Cleaning the chicken coop: 9 tips for proper maintenance

 To keep your chickens healthy, every farmer, whether they are a private or professional breeder, must regularly carry out a thorough and effective cleaning of the chicken coop. The health of your flock depends on it. Unlike dogs, cats, or rabbits, your backyard animals defecate everywhere in the garden, on your flower beds or your terrace, and even on the doormat, including in their beautiful chicken coop. So far, no one has been able to tame and train poultry like other domestic animals for hygiene purposes.

Cleaning the chicken coop: 9 tips for proper maintenance
Cleaning the chicken coop: 9 tips for proper maintenance

 To prevent droppings from accumulating and soiling your chickens' fresh hay, it is important to clean your backyard habitat to maintain a healthy and clean nesting area and a comfortable living environment. This will prevent the proliferation of bacteria, parasites (such as red mites), or diseases that could affect your poor chickens, not to mention the risk of contamination carried by nocturnal pests (rats, mice, voles, foxes, birds of the sky, especially with avian flu). Without further ado, follow our exceptional 9 tips to achieve a sparkling chicken coop.

1. Adjust the cleaning frequency of the chicken coop

 Before the actual cleaning of the chicken coop, remove the chicken droppings a little every day to easily maintain a clean nest:

  • Once a month: replace the straw and bedding.
  • Once every 6 months: perform a total disinfection in summer/winter.
  • Once a year: carry out a thorough cleaning, using a pressure washer and brush for a brand-new chicken coop!

2. Ventilate the chicken coop daily

 The bad odors associated with chicken droppings inevitably cling to the chicken coop. A good daily flow of fresh air eliminates these inconveniences, provided that the inside droppings are removed using a hand rake or shovel. Just like you do for your children's rooms or other rooms in the house, let in the sun's rays that will naturally sanitize your chicken coop.

 However, if it rains, it is better to keep the multiple openings closed to prevent moisture, except for the main exit door, since your chickens need to return there to lay eggs, brood, or seek shelter.

3. Remove the chicken droppings daily

 Tip! Place a wooden board or galvanized plate under your chickens' perch that you can remove to clean it with a powerful jet of water. Then, you can put it back, clean and ready to collect more droppings. This facilitates the regular maintenance of your chicken coop by preventing droppings from accumulating on the floor or walls of your coop.

4. Renew the straw or change the bedding

 Spread a layer of sand or absorbent bedding so that your chickens' droppings do not stick to the floor of the chicken coop. In addition, this economical sand will provide your chickens with minerals and essential shell debris for their vital functions. On top of the first layer, you can spread the bedding of your choice, such as dry straw or sawdust.

 The essential step for any respectable farmer is to sprinkle a little diatomaceous earth on the dry and clean bedding, a perfect natural anti-parasite for your chickens' plumage and healthy habitat.

5. Clean the waterer and the feeding bowl

 Farm chickens are creatures of habit. Morning and evening, they rush to their feeding and watering area to recharge, fill their stomachs, and stock their crop.

 Tip! Don't leave your chicken's bowls outside all night as this can attract rodents that may carry diseases and infect the feeding area and equipment. As a precaution, remove them every night, or cover them with a plastic sheet to prevent contact with other small wild animals.

 It goes without saying, but it's important to change the water daily and empty the feeders that contain leftover food and crushed grain dust. Clean the equipment and any feeding accessories, then dry them with a clean cloth or in the sun.

6. Disinfect the nest boxes, perches, and dust bath

 All the equipment necessary for your chickens' life, such as nest boxes, perches, or the dust bath, should be thoroughly cleaned. Plan to do it twice a year: once before winter and again in spring.

 Depending on the number of your feathered residents, you can reduce this frequency to an annual deep cleaning. Up to 4 chickens in your household, it's more than enough. Beyond that, it's different.

7. Treat the chicken coop wood

 We recommend polishing your chicken coop once a year in the fall to protect it from the harshness of winter and give it a nice color after prolonged exposure to the sun. This way, it will better withstand the weather and brighten up your garden.

 Depending on your preferences, you can maintain raw wood by applying 2 coats of varnish or paint. If you prefer neutral or natural tones that blend in with your garden, choose transparent varnish. On the other hand, if you want trendy or flashy colors, choose outdoor paint that will cover the wood with stunning colors. Again, tastes and colors are not to be debated!

 This way, you completely eradicate the risks of bacteria, parasites, and potentially dangerous pests for the health of your thriving flock. The more poultry you own, the more waste there will be to clean up, it goes without saying. The maintenance frequency of your chicken coop should be adapted to your significant or non-significant family farming.

8. Use non-harmful hygiene products

 The importance of non-chemical substances for your pets and the environment should require your attention. Around your chicken coop, greenery, vegetable gardens, and other animals coexist harmoniously. It would be a shame to poison your neighbor's cat or your guard dog. And above all, you must ensure the well-being of your chickens since you consume their fresh organic eggs.

 You can find the best cleaning products at the best prices on zoomalia.com, trustworthy and without any danger to animals or the environment.

Tip! White vinegar is the ultimate household product of our grandmothers. Completely harmless to children and animals and accessible to all budgets, it can be used without moderation to disinfect your chicken coop and its many equipments and fight unpleasant odors. Diluted in hot water or coupled with black soap, it is formidable against dirt.

9. Insulate the chicken coop to maintain its robustness

 Just as a house needs to be well insulated to better preserve it, your chicken coop can last for years outdoors with good thermal insulation. For example, a chicken coop on stilts offers better insulation from the ground and moisture. In addition, placing it sheltered from dominant winds, to the south and east, will allow the facades, walls, or doors to be better protected against the weather.

 It is also recommended to monitor the condition of the roof to subsequently avoid rainwater infiltration and the proliferation of fungi and molds, carriers of infectious diseases. These sanitary constraints are relatively accentuated by the various peaks of summer heat, while winter cold freezes and destroys microbes.

Resistant and robust by nature, your chickens can withstand winter temperatures down to -20°C, not bad, right? The insulation and maintenance of their coop should not be neglected.


 Cleaning the chicken coop and all its accessories helps preserve it in the best possible conditions. Renewing the litter properly prevents dirt from spreading and affecting your chickens. And what to do with the soiling? Compost your garden with it, and make a small pile of manure next to your vegetable garden which will relish it. Beware of excess chicken manure, as it burns the roots of your abundant vegetation in the soil. You then have free and natural fertilizer for your planters and all kinds of plantings, to be spread in small quantities.

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Islam Khennoucha

Islam Khennoucha is an Australian author and chicken farmer who has dedicated his life to the study and care of these fascinating creatures. He was born and raised in Algeria, where he developed a love for nature and animals, especially chickens. After moving to Australia, Islam purchased a farm where he could fulfill his passion for raising chickens.
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