It’s spring cleaning time for all things that have been cooped up all winter long. Especially those chicken coops and especially if you do the deep bedding method in the winter like we do.
Deep bedding is where during the winter months you don’t remove any bedding. You just keep layering it on top so it creates a barrier between the cold floor and your chickens. Kinda like a bedding insulation. But now that winter is over and we are going into spring. It’s time to clean out those coops and get them nice and fresh for your girls. Below I’ve put together a step by step guide of how we will be spring cleaning our coop soon. I know our girls are so excited for it. And so am I so let’s get to that guide.
Distract your girls
You will want to give your girls something to entertain them. They will be curious as to what your doing and want to be part of the process. Which is cute but also can be harmful as they will walk under your feet and possible get stepped on. You will also be knocking up a lot of dust and debris and you don’t want them breathing that it.
A fun way to entertain them is using your children (if you have any). Giving them sole treats or clipping from your yard. Or even putting them in their run and closing up their coop door entrance so they can’t get in.
Remove anything your able to from your coop
Whatever you can take out of your coop to clean you will want to. Food and water dishes, ladders, nesting boxes, really anything that can so you can give it a good scrub.
Clean out all the bedding and nesting boxes
If you do a deep bedding method you’ll definitely need a shovel and wheel barrel for this. There’s going to be about a foot of compacted bedding your going to be removing. You’ll want to make sure you get all the books and crannys. It’s spring cleaning time so get in them good.
The going to get dusty so use a mask or scarf during the cleaning. Process so your not breathing in a ton of dust.
You’ll also want to scrape off their roost at this time to get any build up out of the coop too.
Sweep out your coop
Once you’ve cleaned out all the old bedding and straw you will want to sweep out your coop. This includes the roof, walls and everything. There’s going to be debris and dust lying on every surface and you want to get it out.
Spray with food grade diatomaceous earth
After you’ve completely removed all the bedding and dust you’ll then want to do some pest prevention. I like to make a spray version so I can easily apply it to the cracks in our coop. It’s super easy to make. You just mix 1 tablespoon of DE with 1 quart of water (4 tbsp to 1 gallon of water). Shake it up and pour into your spray bottle. Spray the bottom foot and flooring of your coop. This allows you to create a type of barrier for extra protection.
While the mixture is wet on your coop it won’t be able to work. Once it dries it will help keep out any pests or kites that might be attracted to your coop, hens or their feed.
Let it dry/air out:
Now that you have it all cleaned out and sprayed down with your DE mixture you will want to open all the doors and windows and let it air out and the DE too dry.
Scrub and disinfect what you removed:
While your airing out your coop you’ll want to disinfect and scrub clean their food and water dishes. Any other containers you keep in their for oyster shells or to play with. If there’s a liner under you nesting boxes. Scrub this clean too. You’ll want everything clean and fresh.
Let it dry
After your done washing everything set it out in the sun to dry and naturally disinfect it from the sun. You’ll want them completely dry so you don’t create soggy food or bedding.
Fill coop with fresh bedding
While your feeders and waterers are drying you can now start to prep your coop for your chickens. Star by filling the bottom of your coop with fresh bedding. I normally do about 2 inches deep to keep any poop from hitting the base of our floor and sticking to it.
Sprinkle in Diatomaceous Earth
After you get your flooring covered with fresh bedding you’ll want to sprinkle some food grade DE on top and then work it in by swishing around your bedding. This will keep mites and pests off your birds that they may bring inside with them. And as they scratch and pick up spilled food they will ingest some that will also help as a wormer.
Fill nesting boxes with fresh straw
You want your girls to have a happy place to lay down make sure to fill those nesting boxes up nice and fluffy for them. Fresh nesting boxes are like the cake to the icing for them.
Put everything back
Once everything is dry you will now want to put everything back into its place. Be mindful that if you move things around it will cause a your girls to be a little hectic until they learn the new set up.
Clean out the chicken run
Now that you have everything put back inside the coop it’s time to clean out their run. If your girls don’t have access to free ranging you’ll want to put them in their coop to do this. To clean their run you’ll want to take up and clean out the entire top layer of soil. This will help with drainage but also take off the top compacted part so your girls can find the good bugs and worms.
Let your girls in
Once all is said and done and everything is ready your going to want to open it all to your girls. They are going to go exploring and check out what you did. They will approve of course because who doesn’t love a fresh coop.
I hope this step by step guide helps you know how to clean out your coop for spring and get it nice and set for spring summer and fall. Until it’s time to deep bed again.
Until next time, live a life you love!