Any good animal owner will already tell you that one of the most important aspects of the job of taking care of pets and such is the need to maintain a high level of cleanliness. Keeping the environment around your animals, in this case chickens, neat and clean will go a long way toward keeping them healthy and looking in top form. If you’ve been wondering what all you should be doing for your chickens, here’s a helpful guide to teach you how to clean up after your chickens.
The most pressing care for your chickens rests on their essentials, namely their food and drink. Feed is pretty easy to keep clean as you just make sure to always check the feeder every day to ensure it’s clean enough to eat off of, but any water dishes or water feeders need to be cleaned on a daily basis as they will very likely be soiled, which is absolutely something you want to avoid if at all possible. Also, depending on how many chickens you’re keeping at once, their perches may need to be swept and cleaned out every two days to two weeks. Obviously the more birds you have the more often you’d need to clean their surroundings. Still, every day you’ll certainly need to collect all the eggs and scrape the droppings board clean.
While you’re wiping down the droppings board and scraping out perches pretty regularly, once a week you should give them a full cleaning with disinfectant and the works. The biggest thing to watch for though is how regularly you need to rake up the droppings on the coop floor. You don’t want the bedding to be saturated with waste, but again the cleaning schedule relies on how many chickens you’re caring for total, so a complete raking and bedding replacing could be needed only once a month or as often as every two days. Best to do a general raking every week to keep things simple later on.
Once a month you’ll usually find yourself with much bigger, deep-cleaning requirements. Nest boxes need to be disinfected once a month in the summer and then once every two months in the winter as pests and bacteria will be growing rampant if you leave it for very long. All of the litter within the coop should be entirely removed and replaced once a month as well, though you can test to see if this is regular enough based upon whether it feels damp or not. Damp litter is bad, so change it as frequently as you feel it becoming damp.
The last cleaning jobs will be the biggest undertaking, but thankfully you only have to do them once a year. Whitewashing the outside of the coop is mandatory when the weather permits, so sometime in the spring or summer. In addition, if you have an outdoor run, it’s recommended that you take the time to dig out roughly 8 inches deep into the ground and replace it clean sand. This will keep the run from getting too saturated with chicken droppings and generally promotes a healthier area.
Cleaning up after chickens isn’t the most glamorous task in the world, but on the bright side at least it’s not as demanding as mucking out a horse stable or as constant as having to take a dog out for walks every day just so it can do its business. Be sure to put in the effort of cleaning now and again and you’ll be happy you did as your chickens will stay healthier and your property will stay cleaner, and that’s a good thing for everyone.
Toys for Chickens
Where to Buy Eggs and Chicks
Raising Chicks- Make Yourself the Mama Hen
Cold Climates and Chickens
What Every Coop Needs
Poultry Diseases and How to Prevent Them
Chicken Nutrition- What Your Chicken Needs In Its Feed
Protecting Your Flock From Predators
Common Chicken Parasites
Chicken Care- A Month by Month Guide
Dust Baths, The Chicken Preference for Keeping Clean
Molting: That’s One Ugly Chicken!
How To Water-Bathe a Chicken
Helping Chickens Avoid Heat Stress
How Not to Care for Chickens
Maintaining Your Chicken Coop
Cannibalism In Chickens and What To Do To Prevent It
Trimming Your Chicken’s Beak
What Every Chicken Needs
Vegetarian Chickens or Well-Rounded Diets?
Considering a Movable Chicken Coop
Can Chickens Eat Table Scraps?
Selecting the Proper Feeder for Your Chickens
Cleaning Up After Your Chickens
The Proper Way to Handle a Chicken
Keeping Your Chickens’ Nails in Check