Cleaning Out the Chicken Coop
Cleaning out the coop doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, it’s a fairly simple process once you have a plan and the supplies you need. Our friends, The Frisbie family (@growing.up.montana), shared with us their simplified process for cleaning out the coop.
Remove EVERYTHING. Open all the doors and remove the bedding completely. Use a rake, hoe, or shovel to get every corner of the coop stripped.
Leave all doors, vents and windows open so that things can dry completely. It’s always a good idea to use a mask during this part of the process to avoid inhalation of dust and ammonia.
Pro tip: Give your chickens some treats to keep them busy and out of the way of the cleaning process. The Frisbie family’s chickens love the Purina Farm to Flock treats.
When the coop is dry, sprinkle some Sweet PDZ on the base. Sweet PDZ is a mineral that naturally occurs after volcanic activity called zeolites. It is non-toxic and safe to use with your chickens. This can be used to reduce the amount of ammonia that builds up from chicken poop.
Sprinkle pine shavings (or your bedding of choice) in the coop. Make sure to spread it all over the coop, paying close attention to the areas under the roosts. This is where most of the poop will land, and the shavings will help absorb moisture. For good measure, you can always add more Sweet PDZ to the top of the shavings in this area.
How Often Should I Clean the Coop?
The coop should be cleaned out every month or so, depending on your number of chickens and the size of your coop. Like most things in life, being consistent makes the job easier. You can also consult with a Murdoch’s Chicken Specialist to determine how often you’ll need to clean your specific coop.