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Dirty Jobs: Cleaning Chicken Coops

| 5/25/2016 12:34:00 PM


Chickens may seem sweet and soft, but they can also leave in their wake a messy coop!  

I know there’s a TV series out there about dirty jobs. I think the host ought to come out to the farm and clean a chicken coop with me.

It’s not like it was the worst cleaning of the season — that comes with the spring thaw, when the bedding pack is near three feet deep in places, wet and heavy, frozen in the corners, and matted down with straw and wood shavings. That would be a really messy job. Sometimes it takes days to work through the winter pack and haul it away.

So this cleanup after the ladies had moved out should be a breeze in comparison, right? Well,while moving that winter pack is wet and sticky, the spring coop cleaning to prepare for the baby chick arrival is dry and dusty. Very dusty.

Where to Start

7/9/2016 10:25:41 AM

Often there are two solutions to the same problem, and they're practically opposite. I'd be tempted to approach the same task with a hose, spraying the walls, ceiling, and windows. This does a better job of containing the dust during cleanup, and might make a dust mask unnecessary. Once everything's hosed down, heap the now-wet litter into a soggy heap in the middle of the floor. In a few days it'll compost enough that it'll lose most of its weight, stickiness, and smell. I far prefer the deep litter method (see my deep litter page at, so once the litter has dried and become less nasty, I just spread it out on the floor again.

7/4/2016 2:55:34 PM

Adding 200 fryer chicken to my existing layer flock of 45 birds. Looking for a way to repurpose chicken feathers?

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