A Cleaner Chicken Coop

Follow this Pennsylvania reader's clever tip for keeping your chicken coop tidier with this wire-covered plastic bin.

  • Chicken Coop
    Collect manure in a plastic bin for a cleaner coop.

  • Chicken Coop

I have a relatively small chicken coop with 12 hens. I like to keep it neat but don’t want to rake out all of the bedding every time I clean.

I bought a shallow plastic bin like you would use to slide under a bed for storage. I covered the top of the bin with an open mesh wire to keep the hens from scratching in it. The bin collects the droppings as the birds sit on their roost all night, and I periodically remove the bin and add the droppings to the compost pile. It’s easy and keeps the bedding a lot cleaner, too.

Lucie Brown
Lititz, Pennsylvania

1/21/2021 7:29:31 AM

It was so much easier when i only had bantams, cleaned out 2-3 times a year but as they passed away, I got standard stock and that all changed. I had been cleaning out my biggest coop (10x18) weekly but got too expensive and exhausting as I have 3 other different sized smaller coops randomly used depending on age of youngsters. Currently have a mix of juvenile chickens and guineas in one, 2 empty. I use multi tiered roosting bars so poop boards and containers under roosting won't work. I tried a kiddie pool under my most used roost area but some decided to try and make a dust bath of it so that didn't work. I'll do full clean out in spring before integrating my juveniles. Last spring/summer, with them outside unless pouring rain, I just added a little extra shavings weekly and let them stir litter up. After 3-4 months, cleaned everything out,, I put dirty bedding on tarps to dry, storing for later. I now have compost to mix with soil for seeds this growing season. I like the idea of putting used litter around fruit trees as ours didn't do well last year. We moved all our coops a couple years ago to our old garden area so last year was our first garden in a new area using poultry help.. Currently we have our garden as a winter extension of their pen so the 50 chickens and 14 ducks fertilize it all winter, we closed area off a few months before planting and let rain/snow dilute their droppings so its safer for planting, tillered and planted. Best garden in a looong time. They never tried going over the 4ft fence between then and garden, they waited patiently for me to give them fresh veggies as I picked each day. I just wish snow would go away as I can't push the wheelbarrow through snow and I want to get an earlier start on clean out since they all are staying in (lot more than normal) and coop is messier than last year this time. I wish we could post photos of how big plants grew and how loaded they were for a 13x40 area (9 tomato varieties, 3 pepper varieties, corn, zucchini, 2 varieties each of cucumbers and squash, several bean varieties and a few surprise veggies that grew (probably overhead bird).

11/1/2020 10:58:10 AM

We installed a shallow wooden tray under the roost, filled with a layer of sand. Every morning I use a slotted scoop to remove poops and wet spots. We replace the sand once a year during spring cleaning. So far this has controlled any possible smell issue .

2/13/2019 11:11:47 AM

Great idea Lucie! Thanks.



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