Spring Coop Dusting

My chicken coop is airy, dry, and doesn’t have any bad, lingering odor. I pick up and remove the obvious piles of manure several times weekly. But, that’s not enough to keep the environment healthy for the hens. Chickens create a huge amount of dust. They shred bedding and manure with their feet. They take baths in loose dirt, then come into the coop and shake. They lose feathers and grow new ones. As feathers unfurl, they release powdery keratin.

All of this dust settles on surfaces.

dust

 

Keeping the coop as dust-free as possible is key to a healthy flock. Bacteria and viruses hide out in dust. As it accumulates the risk to your hens increases. So, several times a year I do a thorough cleaning.

I shovel out all of the bedding. It’s been a few months, and you can see the fine matter that’s settled to the coop floor. That gets swept up.

stripped

 

My post and beam barn has flat surfaces and tight corners. I can use a shop vac to get the dust, or, I can use a leaf blower.

flying dust

 

Whatever the tool, I wear a protective mask.

protection

 

At the end of an hour, it looked like this.

mask

You don’t want to inhale this stuff!

After the thorough stripping and dusting, all new bedding was put in place. The Girls were ecstatic.

new coop bedding

 

The next spring cleaning chore is window washing. For that I need to turn on the outside water. I’m always eager to have the water flowing from the barn spigot, but I’ve learned to wait. If I switch the valve too early we’re bound to have another deep freeze! Next week you’ll see me out there hosing and scrubbing windows. Sunshine is an effective disinfectant and it’s as important for the flock’s health as dusting. It’s also lovely to have sunlight streaming into the coop.

It’s a lot of work, but spring cleaning is oh, so satisfying. What have you been cleaning lately?

Comments:

  1. Yikes! That soiled mask is awful! I always wear a regular mask like the ones they had out in the doctor’s offices. Perhaps this isn’t sufficient?

    Great posting. I had planned on getting to this today but perhaps I should first purchase one of those better masks?

    • I’ve worn those lighter medical ones when cleaning the coop, better than nothing, but I was still coughing dust. Do get a better one.

  2. Plant pots that I left outside over the winter and animal enclosures.My lizard is up and at’em with a voracious appetite (i.e. lots of poop) and we won’t discuss how overgrown my aquariums are… :D

  3. My set-up is different to yours and I poop pick every day, plus thorough clean every week. Its amazing how many dusty cob webs you get in a week in the winter, all the spiders must come indoors without the Girls seeing them. Also as weather so bad have been concentrating on giving my greenhouse and pots a good wash and brush up, ready to start my seeds going…:)
    Can we please have some pic’s of Lily and update on how she is doing. Also does the sound work in the Barn yet as I can’t hear anything my end ? Thanks

  4. Coop cleaning in a week or two down the road. I did a late winter clean in January.

    Speaking of the suns ability.

    My grandson (he is 4) turned over a plate of spaghetti on a brand new light colored table cloth. Yes the whole plate, I wasn’t watching so I don’t know how he did it but he said “I sorry Denny, I sorry Denny, I didn’t mean it”. Yes, I’m not papa or pee paw, I’m Denny to him. (I actually kind of like it).

    I thought well that’s that. I never had any luck getting out tomato stains.

    I mentioned something to my mom in a phone conversation the next day. She said have you wash it yet. I said no, I did spray a pre treatment on it though.

    She said wash as normal but do not put in the dryer. take it out and hang it in the sun or lay on the patio table with the spot exposed to the sun.

    I did and in a couple hours to my great amazement the large spot was no where to be found.