By Lisa at Fresh Eggs Daily
Twice a year I do a really good, deep chicken coop cleaning. I scrub down the whole coop with a vinegar/water solution once right before the weather turns cold and then again in the spring. I use the Deep Litter Method through the winter. [Read more about doing a deep cleaning here...]
In between the deep cleanings I do quick interim cleanings as needed. I use my eyes and nose to let me know when it's time -even a hint of any whiff of ammonia smell, it's definitely time, otherwise when the straw starts looking dirty. I always pick a nice warm, sunny day. Here's my down and dirty, quick and easy coop cleaning routine:
In the AM
1. Rake out all the old bedding (I use straw) and spread it in the sun to air out. Sometimes if most of the straw isn't dirty, I'll reuse it. Did you know that UV rays (sunlight) are the BEST way to kill pathogens, mold and bacteria?
2. While you're at it, sweep out the cobwebs.
3. Then sweep out the dirt. (Since this is just a interim cleaning, I don't scrub down the whole floor with the white vinegar/water mixture I would use for a deep clean, I just get it 'broom clean').
4. I use a plastic paint scraper and bucket to scrape any poop off the roosts, nesting box area or other flat surfaces.
5. Spray the roosts and nesting boxes with Orange Peel White Vinegar Coop Cleaner. [Click here for the recipe...] It's an all natural cleaner/insect repellent.
6. Replace the straw in the nesting boxes with fresh clean straw.
7. Open all the doors and windows and leave everything to air out until just before dark.
In the PM
1. Generously sprinkle food-grade Diatomaceous Earth on the floor and in the nesting boxes. [Click here for the benefits of DE...]
2. Replace the straw bedding on the floor either with the aired-out straw or new straw so you have about a 6" layer.
3. Sprinkle fresh (or dried) herbs in the nesting boxes and liberally on the floor. [Read here for the benefits of using herbs in your coop...]
4. Toss in some marigolds if you have them. I plant marigolds specifically for the chickens. Not only are they an excellent natural insect repellent, chickens who eat marigolds lay eggs with vibrant orange yolks.
5. Spritz with Lavender Mint Coop Refresher Spray. [Click here for the recipe...]
6. Let the girls in for the night - and listen to their contented coos over a nice, clean, scented coop!