When you are a homesteader, you likely have livestock. One of the most common types of livestock to keep is chickens. You can use them for their eggs, as well as their meat, if needed. Building or buying a chicken coop and raising chickens is relatively easy if you put in some time and effort to learn more about what you are doing. One of the most important aspects of keeping your chickens nice and healthy though is to keep the chicken coop clean. A dirty coop will lead to disease and other problems with your chickens.
Fortunately, keeping your coop clean is easy. Just make sure you clean out the coop regularly. Of course, if you notice that the coop is dirty before you are scheduled to clean it, make the cleaning a priority.
Steps to Keeping the Coop Clean
When your chickens are out in the yard, head into the coop with a shovel and scrape the floor to remove the manure, shavings, dirt, feathers and anything else that might have accumulated in the coop. This can take some hard work and elbow grease if you haven’t been diligent about keeping the coop clean at least once a week.
Once you have cleaned out the main part of the mess and disposed of it, you will then wash it. Using a hose is easiest. Spray down the walls, roosts, and the floor to remove any manure that might still be on the floor. This will also help the dust to settle in the coop. Then, you will want to take a shovel and scrape the coop again, just to make sure you have everything removed.
Next, mix water and vinegar in a bucket (in equal parts). You can pour some of the mixture onto the floor and then us a push broom to scrub the coop clean. Once you have finished, you will want to rinse it again with water and then allow it to dry thoroughly. Open up the door and any windows you might have in the coop. Ventilation is always important, as it can help the coop to have a fresher feeling, which is beneficial for the chickens.
Once everything is perfectly dry, you can then add some new bedding for the chickens. When you are adding the bedding, consider adding some herbs to provide a better, fresher scent in the bedding. Mint can work well, and it does a good job of keeping away pests. The scents from the herbs will make the coop smell better, too. You can also add rose petals for much the same effect. The chickens will also be happy to eat these, as well as the herbs.
Check the bedding at least once a week. If it appears damp or soiled, make sure you change it. Then, maybe two times per month, you can give it a full cleaning. Again, how often you need to clean it fully will depend on the condition of the coop. Keep these tips in mind, and your chickens will remain happy and healthy.
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