end up accidentally dirtying your chickens and creating more work for yourself. Remove your chickens from their coops and place them in a run elsewhere.
4. Soiled pine shavings are a great addition to a compost pile. Scoop them all out with a dustpan.
5. Ordered an Epoxy floor? Great! Use a water and vinegar mixture to wipe it down. You may have to do some scraping and scrubbing to get everything looking spotless. Instead of water and vinegar, consider a natural hen house cleaning agent.
6. After all is scrubbed down, clean, and dry, consider applying a protecting agent against mites and lice.
7. Consider spreading Diatomaceous Earth (DE), blasting it in roots, nooks, and crannies. (Check back soon for a post on DE).
8. Spread clean pine shavings, make one last final inspection to make sure nothing has found its way into the chicken coop or your chickens have not left any hidden mess, and reintroduce your egg-laying hens in anticipation!
9. Consider a hanging water bowl. Anything left on the ground– a bucket, a cylinder, a large dish– is liable to fall over, or become quickly contaminated from entering poo.
10. Sanitize all brushes, gloves, and buckets you have used for cleaning.
Please make sure to browse our chicken coop options to ensure that your upkeep is kept simple, and your chickens healthy and happy egg-layers.