Before I get on the subject I would like to say that in the process of keeping my chickens and my other animals, I try to use as little chemicals as possible.
Somehow I think that using chemicals – even the approved ones – is not the right way of keeping the places around your animals clean. I try to do my best to keep it natural when doing these things, for me, it makes more sense.
This is why I want to share with you my ways of cleaning my chicken coop the natural way and I hope that you will consider using this method because not only they are natural but cheaper also.
1. Maintaining Schedule
Depending on the size of your flock and your coop, cleaning your coop and the area around it could be done once in two weeks, once in a month or once a season.
If your chickens have problems with parasites you might want to do it more often, also a good sign that your coop needs cleaning is the smell of ammonia around it.
It is important to check up on your cleaning supplies a day or two before cleaning day, it will save you a lot of time if you are aware if your cleaning supplies miss something and you can organize to resupply in time.
2. Cleaning Supplies
These are the supplies I use to clean my coop:
– Rubber gloves
– Scrub brushes (make sure you have them in different shapes and sizes because some places are difficult to reach)
– White Vinegar Coop Cleaner (This recipe I found online) –
You will need:
- orange peels from 4 oranges (peels only),
- 2 cinnamon sticks,
- 2 vanilla beans,
- a bottle of white vinegar,
- 2 canning jars and a spray bottle.
Put the orange peels in 2 jars (dividing them equally), break each cinnamon stick and put two pieces in each jar and slit the vanilla beans and place one in each jar.Pour the white vinegar on top of these and close the jar strongly. Do this a month before cleaning day and shake the jars once in a while.
– Food grade diatomaceous earth
– A mask (The ones doctors and sick people wear)
3. On cleaning day
When the cleaning day comes you need to prepare by pouring the White Vinegar Coop Cleaner into a spray bottle, airing the coop out so the smell gets out, then shovel out the old bedding.
When most of the bedding is out you can use a broom to sweep the rest of it out.
Take a bucket of water and add some dishwasher soap, use it to nicely scrub anything that your chickens come in contact with. Remember that you will need those different kinds of scrub brushes to reach all the areas.
After you finish scrubbing those areas take the White Vinegar Coop Cleaner and spray in the same areas around the coop ( if you notice some places where there are mites you can spray more without any worries ).
If you haven’t put on the mask yet, it is time for you to do it, it is time for the food-grade diatomaceous earth which is not the safest thing for you to breathe in. Sprinkle it over the coop especially around the areas you think can get mites or parasites.
4. The Final Touch
Use the scissors to pick some fresh herbs to put in the nesting boxes, if you have mint or basil in handy you can use them. Many herbs have anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.
Herbs are also known as stress relievers for the chicken while they are in their laying period.
The most important thing to do after this process is to step back and take few seconds to enjoy the smell of fresh and clean coop, then give the same pleasure to your chickens.
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com